The state's largest public school system is looking for its next leader. HISD Superintendent Abe Saavedra plans to retire in March of next year. So the district's Board of Education wants to find his replacement by the start of school this year. Board Trustee Manuel Rodriguez says as they began working with a search firm they decided it was important to hear directly from the community.
"We are out in the community talking to people all the time, but when crises or very important issues arise there are those individuals who are not in constant communication with us that come forward and have their own opinion. And it's important for us, as well as the search firm, to understand what the community is looking to have in their next superintendent."
There's already an online forum where people are posting their thoughts on the search. The comments span the spectrum, with many of them advocating specific candidates.
"Houston is so diverse and large that it has many needs. And it would be good for not just the search firm, this is one of the reasons why we're doing it across Houston, but for anyone that has an interest in the district to come in and sit in on as many of the forums as they can so they can have a complete picture of what the needs of the next superintendent are."
Rodriguez says so far, no front-runner has emerged from the list of potential candidates. Tonight at 6:30, people can publicly voice their thoughts on the district's top job at HISD's South Region Office. Seven more meetings will be held over the next two weeks.
Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.