HOUSTON - Houston ISD, the state’s largest school district, is expected to name a lone finalist for superintendent on Friday. For the last several months, the board of trustees have been searching for a permanent replacement.
After a nearly six month search, Houston ISD’s board of trustees are on the verge of naming a lone finalist for a permanent superintendent.
In November, Dr Grenita Lathan was not given the job, despite serving as interim for nearly three years after the former superintendent, Richard Carranza, left for New York in 2018.
The search included input from the community including the Houston Federation of Teachers and roughly 30 current teachers at HISD, including Michelle Williams, a math interventionist at Kashmere High School.
"We need someone who really understands how to run, and really run, an urban school district. Right now, we are sitting at almost 600 teacher vacancies. We have 30 vacancies at the central office, so they will be coming into a system where we’re reeling from challenges from the Coronavirus," Williams said.
Jackie Anderson serves as President of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
"They need to have the compassion that it’s going to take and the passion to want to be here, to want to make a difference and to help. It doesn’t matter about the color, as long as they are committed to the work," Anderson said.
The process has been confidential, and this time around, trustees are extremely tight lipped about who’s in the running.
No word yet on exactly how many candidates have applied and been screened, so Friday’s announcement may come as a surprise to many.
However, HISD is still in the process of a possible state takeover by the TEA, who could potentially block the new hire, again.
"It would be tragic if that happened. What they would be saying is they have given the authority to one unelected official to run the district. That means voters have no say. We hope that the commissioner will realize that this is a democratic process," Anderson said.
HISD's board of trustees are expected to vote on a lone finalist during a private meeting Friday morning at 10 a.m. before publicly introducing him or her during a news conference in the afternoon.