Why Don’t El Paso School Districts Ever Hire Local Superintendents?
In November of last year, the El Paso Independent School District hired a new superintendent after yet another one left in a cloud of suspicion about his activities while employed at the city's largest school district. This is the second EPISD superintendent in the 15 years I've been doing Mike and Tricia Mornings. Both of those superintendents left in disgrace, one went to prison and his shenanigans required the Texas Education Agency to take over the EPISD school board for a time before we got the latest superintendent, Diana Sayavedra, who came from the Fort Bend Independent School District just outside of Houston. The superintendent that the Socorro Independent School District just hired is also an out-of-town hire. He came from South Texas.
ARE WE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
We're not the only border community in Texas but El Paso is a pretty unique place which makes it all the stranger that we never seem to see any candidates for superintendents from our local educators. I mean, we have a lot of good teachers and administrators so why do we never hire local? Why not put an end to the brain drain at the local school district level? Why not hire someone who is versed in the culture of El Paso? The superintendents don't stay in El Paso, they go to statewide and national conferences so it's not like we wouldn't get input from outside resources. It just doesn't make sense for us to never look at the home team for this very important position.
VOTING AND COMMUNITY INTERACTION MATTERS
Yes, I'm going to tell you that voting matters in these situations. We have a lot of school boards that people fight very hard to get elected to. They are not paid for their position and it's a lot of work to be on those boards. You would think that they would want to keep a superintendent for longer than a few years that ours seem to hang around for. We need superintendents that want to stay in our community, not just get a huge salary and while waiting for a bigger salary. El Paso shouldn't be a stepping stone so the next time you want a say about things like hiring a superintendent, make sure you are at the voting booth and vote for a trustee who wants a superintendent that is looking over our shoulder to the next big thing.