By Kathi Bliss
The search is over.
After months of closed-door meetings and hours spent poring over candidates, the Lockhart Independent School District Board of Trustees announced on Monday night that they have settled on a final candidate , Rolando “Rudy” Trevino, for the position of Superintendent of Schools, vacated by the resignation of Dr. Jose Parra in December 2013.
“The Board was strong in its agreement that Trevino was a tremendous candidate,” said Board President Rick Womble in written statement this week. “We’ve been focused on finding a leader who can take the foundation of our recent successes and move us forward toward an environment of excellence and high achievement for all students.”
During the meeting, the other Trustees echoed that sentiment.
“I think we have brought an individual who can take us to heights we never dreamed possible,” Trustee Tom Guyton said, while Trustee Jessica Neyman said she had been “wowed” by Trevino, and that his hiring would be an amazing opportunity.
Legally, the District must now enter a 21-day waiting period before confirming Trevino’s employment with a vote. The District anticipates executing a contract as soon as May 20, with Trevino set to assume the helm of LISD potentially by the end of May.
Called by Womble a “rising star in the education business,” Trevino is currently the School Support Officer for elementary campuses for the Houston ISD, supervising grade levels K-8 in the HISD. He is a Houston native, having graduated from Reagan High School and later attending Sam Houston State University before returning to his alma mater as a Spanish Language and Literature and Speech Communications teacher.
Trevino rose through the ranks at HISD as an assistant principal at a dual-language middle school, principal at one of Houston’s techonolgy magnet campuses, and founding principal of the Ninth Grade College Preparatory Academy. He is also president of the Association of Hispanic School Administrators, and a founding member of the Texas Association of Latino School Administrators and Superintendents.
He holds a Bachelor of Spanish Literature and Education, with teaching certifications in Secondary Education. He also holds dual master’s degrees, in Spanish Literature and Linguistics and in Educational Leadership and Counseling. He expects to defend his dissertation prior to earning a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership this summer.
“I am honored with this wonderful opportunity to make an impact on the quality of education and the overall quality of life for the children and residents of Lockhart,” Trevino said. “I look forward to serving the needs of this great home town community. Our top priority will be to provide safe schools that help all students stay on track to graduate prepared for college and develop career ready citizens that can contribute to the Lockhart economy.”
He said he believes LISD is “poised for great things,” and that the current needs of the District mesh well with his personal and professional strengths.
In other business, the Board heard an extensive review of the District’s finances and budgetary planning, in advance of beginning serious budget negotiations next month.
Chief Financial Officer Tina Knudsen presented information that centered mainly around the pay scales and stipends for LISD staff, noting salaries and benefits make up nearly 90 percent of the District’s budget.
Last year, she reminded the Trustees, the Board voted to adjust salaries to 95 percent of the comparable market salaries, and this year, with a small increase for cost of living, salaries are on target to meet the same goal, according to a salary survey performed by the Texas Association of School Boards.
They also discussed, but did not take a vote, on adjusting teacher, coach and sponsor stipends to be more reflective of current market standards.
The Board will begin reviewing the coming fiscal year’s budget in earnest later this month, with expected passage of the budget to take place in late-June.
In brief news:
The Trustees recognized dozens of students and campus volunteers for their accomplishments and contributions during the month of April.
They approved a Federally-mandated five-cent increase to the price of meals in school cafeterias.
The board reviewed and updated several local and Board policies to reflect changes in State and Federal law.
The School Health Advisory Committee made a presentation regarding their activities during this school year.
The Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees routinely meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockhart High School Conference Center. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast at www.lockhartisd.org.