WACO, TX – After serving as the Education Service Center Region 12 Executive Director for 12 and a half years, Jerry Maze, Ed.D., will retire at the end of January 2024. His official notification to the ESC Region 12 Board of Directors was submitted and approved in October 2023. Since his notification to the board and ESC Region 12 employees, he has remained committed to a seamless transition and ensuring continuity and growth for the service center.
“I looked around, and I’ve been doing this for 37 years. At some point, it becomes fun to think about what comes next,” Maze said. “The center is in a wonderful place that I am very proud of, and I am very proud of the people that work here. I know they will continue to take care of this place and do wonderful things. It’s an easy time for me to leave when I know the organization's mission is being left in talented hands.”
Maze obtained his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Journalism from Texas A&M University. He later acquired secondary English and Journalism teacher certifications from Sam Houston State University. Maze continued his education at Sam Houston State University and obtained his Master of Education. He went on to earn his Doctorate of Education degree from Lamar University.
Maze’s professional career in Texas education began at Livingston ISD, where he served as an English teacher at Livingston Middle and High School and later as a journalism teacher at the high school. He went on to serve as assistant principal, associate principal for curriculum and instruction, and then as principal of Livingston High School. After his time at Livingston ISD, Maze came to the Region 12 service area as the Superintendent of Hubbard ISD and later Hillsboro ISD. He then joined ESC Region 12 in 2008 as the Associate Executive Director of Administrative Leadership and Business Service before becoming Executive Director in 2011.
During his time at ESC Region 12, Maze contributed to the development, implementation and advancement of various projects. He supported the growth of ESC Region 12 Business Services, E-Rate Consulting Services and School Finance, programs that aid many districts across the region, and many outside of it. Under his leadership, ESC Region 12 was involved with developing the TEKS Resource System and the Ascender Enterprise System, statewide curriculum and school data management systems, respectively. Maze worked to form a partnership with Baylor University and Huckabee Architects to create the Learning Experience Collaborative, an ongoing research project to gather data on the impact physical environment has on student outcomes. Internally, he oversaw the renovation of the ESC Region 12 facility, where
leadership and the architecture firm collected and used staff input to create an optimal environment for both staff members and visitors.
Of the many projects Maze had a hand in, the two he is most proud of are the ESC Region 12 Technology Foundation and the Universal Benefits Consortium. Maze championed the creation of the Technology Foundation, which funds innovative technology programs for schools across the region, and has awarded $609,218 and served 27,349 students since 2012. He was also instrumental in the development of the Universal Benefits Consortium, a provider of high-quality, affordable health plans to schools across Texas, which has become a market innovation that helped drive down costs for all educators in the state.
“I feel very proud of the people I’ve worked alongside and what we’ve accomplished,” Maze said. “I’m not leaving here with any sense of regret about a single thing, and I am so pleased with that.”
In 2011, Maze received the national E. Robert Stephens Award from the Association of Educational Services Agencies for his dissertation on education service centers in Texas and how superintendents perceive their training. In 2019, he received the Thomas Poe Regional Service Center Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership to school administrators. Most recently, in July 2022, he received the Peter C. Young Service Award from AESA for outstanding contributions to educational service agencies and service to the awarding organization.
“What a thrill and honor it has been to do this work for all these years. ESC Region 12 is a special place, and being Executive Director is a special responsibility. I’m honored that I was one of the few to be entrusted with it, and I look forward to seeing what comes next,” Maze said. “While my role will change, my cheerleading for our shared vision remains eternal.”
Maze feels confident in the health and culture of the organization. He is proud of what the center has become and what it will become. His advice to staff members is to continue looking forward, be aware of each other and take care of each other.
Maze doesn’t plan to leave education behind in his retirement. Between spending quality time with his loved ones, he will contribute to leadership development work at AESA, continue his role as an adjunct professor in the doctoral program at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and continue serving Texas educators’ health benefits needs through the Universal Benefits Consortium.
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