Wednesday, December 20, 2023 – After two decades of exemplary service to the Texarkana Arkansas School District (TASD), Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler has officially announced that she is resigning, effective June 2024. The Texarkana Arkansas School District Board of Education received and accepted Dr. Kesler’s resignation letter during a recent board meeting.
Dr. Kesler has over 37 years in education with 21 of those years being in TASD. She began her tenure with TASD in July 2003 as the principal of Union Elementary. Over the years, she has held various crucial roles within the district, including principal, human resource manager, and superintendent of schools. Dr. Kesler has been a driving force behind the implementation of innovative educational programs, the creation of a positive learning environment, and the strengthening of community partnerships.
Reflecting on her time with TASD, Dr. Kesler expressed gratitude on being given the opportunity to serve as superintendent “It is going to be a sad day when I leave my office for the last time because I love this place so much.” She praised the district and campus leadership teams, stating, “Our district and campus leadership teams are second to none, and I can’t wait to see what successes lie ahead for students, staff, and the community.”
Dr. Kesler emphasized her commitment to completing ongoing initiatives, particularly the work to align salary schedules and decrease compensation gaps within the district. “Though my tenure may be coming to a close over the next few months, I will approach each day with the same commitment that I have in the past,” she said. “The expectation that I hold for myself and the staff is that we give our best every day to ensure our students reach their full potential.”
During Dr. Kesler’s leadership, TASD achieved significant milestones, including the renovation of the Razorback Stadium, the construction of a new middle school campus, band hall expansion, and a host of other curb appeal projects. Under Dr. Kesler’s leadership, TASD has enhanced the safety and security of staff and students through increased security presence and building entry and visitor check in procedures. Her ability to engage community and build partnerships resulted in the Arkansas High Collegiate Academy which provides high school students an opportunity to earn an Associate’s Degree and high school diploma simultaneously through the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. Dr. Kesler lead the district through one of its toughest challenges, COVID-19, and continues to play a pivotal role in navigating challenges and seizing opportunities for the district.
Speaking about the achievements of TASD, Dr. Kesler remarked, “Beyond all of the statistics, goals, championships, accomplishments, and awards, there is one thing that makes me most proud, and that is who we are as a district.”
The Board of Education expressed sincere gratitude for Dr. Kesler’s unwavering commitment to the students, staff, and community. “In addition to spearheading several renovation and construction projects, totaling over $40 million, Dr. Kesler increased staff salaries by approximately 28% through raises, bonuses, and retention incentives making TASD more competitive in the field of education,” commented Board President Jesse Buchanan. “She steered the district successfully through historic challenges to public education,” Buchanan said. Board members acknowledged her indelible mark on the district and affirmed that her legacy will be remembered for years to come. “Although we still have room for improvement, the district saw significant gains in test scores this year. Three schools raised their letter grade and some of the other campuses showed significant growth,” Buchanan noted.
As Dr. Kesler prepares for the end of her tenure at TASD, the Board of Directors will initiate discussions with McPherson and Jacobson, LLC to begin the search to identify a future leader who will continue the tradition of excellence established under Dr. Kesler’s leadership. “The Board is dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining the high standards of education during this process and into the future,” Buchanan stated.