EARLY — Early school board members have made their choice.


Dr. Dewayne Wilkins, who currently works as superintendent in the Gordon school district in Palo Pinto County, has been named lone finalist for superintendent of the Early ISD.


School board members unanimously selected Wilkins as lone finalist in a board meeting Monday night. Wilkins was one of 40 applicants, and school board members interviewed seven earlier this month before making their selection.


Wilkins will start work July 1 as he replaces Wes Beck, who is retiring.


Texas state law requires a 21-day waiting period after a school board names a superintendent lone finalist before before the future school superintendent can sign a contract.


“Family is everything to me and majority of my family lives in the area,” Wilkins said via email. “Therefore getting close to them means a great deal.


“Early ISD is a premier school district that I have always wanted to be a part of since I was a teacher.  Early ISD has excellent facilities and provides an outstanding education to all students. The opportunities that the school and community provide are out of this world. Any superintendent would be lucky to work here.  I cannot express how how grateful and excited I am for this opportunity. We are excited to join the Early ISD community.”


Wilkins graduated from Andrews High School in 1996. He earned a bachelors degree in accounting, then earned master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University. He earned a doctorate in in educational leadership from Texas Tech University.


Wilkins taught and coached in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and Tolar school districts, and served as an administrator in the Andrews school district.


Wilkins’ wife, Katie, is also in education. She has taught numerous grade levels and served as a curriculum technology coach, assistant principal and special programs coordinator.


Wilkins and his wife have two children — Johnna, who will enter the seventh grade, and Brayson, who be in the fifth grade.


Early school board president Shawn Russell said Wilkins met all of the board’s criteria.


Characteristics sought in the new superintendent included being an effective leader and motivator, having great communication skills and having a strong background in academics and school finance, Russell said earlier.