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Fort Bend ISD Board Unanimously Approves Lone Finalist for Superintendent Following Heated Debate

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Last Updated on December 16, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Dr. Marc Smith Named Finalist for Superintendent Position in Fort Bend Independent School District

Dr. Marc Smith has been announced as the sole finalist for the new superintendent position in the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD). This decision has sparked controversy as Trustee Kristen Davison Malone raised concerns about the transparency of the hiring process during a recent board meeting.

Malone claimed that despite attending most closed-session board meetings, she was not privy to the details of the search process. Board President Judy Dae countered this claim, stating that Malone was invited to participate in the search process. However, Malone refuted this assertion.

Despite the disagreements, Malone ultimately expressed support for Dr. Smith, citing his impressive resume and conversations with him. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Smith served as the assistant superintendent in FBISD from 2007 to 2012. He has also held superintendent positions in Marshall ISD and Duncanville ISD.

The number of candidates who applied for the superintendent position was not disclosed by Dae. However, the board approved the retirement of previous Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck on December 4, with her retirement officially taking effect on December 12. According to her voluntary retirement agreement, Dr. Whitbeck will receive over $350,000 in severance and unused vacation pay.

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On the matter of Dr. Whitbeck’s retirement, Dae did not comment, considering it a personnel matter. Dr. Whitbeck, however, will remain with the district as superintendent emeritus until June 30, 2024, to ensure a smooth transition for the next superintendent.

In the meantime, Deputy Superintendent Beth Martinez has been appointed as the acting superintendent during the hiring process. Her role will be vital in maintaining stability until a permanent superintendent takes the helm.

The controversy surrounding the hiring process highlights the importance of transparency and proper communication within educational institutions. As the district moves forward, it is crucial for all stakeholders to work together to ensure the best possible educational outcomes for the students of FBISD.

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