HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A hypothetical Houston ISD employment listing could easily look like this:
-Leader for 7th largest school district in America.
-Facing $200 million deficit.
-Multiple chronically failing schools threatened with closure.
-More than 70 percent of students economically disadvantaged.
-Facilities recently hammered by flooding from major hurricane.
-Inexperienced need not apply.
Finding the right replacement for the aborted 18-month tenure of Superintendent Richard Carranza is a challenge that falls to Sue Deigaard and her eight fellow Houston ISD Trustees.
"I don't want somebody here because they are trying to prove a theory. I don't want somebody here who is trying to build their resume. I want somebody here who is here for Houston's kids," said Deigaard.
And deep caring alone is not enough. Deigaard says nearly a quarter million kids need a leader capable of doing what no one has done before.
"I kept looking for an outlier in the data of low income kids and a successful school district with them and it doesn't exist. So, we need to have that person at our administrative helm that is going to take us to that place,'" said Deigaard.
No one has tracked HISD's weaknesses and strengths more thoroughly than Dr. Bob Sanborn of Children At Risk.
"We should be selling this position as this is maybe the best place in America to come to if you really want to have an impact on public education," said Sanborn.
Sanborn insists the Board's search for transformative leadership cannot not be limited to those some would call the "usual suspects".
"We need to be looking at CEO's of large corporations. People who have run businesses. We need to be looking at activists who really care about children," adding, "This is the type of school district that can attract many types of people, many types of leaders. We need to be open to that and not stick with people who have just run school districts, just run urban school districts. I think we need shining examples of success that we could bring to our school district," said Sanborn.
Veteran HISD Trustee Wanda Adams tells FOX 26 she will be looking for a leader with substantial Texas experience, deep financial acumen, the ability to recruit the nation's best and a commitment to the long haul.