HOBBS, NM – The JF Maddox Foundation, a family foundation committed to accelerating outcomes and helping Lea County thrive, announced that TJ Parks, former superintendent of the Hobbs Municipal Schools, will become the Foundation’s interim CEO. The Foundation’s current CEO, Ray Caraway, announced his retirement in July. Parks will begin his new role on September 1, 2022, prior to the departure of Caraway later in the month.
“TJ’s exemplary career in public education, most recently serving as the Hobbs Municipal Schools chief executive, will be an asset as the Foundation continues to invest in projects that help improve the lives of all Lea County families,” said Ann Maddox Utterback, Board Chair of the JF Maddox Foundation.
Parks spent 40 years in public education beginning his teaching career in Tatum where he taught seventh and eighth grades in addition to coaching the varsity basketball team. He spent twenty years as superintendent in two Lea County districts, first at the Tatum Municipal Schools as the superintendent from 1997-2007 and later as the Hobbs Municipal Schools superintendent from 2010-2021.
Parks has a proven record of success in leading organizations and solving challenges. During his tenure, he supervised three Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon Schools (Tatum Junior High 2007, Broadmoor Elementary 2018 and Coronado Elementary 2021). In addition, Hobbs Municipal Schools increased its high school graduation rate by 26.7 percent to 90 percent in five years. Hobbs Municipal Schools saw tremendous growth during Parks’ tenure, which led to large facility infrastructure improvements including the new Freshmen School, Warehouse, Central Office addition, Broadmoor Elementary, Murray Elementary, remodel of Hobbs High School, CTECH, as well as participation in the CORE.
“After I retired from public education, I knew I needed to find my next challenge, and when the opportunity to lead an organization like the JF Maddox Foundation came about, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I had the pleasure of working closely with the JF Maddox Foundation team throughout my time at the Hobbs Municipal Schools and know their vision and passion for the success of this community is unmatched. I’m excited to re-engage with this great community and take on this new chapter in service to the people of Lea County,” said Parks.
Parks received several notable awards throughout his time with the Hobbs Municipal Schools including eSchools Tech Savvy Superintendent 2006, New Mexico Activities Association Hall of Fame 2007, New Mexico Superintendent of the Year 2016, New Mexico Art Association Educator Award 2017, and the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award 2020.
“I know the Lea County community is in good hands with TJ taking over as interim CEO at the Foundation. I’ve been blessed to work alongside him on many projects in my time here and look forward to a seamless transition in the coming weeks,” said Caraway, CEO of the JF Maddox Foundation.
Following the announcement of Caraway’s retirement in July, the Foundation board of directors formed a transition committee to determine the path forward for Foundation leadership.
“Our main priority is ensuring the Foundation has the resources it needs to continue to do the work on behalf of the people of Lea County. We look forward to working with TJ as he steps in to help us continue to live out our mission,” said Catherine Maddox, chair of the transition committee.
The JF Maddox Foundation is a private family foundation in Lea County, New Mexico. Alongside its partners, the Foundation invests in education, social services, and community development for a greater quality of life for Lea County residents. For more information on the JF Maddox Foundation, visit www.jfmaddox.org.