Board Names Superintendent Finalist
SAISD Board of Trustees names lone finalist for Superintendent
April 8, 2013 - In a Board meeting this evening, San Antonio ISD trustees voted unanimously to name Dr. Manuel L. Isquierdo as the lone finalist for the superintendent position. State law requires a 21-day waiting period following the naming of a lone finalist, during which time contract negotiations may take place.
Isquierdo, current superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona, was one of three candidates interviewed by trustees in late March and was the only one of those candidates brought back for a second interview March 29th.
The superintendent position has been open since February 2012, when former superintendent Dr. Robert Durón resigned. Dr. Sylvester Perez was named Interim Superintendent of the district in March 2012.
“The Board believes Dr. Isquierdo has the qualifications to be named a finalist,” said Ed Garza, SAISD board president. “The Board has not taken action to hire, rather we are compelled by Texas law to take no action for 21 days in naming a superintendent. Tonight we begin a public process for the community to be involved and provide input on this important decision.”
The SAISD Board is committed to transforming SAISD into a "National Model Urban School District”. Trustees developed a profile of a candidate based on information gathered from a number of stakeholder engagement forums. Candidate interviews followed an extensive process led by the PROACT Search firm that yielded more than 85 applicants for the superintendent position.
Dr. Isquierdo, has been superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District since July 2007. He has served as an administrator in both urban and suburban school districts for the past 20 years, including two years as Deputy Superintendent of the Stockton Unified School District in Stockton, California and two years as an Area Superintendent in the Dallas Independent School District. His record is one of consistent achievement in the field of school improvement with an emphasis on improving test scores, decreasing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates.
As an urban school administrator, Dr. Isquierdo is experienced in implementing and managing change and creating and designing successful comprehensive school reform initiatives that are being used as models at the state and national levels.
He was honored in 2011 as one of Tech & Learning’s three Learning Leaders of the Year who exemplify extraordinary vision and as one of Converge magazine’s 2011 Education Innovators, and, in 2010, as one of the nation’s ten Tech-Savvy Superintendents of the Year by eSchool News.
Isquierdo received his Doctor of Education in Administration from National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, a Master in Education from Michigan State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and English from Saginaw Valley State College in Saginaw, Michigan.
About Isquierdo’s term as Superintendent at Sunnyside Unified School District:
“Dr. Isquierdo is an extraordinary leader who has advanced the state-of-the-art in the use of technology to transform learning. His ability to develop a vision of the future and lead his district to the implementation of that vision is amazing."
Thomas Greaves, CEO of The Greaves Group and founder of Project RED
“At Intel, we believe that strong leadership in school districts is a key component to student success,” said Paige Johnson, Intel’s education strategist. “We’ve watched Dr. Isquierdo’s leadership continually drive education improvements using technology as a foundation for those efforts. We’re looking forward to seeing his skills and talents in action in San Antonio.”
Paige Johnson, Global Director of K12 Education, Intel Corporation
“I can’t tell you how much we love working with you. What’s obvious to us is that you have commitment up and down the organization, that you have strong leadership on top but it’s not top down. You are able to connect out there and teachers are connected with you. So it’s a teamwork fashion clearly at Sunnyside.”
John Huppenthal, Arizona State Superintendent of Schools
“The district was stagnant for many years, with very little growth, success or inspiration. When Dr. Isquierdo became our Superintendent all that turned around. Transformation truly took place not only administratively, but in curriculum and interest in the community was the biggest transformation success. The community felt more empowered that they could achieve success. Parents felt more focused in terms of investing in their children and saw that someone was paying attention to students with optimism and new possibilities.
“The business community felt that Dr. Isquierdo’s transformational effort was aligned with what they needed to achieve. Business partners large and small including Cox Communications, Wells Fargo and Pepsi recognized they were not just a partnership of resource for funds but rather as business leaders, they were a part of the transformational process that would benefit the community and future business enterprises.”
Raul Aguirre, Community leader and local business owner