Raymondville searches for superintendent

RAYMONDVILLE — The school district is closer to hiring a new superintendent.

This week, the school board interviewed six candidates to replace former Superintendent Johnny Pineda, interim Superintendent Douglas Moore said.

“Moore and Barbara Williams, spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said they could not release the candidates’s names.

The TASB search process does not release any names of applicants until the board votes to name the “lone finalist” and then only the lone finalist name and current title is released, Williams said.

Board President Jessica Ramirez Cantu did not respond to messages requesting comment on the candidates.

Moore said he expects the board will appoint a new superintendent by April 20, his last day on the job.

Board members are looking for a superintendent with “familiarity or experience in a district who has encountered a declining enrollment,” according to a list of qualifications for the job.

Since the mid 1990s, the district has struggled with falling enrollment.

The job’s requirements include experience in school financial management, state funding laws, competitive grant writing and “a proven track record of improving student achievement,” the list of qualifications states.

According to the list, the district is looking for “an effective communicator with superior interpersonal skills who can make and defend difficult decisions that are best for students and the district.”

The job’s finalist will be a “motivational leader who is attentive to staff morale and has a proven ability in building an effective management team engaged in collaborative planning, problem solving and decision making,” the list states.

Board members want a superintendent who is “able to work in partnership with the board of trustees and build a climate of candor, mutual trust and cooperation.”

The finalist will be “committed to Raymondville ISD for the long term and demonstrates active involvement in the district and community.”

The district has not set a salary range for the job, said Benjamin Clinton, the district’s special projects director.

Pineda, who retired effective Jan. 31, served the longest tenure of any district superintendent since at least 1990.

Hired in 1997, Pineda was making a salary of $146,100 when he retired.