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ESC Region 12 Dedicates Board Room to Beloved Belton ISD Leader

Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12 recently held a ceremony to dedicate its board room to its former board chair, the late Joe M. Pirtle, who passed away in 2019. Pirtle served as chairman for 22 years and as a member for 24 years. Two hundred people attended the ribbon cutting and unveiling ceremony, including Pirtle’s family members and friends, the ESC board, and staff members. 

A wall plaque hangs in the board room with Pirtle’s photo, years of service and his quote states, “I really believe that no matter where you grow up or from what part of town you come from, education is the path to put everybody on the same level.”

Pirtle started his career in Belton ISD, first as a science teacher and coach and eventually working his way up to principal, curriculum director, assistant superintendent and then superintendent. His career in the Big Red Community spanned 43 years, 22 of those as superintendent.

“[ESC Region 12] allowed him to continue to be a part of educators’ and children's lives for many years after he retired, and that was his passion,” said Jane Dominguez, one of two daughters. “He lived to help children, and he lived to help teachers and families, but he just wanted to be with kids and teachers and the ESC allowed him to do that.” 

Dominguez said, “We know our father would be so humbled by the naming of this boardroom, as are each of us. Each one of us in his family is beyond humbled and feels so honored as well.”

“We are forever grateful for Joe’s dedication and legacy of servant leadership. I always appreciated the way he spoke to our staff, applauding their efforts and reminding them of how important our work is,” said Jerry Maze, Ed.D., executive director of ESC Region 12. “I feel blessed to have called him a mentor, as well as my dear friend.”

ESC Region 12 provides professional development and services to educators and school personnel in 12 area counties.