Media Contact: Kristi Hernandez
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Rodney E. Watson named Region 4 Executive Director
The Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4) Board of Directors, in their meeting today, unanimously approved Dr. Rodney E. Watson as the new executive director. Watson will succeed Pam Wells, Ed.D, who will retire after ten years serving as executive director of Region 4.
Watson joins Region 4 from the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), where he served as the deputy executive director/chief of staff. His main responsibilities include leading several key departments, overseeing key TASB initiatives, and leading large cross-functional projects to provide support to school districts across the state.
Prior to working at TASB, from 2014-2021, Watson served as superintendent of schools for Spring Independent School District (Spring ISD), a district of more than 33,000 students. Some of his accomplishments in the district included leading advancements in early-childhood and special education, improving student data management, increasing opportunities and choice schools for students, implementing innovative new-teacher development and postsecondary preparedness programs, and overseeing the completion of a $330 million bond referendum.
“First, I want to thank Dr. Wells for her servant leadership over the years,” Watson said. “Region 4 Education Service Center has a rich tradition of excellence in service for children. I feel blessed and honored to serve as the new executive director. I look forward to working with the board of directors, the Region 4 team, and all educational institutions and partners to continue the tradition of excellence in service.”
Region 4 Board of Directors Chair, Mrs. Carmen Moreno said, “We are delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Rodney Watson as executive director for Region 4 Education Service Center. Dr. Watson’s varied experience as a leader in school districts and state education organizations, as well as his previous successful tenure as a superintendent in a Region 4 school district, will be instrumental as he leads the Region 4 team in continuing to develop innovative solutions, while providing excellent support and service for school districts within our region and across the state.”
Watson will lead a team of more than 300 employees who support 47 traditional school districts, 40 charter schools, 165,000 educators and staff, and more than 1.2 million students in the seven-county Greater Houston Area. Watson will begin serving as executive director on September 1.
Prior to his tenure in Spring ISD, Watson served for four years in Houston Independent School District (Houston ISD), the largest school district in Texas with a student enrollment of more than 190,000 students. His positions included chief human resources officer, chief school officer, and school improvement officer. Before his work in Houston ISD, Watson served as a school principal and a district director of counseling in Missouri.
Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and music education from Northwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Weber University, an educational specialist degree in higher education administration, and a Ph.D. in urban leadership and policy analysis and curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. His professional affiliations include work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Holdsworth Center, National Association of Black School Administrators, and the American Counseling Association, among others.
Watson and his wife, Shanel, who is also an educator have been married for 26 years and have four children, Chandler, Simone, Elise, and RJ.
About Region 4 Education Service Center
Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4), located in Houston, is one of 20 service centers established by the Texas Legislature in 1967. The purposes of the service centers, as presented in legislation, are to assist school districts in improving student performance, to enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically, and to implement initiatives assigned by the Legislature or Commissioner of Education. The core purpose of Region 4 is to provide excellence in service for children.
Encompassing seven counties in the upper Texas Gulf Coast area, Region 4 serves 47 independent school districts and 40 open-enrollment charter schools. As the largest service center in Texas, Region 4 serves an education community of more than 1.2 million students, more than 165,000 educators and staff, and 1,500 campuses.