Education News

HISD School Board Picks Richard Carranza as Sole Finalist for Superintendent

Under Texas law, the board has to wait 21 days before taking a final vote on whether to hire Carranza.

The board of trustees for the Houston Independent School District has picked its top choice for its next superintendent.

In a special meeting Wednesday, the board voted unanimously to name Richard Carranza as lone finalist for the job.

Carranza currently leads the San Francisco Unified School District in California. He’s also worked in Arizona and Las Vegas. He speaks Spanish fluently and is skilled in mariachi.

“He fits Houston. Mr. Carranza is the right leader at the right time for Houston’s children,” said HISD Board President Manuel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said that Carranza stood out from a pool of 35 candidates, including 29 men and six women. He highlighted his work in bilingual education, fine arts and discipline, reducing suspensions and trying to keep children in the classroom.

Trustee Jolanda Jones said that Carranza has shown he thinks outside the box and is used to working with kids from all backgrounds.

“We were part of the same village,” Jones said.

Under Texas law, the board has to wait 21 days before taking a final vote on whether to hire Carranza.

Carranza is expected to visit HISD next week.

The HISD board has been searching for a new leader for months. Almost a year ago in September, longtime superintendent Terry Grier announced he would retire early, effective at the end of February.

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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