ROHS Alumni Association selects Dr. Joe Pitts as 2008 Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Pitts is a 1952 graduate of Red Oak High School is married to Katherine Skipper Pitts, a 1953 graduate of ROHS.
After graduating first in his class, Dr. Pitts obtained his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of North Texas and began teaching at W.E. Greiner Junior High in Dallas. From that point forward, Joe dedicated his life to education. He received his Masters of Educational Administration and Doctorate in Public School Leadership from UNT and served in a variety of administrative capacities within the Dallas Independent School District.
He left Dallas in 1982 to assume the position of Superintendent of Schools in Port Arthur, Texas. During Joes’ ten years at Port Arthur, he took a district suffering allegations of fiscal mismanagement and restored public confidence and integrity to the Port Arthur ISD. When he retired in 1992, he served four years as the Board of Trustees training consultant for the Texas Education Agency Region IV Education Service Center in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Joe Pitts has been active in a myriad of professional organizations, including the American Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Administrators. In 1991, he was selected as the Region V Superintendent of the Year and he received the prestigious Eagle award from the North Texas Professional Administrators and Supervisors Council. He became an honorary life member of the Texas Association of School Administrators during the same year.
Along with his contributions to Texas education, Dr. Pitts is honored for his devotion to his family and his dedication to his community. Joe is married to his high school sweetheart, and they now make their home in Waxahachie. He has two children—one graduate of the University of Texas and the other a graduate of Texas A&M, which contributes to lively Thanksgiving family gatherings. His daughter, Donna Palmer, is an educator who is also in education. She and her husband Mark live in Midlothian, and they have two children—Alex, who graduated from Red Oak in 2006, and Andy, a 2008 ROHS graduate. Joe’s son Marc lives in Coppell with his wife Victoria and their two children, Katie and Mason.
Dr. Pitts has been a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and has assumed various positions of leadership throughout the years. Joe has always been active in civic affairs, as he was a member of the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, the United Community Services organization, the Salvation Army, and the YMCA. At age 73, Joe served on the Board of Directors for the Red Oak Cemetery Association, the Texas Rural Rail District, and the Ellis County Appraisal District Board of Directors. He served on the Red Oak Alumni Board for four years.
Joe begins each morning by reading the daily newspaper, and he enjoys fishing when can find the time. His passion is restoring and working on his collection of old Chevy pickups and Farmall tractors. Antiques are coveted, and according to his family, he never discards anything—he enjoys all his “junk,” and considers fine tools a work of art.