We Remember the Legacy of Dr. Ed West

West office

In light of the passing of TASBO's first Executive Director Dr. Ed L. West, we examine of the legacy of one of TASBO's most impactful leaders.

Dr. Ed L. West was part of a generation that professionalized school business administration in Texas. As post-World War II Texas grew, so did the public school system. With an increase in students, facilities, and money, it became imperative to have an effective workforce to manage the business and operations for public school districts.

Career in Education

In 1967, Ed joined San Antonio’s Northeast ISD as Assistant Superintendent of Business during a period of doubling growth in enrollment and number of schools. In 1977, Ed was named Superintendent as the district grew to be the state’s twelfth largest school system with 34,000 students and 3,000 employees. In 1980 Ed had the honor of being named the President of the Association of School Business Officials of the U.S. and Canada (ASBO) as well as the Educator of the Year by the same organization. Ed retired from North East ISD in 1987. Touching the lives of students was Ed’s most treasured experience during his career. - Ed West family obituary

Life Member Bill Fuller at a meeting with Dr. West

Executive Director

“He got to see how TASBO has grown over the years with other Executive Directors. I know that gave him immense pleasure and pride.” – Becky Estrada, Chief Certification Officer | TASBO

Dr. West was named Executive Director in 1982. During his tenure, TASBO moved into its first permanent headquarters, organized the first consulting reviews, and solidified a business partnership with TASB. Dr. West turned the role of Executive Director to Bill Phipps in 1990, shortly after the association eclipsed 1,000 members for the first time.

Certification Program

“Sorry to hear about the loss of the man who had the original vision of TASBO.  I first met him in 1980 while attending my first TASBO conference. From that time on, he always knew my name. I also have had the honor of working with Bill, Gwen, and Tracy to help keep the legacy alive.” – Mike Griffin, Life Member and Past President

Three years into his tenure, Dr. West lead an effort to create a voluntary school business official certification program. Some board members were reluctant to proceed with the creation of a certification program for school business officials. Now, TASBO certifications are highly respected - and often encouraged - by school districts across Texas. Districts understand that a TASBO certification means you’re educated in school business and dedicated to your profession. Currently, more than 3,200 members hold a certification credential.

The TASBO Foundation and the Dr. Ed L. West Scholarship Program

“I will always be grateful for the scholarship that is in his name and how it has changed me and my family's life forever. It is a wonderful gift that TASBO has embraced his vision and kept his legacy going with the Dr. Ed L. West Scholarship Fund. I take comfort in knowing that Dr. West's footprint will forever be embraced in the TASBO organization. God bless Dr. Ed L. West.” – Dixie Zaiontz, Operations Coordinator | Southwest ISD

In 2005, the TASBO Foundation was created to raise money for a new scholarship program named in Dr. West’s honor. The program's purpose is to enhance the skills of school business officials and encourage them to seek continued education and training with the intent of remaining in the profession of school business and operations. Since 2008, TASBO affiliates and individuals have donated close to $300,000 in support of the scholarship program.

Dr. Ed West seated with past and present Executive Directors (l to r) - Bill Phipps, Gwen Santiago, and Tracy Ginsburg.

“There is a picture of Dr. West in our lobby that I pass by multiple times a day. Today, I stopped and said, “thank you.” While his light on earth has been extinguished his legacy continues to shine.”

Tracy Ginsburg, Ed.D., CAE | TASBO Executive Director
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