(Seguin) -- A local non-profit group, committed to helping to improve the quality of public education in the Seguin ISD, says it's ready to continue to be supportive as the school board moves forward with a change in leadership.
With the departure of Superintendent Irene Garza, Educate Seguin says it's offering up a few suggestions to the the Seguin ISD Board of Trustees as it works to find a replacement for the retiring superintendent.
Dr. Bob Stephens, a member of the executive committee of Educate Seguin, says the group, first wants to acknowledge the difficulty of the school board in making such a decision. He says the group appreciates the dedication being shown to ensuring the academic success of the community's young people.
"This is a very critical time for the district. We definitely thank Dr. Garza for her many years of service to the district and all the changes that she has brought about and we look forward to further improvements in the district with the search for a superintendent. We think this is probably one of the most critical issues that the district will address in the recent past or the near future and getting this right in the search for a superintendent is absolutely critical," said Dr. Stephens.
Dr. Stephens says overcoming any challenges, however, will require innovative and inspired leadership and begins with how the superintendent search is handled.
"What we are calling for is that the board will name Dr. (Guadalupe) Gorordo as interim superintendent to provide continuity while the search goes forward and we call on the district to do a nationwide search for a next superintendent for our district. Finding the right person is absolutely critical. We have a lot of challenges in our district with poverty and with an achievement gap between our low income students and our upper income students and in order to bridge that gap, we need someone with experience with a proven track record who can come in and make the kind of changes that are going to be necessary to move the district forward," said Dr. Stephens.
Following the approval of Dr. Garza's proposed voluntary retirement and release agreement, the school board on Monday named Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gorordo as the acting superintendent. At the time, they also announced that a future meeting would be scheduled to discuss the appointment of an interim superintendent and the superintendent search process.
Dr. Stephens says not only will it be important to do a nationwide search but it's also vital to have a compensation package in order to sufficiently attract a top quality candidate.
"Too much depends upon Seguin ISD leadership to lose quality candidates to inadequate compensation. Excellence is often expensive. In this case, the investment is well worth it. We are completely committed to supporting the board as they move forward to raising any funds necessary to help with the search that they might feel is necessary but having an effort that will involve the community and employees of the district in this search process and really be totally committed to finding a top quality experienced candidate, we think is absolutely crucial to achieving the goals that we have," said Dr. Stephens.
Educate Seguin is a non-profit organization that has continued to work on behalf of the students in the Seguin ISD. Group members say the hiring of a new superintendent with the skills to bring about positive changes is the first step in ensuring that each child is successful in the classroom.