We want to welcome our new interim Superintendent of Schools, Jim Nelson. Mr. Nelson officially started on September 1. He grew up in Odessa, attended ECISD schools, and brings a wealth of experience to this position. He is an attorney by trade, served on our Ector County ISD Board of Trustees, was appointed as the Commissioner of Education of the Texas Education Agency, worked as the Superintendent of Richardson Independent School District for two years and from there became the Executive Director-Chief Executive Officer for AVID Center. He has served on numerous state and national education advisory boards. He understands the challenges facing our community and, specifically, our school district with regard to record student enrollment, a record number of teaching vacancies, and a tight budget.
“We have a lot to do,” he said. “We are going to try to work strategically and systematically and not panic. I’m looking forward to getting out to the schools. I’m working on a plan to start with the ones who have struggled the most in the last year or so, so that I can let the principals and the teachers know that we really support them and we will do everything we can to help them and the kids succeed this year.
“The student results are foremost,” he continued. “I had our data guru, Annette Macias (supervisor of state assessments), prepare a notebook for me with a lot of information I will share will staff. It will give us a road map that we can follow.”
The next priority he identified is the Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on November 6. “Two months from now we have an election, and it is important that we get accurate information to our public and our staff that will help them make informed decisions.”
After several years away from day-to-day school work he is immersed in it once again. And he is ready to get started. “I’m excited. Everyone has been very gracious and wonderful. I want to be seen [at schools] and I want [staff members] to know I care about their problems and their successes.”
Welcome, Mr. Nelson!