SUGAR LAND — During the Thursday, August 26, special called meeting of the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees, the Board named Dr. Christie Whitbeck, Superintendent of Bryan ISD, and former Deputy Superintendent of Fort Bend ISD, as the lone finalist to serve as the next superintendent of Fort Bend ISD.
The announcement follows an extensive national search, driven by a strong candidate profile developed with input from both internal and external stakeholders.
To assist the Board in developing a candidate profile that included the desired characteristics for the next superintendent, the search firm of Hazard Young Attea and Associates conducted a survey in which 2,249 individuals participated. As part of the stakeholder engagement process, the firm interviewed 169 individuals in groups identified by the Board. The Board adopted its candidate profile at a meeting on April 26.
The search firm identified approximately 80 possible candidates, of which 60 applied for the position. The Board initially interviewed several candidates and narrowed the slate of candidates down to three for a second round of interviews.
The next phase of the interview process included the three finalists visiting the District.
After interviewing the finalists and selecting Dr. Whitbeck, the Board continued its due diligence by conducting a virtual site visit with members of the Bryan ISD community. Bryan ISD board members, executive directors, parent volunteers, as well as Bryan-area elected officials and faith-based leaders were interviewed. All spoke highly and admirably of Dr. Whitbeck, describing her as a relationship builder, a unifier and a skilled leader.
In total, the Board dedicated more than 50 hours to the interviewing and selection process.
“The Board is thrilled to welcome Dr. Whitbeck back to the District,” FBISD Board President Dave Rosenthal said. “She is a tireless advocate for public education and her love for students is deep and genuine. The Board’s search was exhaustive, and we had the privilege of selecting from many highly qualified candidates. At the end of the day, we feel confident that we have found the right leader for our District.”
Dr. Whitbeck is an experienced, award-winning leader with a strong reputation as a consensus builder, while shepherding data-driven initiatives that support student learning and success. She is credited with opening one of the state’s 10 Regional Career and Technology Centers in Bryan ISD, and she was named Career Technical Education Champion of the Year by the Career and Technical Association of Texas. Dr. Whitbeck was named a 2019 Outstanding Alumni Early Career Award recipient by Texas A&M College of Education for significant contributions to her field made within 10 years of graduating.
In the nearly four years she served in Bryan ISD, Dr. Whitbeck oversaw the passage of two bond elections through her “2 Bonds 1 Vision” plan, which resulted in significant revenue for the district without raising the tax rate. She is also credited with leadership and programs that led to comprehensive and widespread transportation improvements, significant safety improvements, increased academic achievement and increased College, Career and Military readiness rates for the district. Dr. Whitbeck is recognized at the state level as an innovative leader and has served on numerous state committees to support public education in Texas.
“I am honored that the Board of Trustees has selected me as the Lone Finalist,” Dr. Whitbeck said. “I remember everyone fondly from Fort Bend ISD and it is my true honor to return to the community to serve as your Superintendent.”
Before arriving in Bryan, Dr. Whitbeck served as Deputy Superintendent in Fort Bend ISD for four years and Assistant Superintendent of Academics in Alvin ISD. Additionally, she was an award-winning principal in Katy ISD, where she opened schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She earned her first assignment in school administration as an assistant principal in Katy ISD after beginning her career as a teacher and language arts specialist in Alief ISD.
Dr. Whitbeck received her Ph.D. in public school administration from Texas A&M University, graduating summa cum laude. She obtained a master’s degree in administration supervision and a mid-management certification from the University of Houston, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri State University.
State law requires a 21-day waiting period after a school board names a lone finalist before the future school superintendent can a sign a contract.