Schools pick finalist for superintendent

RAYMONDVILLE — The Raymondville school board has unanimously selected a former Zapata superintendent as its finalist for the district’s top job.

This week, the board selected Raul Nuques for the superintendent’s position following a search by the Texas Association of School Boards.

“We, the board, look forward to working along side with Mr. Nuques as a team of eight to continue moving Raymondville ISD in a positive direction by providing a high-quality education for all students and support for all RISD staff,” board President Jessica Ramirez-Cantu said.

Nuques has served as superintendent with the Zapata and Hearne school districts after working as director of special education for the Austin school district.

Earlier in his career, Nuques served as a middle school principal with the Uvalde school district and an administrator with the McAllen school district after working as a high school teacher with the Laredo United school district.

At the Zapata school district, Nuques resigned as superintendent in 2015 after about 16 months on the job, entering into a settlement that paid a year’s salary of $131,840, according to the settlement agreement.

As part of the settlement, the district agreed not to take such action as termination, agreed to provide positive job references and promoted Nuques’ wife to a teaching job.

Under Nuques’ leadership, the state removed the district’s academic status of “improvement required” while his three-year plan helped achieve double-digit growth in every content area including a program overseeing bilingual students, according to a Raymondville school district statement.

At the Hearne school district, the school board, after an election shifted the balance of power, bought out Nuques’ contract in 2016 after six months on the job, Nuques said yesterday in a statement.

In his statement, Nuques said he became Hearne’s fifth superintendent in five years in the district that had been under a Texas Education Agency investigation focusing on school board governance concerns.

At the Hearne school district, Nuques helped oversee the completion of several academic and financial audits, according to the Raymondville school district statement.

Nuques, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nuques holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s degrees in educational administration and international trade from Texas A&M University in Laredo.

The Raymondville school board is expected to approve Nuques’ contract on April 18, Ramirez-Cantu said.

The board appointed Douglas Moore to serve as interim superintendent after Superintendent Johnny Pineda retired after nearly 10 years, effective Jan. 31.