Hobbs Municipal Schools’ newest assistant superintendent hails from Texas – the same state, ironically, that his predecessor will move to at the end of the month. Will Hawkins begins work as the HMS assistant superintendent for secondary education effective July 1. He replaces Joe Loving, who retired from HMS and moves to Austin at the end of the month to accept a position with CollegeBoard. Hawkins, currently a middle school principal in Brady,Texas, is a former principal at Brownfield High School. He’s a graduate of Angelo State University who has been on the fast track since earning a bachelor’s degree in history and English in 1998. A former Middle School English teacher, Hawkins studied for his master’s degree while teaching classes during the day and delivering pizza at night. Juggling multiple responsibilities was nothing new for the San Antonio native. “I grew up in a high-poverty, low socio-economic neighborhood,” Hawkins said Tuesday, adding that his mother was a single parent of five children. “Throughout it all, I learned a lot about myself. I knew that when I became a teacher, my strength would be working with those same type of students.”
After spending seven years as one of the only middle schoolteachers in his San Angelo district with Advanced Placement certification,Hawkins moved to Brownfield to accept the assistant principal job in 2006. He was promoted to principal the following year. Moving to a smaller community was an adjustment, but “I learned that I really had the ability to have an impact,” Hawkins said. While at Brownfield, Hawkins said he worked to restructure career classes while balancing them with Advanced Placement courses. “They both are really serving the same purpose,” Hawkins said of the tracks. Your AP program and your career pathways courses each provide the student an opportunity for advancement beyond high school,” Hawkins said.“Whether it’s shop or cosmetology, if you can leave school with the equivalent of an associate’s degree or 30 hours training, that makes you much more marketable immediately. And AP is preparing students who are academically inclined – whether it be for an Ivy league college, a state college or community college. Both (tracks) complement one another. I don’t think one is more indicated for one group of students and the other for another group. There can and should be a mutual connection between the two programs.”
Outgoing HMS Supt. Cliff Burch said Hawkins and Hobbs are a good fit. “He is energetic, knowledgeable and passionate about the future of education,” Burch said.“Like our district, Mr. Hawkins is progressive with current trends in education and will be a great asset to the district.” Incoming HMS Supt. T.J. Parks concurred, saying he was particularly impressed withHawkins’ success in transforming Brownfield High School into a high achievingschool in a relatively short period of time. “He’s the type of person who canwalk the talk,” Parks said.
Hawkins said he’s excited about the move to Hobbs because the district is on the grow with a widely diverse student population. He and his family – a 9-year-old daughter, a two-year-old son and his wife, who is an elementary school teacher, will move to town next week. “Before I met Mr. Parks and Mr. Burch, I wasn’t sure if(Hobbs) was the right fit for me and my family,” Hawkins admitted. “After interviewing and meeting them, and looking at the city, both my wife and I really felt like it would be a great fit. Hobbs is a great opportunity," Hawkins said. “We are excited and anxious to become part of the Hobbs community.”