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How Houston Parents, Teachers Can Chime In On Superintendent Search

The same search firm — Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates — that found the last superintendent will conduct a similar process.

At a special meeting in September, board members were mixed, but ultimately decided to conduct a national search for a new superintendent.
At a special meeting in September, board members were mixed, but ultimately decided to conduct a national search for a new superintendent.

It’s been about eight months since the Houston Independent School District had a permanent superintendent, but before the next one’s hired, the school board will gather more community input.

The HISD board decided at a meeting Wednesday to conduct in-person forums and an online survey in January so that parents, teachers, students and others can weigh in on the next leader for the state’s largest school district.

“I don’t want to do this search without getting any sort of face-to-face community input and engagement,” said Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca. “I know that an online survey is one thing, but I think it’s really important to have face-to-face interaction working with community members, constituents, stakeholders, to get a feel for what people are looking for in that leader of our schools here in Houston.”

The same search firm — Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates — that found the last superintendent will conduct a similar process.

Consultant Hank Gmitro said that they will ask questions like “what are the issues and challenges the new superintendent is going to face over the next few years and over the long term, and then what are the most important characteristics for the new superintendent to be successful here?” 

The board’s goal is to choose a new superintendent by the end of April. They’ve also decided to keep the names of candidates confidential.

Since the last superintendent Richard Carranza abruptly left in March half-way through his three-year contract, the district has had an interim leader, Grenita Lathan, the former chief academic officer. The board briefly ousted her in October, though reinstated her.

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Laura Isensee

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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