January 01 2022 12:00 am

Waco School Board President announces resignation


Waco School Board President Pat Atkins announced his resignation on Monday. Atkins was first elected to the board in 2002 and became the President in 2010.

“I tell people this is maybe the most difficult rewarding opportunity in the entire Waco community because you do have the opportunity to put programs in place that has a huge impact on students and their families,” Atkins says.
Before resigning as the school board president, Atkins dedicated years to improving education for Waco students. The most recent program he implemented was the Transformation Zone, which gave five schools within the distict that were potentially facing closure money and time to get back in good standing with the state.
“Part of those issues really had to do more with the poverty in the area. If we could get the whole community to rally around those neighborhoods and the city and the healthcare providers, the other service providers. We’ve got family support specialists on all of those campuses to really tell those families what’s available for assistance. That’s what’s going to make a big difference and help move the needle,” Atkins says.
The district cleared those hurdles, but more challenges loomed.
“With funding cuts and mandates from Austin and from Washington, and then issues that come up locally from time to time, it’s a challenging job. It’s something I’ve obviously enjoyed doing, and it’s with mixed emotions that I’m deciding to step away,” Atkins says.
He says timing was everything when it came to his decision.

The district is in search of a permanent superintendent, and Atkins says this is a decision he would prefer his succesor to be more active in.
While the district has it’s work cut out, Atkins wants to remain as helpful as he can.
“I’m going to continue to be available as a resource. I’ll be happy to answer questions. I still love and believe in the Waco public schools and the difference they’re making in this community. I will still be available to render my support,” Atkins says.
In a letter to the board, Atkins said his family is building a new house outside the Waco ISD boundaries. With the district looking for a new superintendent, he decided it was best to step down now.

“I know I can remain on the board a few more months until our new home is complete.  It is important, though, that my successor– who will actually be working with the new superintendent– have an opportunity to participate in the hiring process.”

You can read his entire letter to the Board of Trustees here:

The Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday, May 23, for their regular monthly meeting. This is when members will discuss how to fill the vacancy. They have the option of appointing someone or calling for a special election.

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