Dr. Randal O’Brien, superintendent of Goose Creek CISD, was honored recently by the Baytown Sun and the community as a nominee for Citizen of the Year 2023. He was nominated by Jay Eshbach, a philanthropist and financial planner in Baytown until his retirement 12 years ago.
“I met him when he moved to Baytown, and we really hit it off. A few months later, we asked them to go to Theatre Under the Stars,” Eshbach said. “I talk to him every few months – he’s in the paper so much I can’t keep up with him. I was Citizen of the Year in 2019, and when they asked me to nominate someone, he’s the first name that came into my head. I think he’s been one of the best, if not the best, superintendent in Baytown in my memory.”
O’Brien was named interim superintendent in 2014 and was confirmed as the 15th superintendent in the 100-year history of the district. He came to Baytown in 2013 as the deputy superintendent for administrative services from Hubbard ISD, where he was superintendent for four years.
O’Brien holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from East Texas Baptist University, where he played basketball and tennis on scholarship. He later earned a master of education in administration from Sam Houston State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University. In his more than 30 years in education, he also has served as a CTE teacher/coordinator, assistant principal, campus principal and district administrator.
His accomplishments include his nominations as the Region 12 Superintendent of the Year by the Hubbard ISD Board of Trustees as well as the Region 4 Superintendent of the Year by the Goose Creek CISD Board of Trustees.
Giving back to the community is important to O’Brien. He serves as a Rotarian, a board member for the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center as well as a member of the Baytown Chamber of Commerce and the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation. He attends numerous galas to support community service organizations, and he always finds time to attend fine arts and athletic events at the district’s schools.
O’Brien’s wife Monica is a language arts specialist and their son Riley graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and will soon complete his degree at Trinity University. Son Tyler is a graduate of Baylor University, and daughter Kendal, a graduate of Texas Woman’s University, is a registered nurse practitioner.
“I am so honored to be among the nominees for Citizen of the Year 2023, and I heartily congratulate the two deserving winners, R.D. Burnside and Steve Daniele. These two men have not only been active in the community, but also generous with their time and donations to numerous organizations and causes,” O’Brien said. “I also wish to congratulate finalists Gina Guillory, Pete Lester, Nikki Rincon and Connie Tilton, along with the other nominees. Thanks to Jay Eshbach for nominating me and to the Baytown Sun for hosting this annual event. I believe in the importance of giving back to the community, and I hope I have instilled this in my children and grandchildren as well as the students in our district.”
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