ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns has been selected superintendent of the year for a West Texas region that includes 42 school districts.

The announcement was made Thursday morning by the Region 14 Education Service Center.

The Texas Association of School Boards’ annual superintendent of the year selection process starts with each of the state’s 20 education service centers submitting a candidate.

Burns will now be competing – at the state level – with superintendents from 19 other regional service centers. The finalists will be announced later this summer.

A committee representing Region 14 ESC selected Burns, who has 17 years of administrative experience and has been superintendent of Abilene ISD for four years.