BEEVILLE – Being a new superintendent comes with many challenges and this year, those are significantly greater as the Beeville school district faces so much uncertainty.
Travis Fanning was unanimously hired Thursday evening, July 16, to fill the position left vacant when Dr. Marc Puig left for South San Antonio ISD earlier this year.
“I think the biggest challenge is going to be how to make sure that we keep our students, our teachers and all of our employees safe,” Fanning said after the board meeting. “Our biggest concern right now is making sure that safety is a priority for us.
“And we want to make sure that we’re providing quality education here in Beeville ISD.”
The school, like the rest of the state, closed its classrooms and went virtual during the spring semester — an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. This decision meant some students may not have received the same instruction they would have if in the classroom.
“With the second semester ending in the way that it did, many of our kids may have suffered an academic gap there,” Fanning said. “And so we have to, No. 1, close that gap, and then provide quality, first time instruction during a crisis like COVID-19.”
Fanning and others within the district and the county are working to determine just how school will look this year.
“What is going to be the best way for us here in Beeville ISD, and in the county, to send our students back to school?” Fanning said as the question being posed to this group.
While he expects to have a plan in place this week, he also knows that could change as the number of cases continues to escalate.
“We’re looking at the fluid nature of what’s occurring in this area to make sure that we’re making the best decision,” Fanning said.
The Texas Education Agency has issued its orders to schools but even those had changed this past week.
“What I’m committed to is making sure that we, as fast as we can, get our students connected back to our schools and our teachers,” he said. “Because I think that’s where our relationships are established.
“And that’s where our kids learn and benefit the most. So we want to get them back as quick as possible. But we want to make sure at the same time that they’re as safe as we possibly can make it.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Beeville Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 361-343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.