In a decisive move during the board working session on December 4, trustees of the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD) voted to accept the retirement request of Superintendent Christie Whitbeck. The board concurrently voted to appoint Deputy Superintendent Beth Martinez as the interim superintendent of schools.
Whitbeck’s retirement, effective December 12, was initially disclosed in a statement on December 1, with the superintendent expressing her intention to step down two years before the expiration of her contract. In a subsequent decision, the board approved Whitbeck to hold the honorary position of superintendent emeritus until the conclusion of the academic year in May 2024.
The board is expected to finalize the transition during their regular meeting on December 11, where candidates for the role of acting superintendent will be considered, as outlined by district officials.
Christie Whitbeck assumed the role of superintendent for FBISD in October 2021, following her tenure as superintendent in Bryan ISD and deputy superintendent of Fort Bend ISD. Her extensive career in education includes roles such as elementary, middle school, and high school principal, as well as experience as an assistant superintendent, assistant principal, language arts specialist, and classroom teacher.
In a personal statement, Whitbeck acknowledged the unexpected nature of her retirement and expressed pride in the significant achievements made during her 2 ½ year tenure as superintendent. Notable accomplishments highlighted by Whitbeck included eliminating a $47 million budget deficit and successfully navigating the May 2023 bond election and the November 2023 voter-approval tax rate election.
Whitbeck, recognizing the collective efforts of the FBISD staff, stated, “With the help of many talented staff members, I feel I am leaving FBISD better than I found it, and that makes me very proud.” As the district prepares for a leadership transition, Deputy Superintendent Beth Martinez assumes the interim role, poised to guide FBISD through the upcoming academic year.