Bryan ISD superintendent reflects on her time leading the district
“We have to keep the main thing on our student achievement and student learning.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Bryan Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck is on her way to lead the eighth largest school district in Texas.
Whitbeck was confirmed Thursday as Fort Bend ISD’s lone finalist for its open superintendent position. Dr. Whitbeck previously served as Fort Bend’s Deputy Superintendent before coming to Bryan in 2017.
In Dr. Whitbeck’s time at Bryan ISD, she’s overseen several projects and initiatives. Accomplishments she hopes will keep Bryan ISD moving forward.
“When I think back, there’s a lot of work that was done. But I would say from my heart, it’s about the trust that I believe we’ve built and the climate and culture within our school district with the community, especially the parents and staff,” said Whitbeck. “We opened a regional career and tech center. We passed two bond elections, so we’re good for a while. We’ve lowered the tax rate while doing that. I’m leaving the district with a 98 first financial rating. We’ve broken ground on a new school. We’ve got so many new systems in place like transportation. I’m just so proud of the work, the unified collaborative work that we’ve done.”
Whitbeck says she’s extremely proud of the trust and relationships she built with the community.
“I hope that if I’ve done nothing else, I’ve connected with people, and I helped bring strong people on board and worked with all of the city leaders and community leaders and our board of trustees to just move in a positive direction,” said Whitbeck.
One of the things she’s most proud of is leaving the district in a better position than when she arrived.
“I want my legacy to be that we turned a ship, we turned a reputation, and we made people feel like they had faith in our district again,” said Whitbeck. “There are so many amazing homes being built. So much opportunity for children. I think we’ve really worked on getting that message out there and also strengthening what those opportunities were and really getting the strong leadership in place.”
Whitbeck says returning to the district where she previously served is an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. But although she’s leaving Bryan, Aggieland will always be home.
“You may see me back again someday. I have such ties to Texas A&M and I am so proud of my doctorate from that university and would love to help there someday,” said Whitbeck. “So you never know where paths cross, but it was the most difficult decision I have ever had in my entire career.”
Whitbeck says she will forever be grateful to the city leadership, parents, and staff that have trusted her the last four and a half years.
“I could go on and on about this community. Thank you because I am richer, and I am stronger. As I go now to a very large place, everything I learned here I will take with me, and there will always be a part of Bryan in my heart,” said Whitbeck. “So thank you. I’m forever grateful.”
Whitbeck will remain with the district until the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees has its final vote on Sept. 16. Under Texas law, the district will need to wait 21 days before the hire can be official.
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