Following their acceptance of superintendent Michael Hinojosa's resignation, the Dallas Independent School District board unanimously selected current district CFO Alan King -- who's all of six month into his job -- as the interim superintendent.
"He's done a great job ... and I'm looking forward to him doing an even greater job as our interim superintendent for the next six to maybe 12 months," DISD board president Lew Blackburn said at a press conference following this evening's board meeting.
Before taking his post as CFO last year, King served as deputy superintendent in Lewisville ISD for 12 years. During the press conference, King thanked the trustees for selecting him, and stressed the importance of collaborating with the board and district employees during his however-brief tenure.
In response to a reporter's question about whether he's qualified for the position, King said, "Well, I've been doing this for 33 years. I've been interim superintendent before in another district. I've seen a lot during my career, and I feel like with my experience and the staff we have in the district, we should be able to accomplish anything we need to." King said he feels ready to take on the challenge, and that he plans returning to his job as CFO once a permanent superintendent is hired.
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Blackburn said King's appointment is effective immediately. He said he hopes the district will name a search firm by July to begin the selection process for a permanent superintendent. To have someone in place by Christmas "would be nice," he said. He clarified that King would not receive a pay raise for his new position, insisting, "I think we'll find some use of that money for right now."
Answering one reporter's question about what would happen if the district received a "curveball" and budget cuts were more extreme that expected, Blackburn said, "When that curveball comes, were going to take a bunt, and we're going to take our best run for it."
After a nearly two-and-a half-hour closed-door session on Friday, followed by another hour of private talks today, the board finally agreed on King from a poll of five finalists that also inclided Michael Paschall, retiring principal of Casa View Elementary; Jim Scales, Hamilton County Tennessee superintendent; Nolan Estes, DISD superintendent from 1968 to '78, and Claudia Rodriguez, DISD's recently installed chief of staff.
Outgoing superintendent Hinojosa will leave the DISD as of June 30, after yesterday signing a contract to become the superintendent in Cobb County, Georgia. Addressing the crowd at the meeting before his successor's appointment, the man known as "Coach" said, "It's been a great ride. It's been the best job I ever had."