The trustees for the Houston Independent School District have named an interim superintendent, as it prepares for the departure of outgoing leader Terry Grier.
The district’s CFO, Ken Huewitt, will officially take over when Grier leaves at the end of February.
Huewitt is already deputy superintendent and has been leading most board meetings since Grier announced his resignation last fall. Huewitt also has served as HISD controller and as an auditor with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The search for the permanent replacement, however, has gotten controversial.
At a meeting Wednesday, the Houston school board unanimously voted to fire the search firm, Iowa-based Ray & Associations.
In a press release, board president Manuel Rodriguez said that the decision was “mutual” and in the best interest of both the district and the search firm.
The board had awarded a $70,000 contract to Ray & Associates in December.
Before that vote, then-newly elected trustee Jolanda Jones asked board members to delay the decision until new members officially took office in January.
HISD trustees are now considering a different consulting firm called HYA & Associates, which was one of several firms the board interviewed for the job last fall.
If hired, it would conduct community surveys and recruit candidates to lead the state’s largest school district.
Grier is in his seventh year as superintendent. His last day is Feb. 29.