Bob Beard was one of the pioneers of Northside School District. His forward thinking as a member, Vice President and President of the Northside Board of Trustees from 1967 to 1974, helped form what is now one of the premier school districts in the country.
Born in El Paso but raised in San Antonio, Beard graduated from Jefferson High School in 1949. He attended San Antonio College and graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering.
He began his professional career as a geological and engineering draftsman with Standard Oil of Indiana. His career led him coast to coast, and spanned an illustrious 43 years when he retired as Chairman, President and CEO of Gulf Resources Corporation.
While serving on the NISD Board of Trustees, Beard provided the leadership and vision that was required in transitioning Northside ISD from a rural school district to that of a more modern, suburban-urban, sophisticated multi-million dollar enterprise. He and his contemporaries strengthened the foundation for what would eventually become the “destination District” in Bexar County.
Leading by example, he advocated a positive policy-making role for the Board of Trustees, a focus on educational opportunities for students, and expanded constructive support of teachers and staff. Major improvements initiated by Beard include the conversion of buses to propane fuel (now a nationally recognized program), the implementation of Junior ROTC programs at the high schools, and recognizing the importance of effective two-way communications in this fast-growing community, the establishment of a professionally staffed Communications Department.
Beard embodied the spirit of community involvement and was actively involved in the life of his community. Some of his business and community involvement positions include founder and director of the First National Bank of Zapata (Texas); Advisory Board Member of the Trinity University School of Business Administration; founder and director of the Petroleum Club of San Antonio; member of the President’s Council – a Business School at St. Mary’s University; and founder and president of the Park Mountain Development Corporation. In addition, he was a member of the Methodist church for more than 55 years, most recently University United Methodist Church.
Beard passed away in March 2011 and is survived by his wife, Emmajean, four children and 14 grandchildren.