LISD superintendent, Berhl Robertson Jr., announces retirement

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Information provided by Lubbock Independent School District 

In a conversation with the Board of Trustees and a video to employees earlier today, Dr. Berhl Robertson, Jr., announced his intention to retire as superintendent of Lubbock ISD at the conclusion of the school year.

In his message to employees, Robertson said, “I have been extremely blessed in my career. The opportunity to come to Lubbock ISD was the latest, greatest blessing, and I could not be more proud of you, the entire Lubbock ISD team and the work you have done. I know you will continue to work tirelessly to make our school district better and better, because our students deserve it. I am so thankful to have been here for what will be 9 years; 9 of the very best years of my career, so thank you for that and thank you for allowing me to serve you.”  

In 2009, after a ten-year stint as superintendent of Roosevelt ISD, Robertson joined Lubbock ISD as the Chief Administrative Officer. Robertson’s accomplishments in that role include guiding the process to bring financial stability to the district’s self-funded insurance plan; assembling the district’s first comprehensive facilities assessment and overseeing the planning and implementation of projects included in the $198 million bond, which passed in 2010. The plan included the consolidation of 10 campuses into renovated or newly constructed buildings, which made vast improvements to the educational environment at those schools and saved millions of dollars through efficient use of resources.

Robertson was named superintendent in 2013, and continued the work of his predecessor, Dr. Karen Garza, to increase the academic rigor of classroom instruction. Under Robertson’s leadership, the district expanded the International Baccalaureate program to include a full continuum Kindergarten through grade 12 and increased career and technical education opportunities in high demand occupations. Also, the Estacado Early College High School launched, where students can earn up to 60 hours of college credit with Texas Tech University at no cost to the student. During his tenure, the district also increased extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities for students.

Forming a partnership with the Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association, Robertson opened new doors of opportunity for fine arts students who will be able to perform in the spectacular Buddy Holly Hall when it opens in 2020. Lubbock ISD will have exclusive use of spaces, which will include both the performing and visual arts, in addition to opportunities for training in the culinary arts.

Other hallmarks during his tenure as superintendent include completing the 2010 Bond projects on time and within budget and the addition of $5.5 million in annual revenue to the district without impacting the overall tax rate, by gaining voter approval for moving two cents of the tax rate on debt service to the tax rate for maintenance and operations.

Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees President Laura Vinson said of Robertson’s departure, “In every decision, Berhl Robertson, Jr. strives to do the right thing – what’s right for students and for teachers. His ability to build relationships throughout the community has served our district well.” Vinson added, “Berhl is recognized throughout the state for his keen understanding of school finance, and he has guided our district to more efficient management systems. He’s a constant presence at student events of every sort, and he genuinely celebrates student success. Our Board of Trustees extends our very best wishes to Berhl and Traci as they embark on new adventures, but we will sorely miss Berhl’s leadership,” Vinson said.

Trustees will meet next week to begin discussions of the next course of action to select a superintendent. “As you’d expect from Dr. Robertson, he gave us the courtesy of a generous timetable to put Lubbock ISD in the best position to find the best person to be the next leader of this district. I anticipate we will name a new superintendent well before the end of the school year,” Vinson added