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Elementary and Primary Education
News Release
Friday, October 12, 2018

HOUSTON — At its October 11 board meeting, the Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted to approve a contract with HYA to begin a superintendent search to fill the vacancy left when Richard Carranza resigned on February 21, almost seven months earlier. In order to facilitate a fair search process, the board also voted to engage Dr. Abelardo Saavedra as Interim Superintendent for six months during the search. Dr. Saavedra will not pursue the position of permanent superintendent.

As our district faces difficult decisions in the coming months, we look forward to working with Dr. Saavedra as he takes temporary stewardship over the district’s day-to-day administration.

The most urgent items that HISD must address include plans to support our schools with the most need, working with the Legislative Budget Board to complete its performance review to inform budgeting, and selecting a permanent superintendent in an efficient, transparent, and community-driven process.

Dr. Saavedra’s appointment to this interim position creates the opportunity for Dr. Lathan to apply for the Superintendent position without the conflict of interest of serving as interim. Dr. Lathan will resume her position as Chief Academic Officer on Monday. We welcome her to apply to be permanent superintendent.

“It is only appropriate that the district be run by someone who has no stake in the outcome of the upcoming superintendent search,” Trustee Diana Davila said after the meeting.

Dr. Saavedra is familiar with the operations of HISD, having served as HISD’s superintendent from 2004 to 2009. His most recent position was Superintendent of South San Antonio ISD. He was appointed as superintendent to South San Antonio ISD when it was under TEA conservatorship, brought together a fractious board, and helped navigate South San Antonio out of conservatorship.

“Dr. Saavedra is well suited to take the wheel and maintain the direction of the district while the board closely vets top candidates from across country,” said Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca. “Our kids deserve the best leadership. When an interim officeholder is seeking a permanent position, it creates a barrier to attracting a diverse, qualified slate of applicants.”

Diana Davila (District VIII) and Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca (District VI) are trustees on the Houston Independent School District Board of Education.

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