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Superintendent Search: PSJA ISD School Board names Lone Finalist
On Thursday, September 5, 2019, the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD School Board of Trustees named Dr. Jorge Luis Arredondo, as the “Lone Finalist” for the PSJA ISD Superintendent position. Dr. Arredondo is currently employed as Area Superintendent for the Houston Independent School District located in Harris County, Texas. Houston ISD has student enrollment of approximately 210,000 students.
Texas state law requires a 21-day waiting period after a school board names a superintendent “Lone Finalist” before the future school superintendent can sign a contract. It is anticipated the new superintendent will begin work on October 1, 2019.
Dr. Arredondo’s experience in education spans over two decades working in the largest urban school system in Texas – Houston ISD. His administrative leadership experience includes seventeen (17) years holding such positions as: High School Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal, High School Principal, Assistant Superintendent and Area Superintendent.
In 2005, Dr. Arredondo earned his first leadership campus post as Principal of John L. McReynolds Middle School and in 2010 he was named “Principal of the Year.” In 2019, two high schools, Debakey High School for Health Professions and Challenge Early College High School were named “Blue Ribbon” schools and Dr. Arredondo was the Area Superintendent of these two high schools. Also, in 2019, all 13 high schools under his leadership improved the College, Career, and Military Readiness (“CCMR”) indicators.
At Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, the mission is to develop, in collaboration with the home and community, the potential of all learners to become participating and productive members of society. The focus is post-secondary completion for all students (College Ready, College Connected and College Complete or College 3). Over the last decade, Dr. Daniel P. King and the PSJA ISD School Board have built a reputation of being a state and national leader in creating more quality academic opportunities for all students. When PSJA ISD says “College for All”, they truly mean it.
The PSJA ISD School Board began working on the PSJA ISD superintendent search in July after Dr. King announced his plan to retire after twelve (12) years of dedicated service to the district. The PSJA ISD school board worked on the superintendent search with the district’s law firm, O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo, and consultants Dr. Felipe Alanis and Dr. Jesse Butler with Waterford School Services. The search consultants assisted with the recruitment and provided background reference checks on candidates for the superintendent position.
A community survey was posted on the school district website to solicit input from all PSJA ISD stakeholders and to assist in the development of a superintendent profile. The profile defined the knowledge, skills and qualities that were most important in a new superintendent.
Announcements were then placed in both state and national educational trade websites to advertise the PSJA ISD superintendent position. Highly qualified school leaders who matched the PSJA ISD School Board Profile were strategically recruited.
After a comprehensive review of the applicants, the PSJA ISD School Board selected and interviewed nine (9) out of a pool of eighteen (18) highly qualified candidates from school districts in Texas and out of the state. The Waterford School Services search consultants commented on “the impressive qualities and strengths of the candidates” who applied for the position. “This was one of our more successful searches in terms of the skill set and preparation of each of the finalist.”
The school board scheduled interviews for four (4) semi-finalists who were invited back for a second round of interviews.
“The PSJA ISD School Board understands that the selection of a school district superintendent is the most important decision that a school board can make. The Board looks forward to working with Dr. Arredondo in order to continue to take PSJA to the next level,” stated Jesse Zambrano, PSJA ISD School Board President. “We selected a super-star who will continue to build on the legacy of Dr. Daniel P. King.”
“I feel that the board did its due diligence in selecting the best superintendent that would meet the needs of our community, staff and especially our students. I strongly believe that the lone finalist will continue the legacy of keeping our district at the forefront of educational innovation and our district’s commitment to creating opportunities for our students intellectual and social/emotional growth and development.” stated Jorge Palacios, PSJA ISD School Board Vice-President.
“The mission of PSJA ISD is to educate all students from Pre-K 3 to 12th grade. We believe that all PSJA ISD students have tremendous potential and the PSJA ISD school board will assist Dr. Arredondo in order to promote a high level of success for all of our students,” stated Jorge L. Zambrano, PSJA ISD School Board Secretary-Treasurer.
"We went through a thorough and excellent process provided to us by the Superintendent search consultants. We trusted and stayed true to the process. We did our due diligence in making our decision. Our priority was always to select a superintendent who had the vision, background and expertise to take PSJA ISD to a greater level of academic excellence," stated Jesse Vela, PSJA ISD School Board Member.