Stressing the need for stability, the Dallas ISD board of trustees voted 8-1 Tuesday to name former Superintendent Michael Hinojosa as the sole finalist for the district's vacant superintendent job. Hinojosa previously served as superintendent from 2005 to 2011 and will become the first person to have been hired for the job twice.
Hinojosa stepped in to be Dallas' interim superintendent after the abrupt resignation of Superintenden Mike Miles. Miles quit in the face of a school board that had become hostile to the reforms he brought to district, including stringent teacher evaluations and a willingness to reshuffle and fire administrators who district staff believed were not making the grade.
Since being installed as interim, Hinojosa has reportedly been seen as a stabilizing influence. Miguel Solis, former board president and Miles ally, said he was voting to keep Hinojosa on for consistency. Trustee Joyce Foreman cast the only vote against Hinojosa. Foreman, who was frequently a thorn in Miles' side, said she was following the will of her constituents.
Hinojosa is a former Dallas ISD teacher and principal. He quit his first superintendent gig with the district after taking the same job with the Cobb County School District in suburban Atlanta. He'll have to wait the state-law required 21 days before officially accepting the job, but he'll continue to serve as the interim superintendent for the next three weeks.
“I am honored and excited to work alongside the talented leadership team, school leaders and teachers as we work to prepare all students to be college and career ready,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “We will continue toward making Dallas ISD a premier urban school system.”
Eric Cowan, Dallas ISD's new board president, saw his relation with Miles partly fray after the former superintendent removed a popular principal at Rosemont Elementary in Cowan's North Oak Cliff centered District 7. In an announcement after the vote, he joined the choir praising Hinojosa's work as interim superintendent.
“Our board is pleased to have Dr. Hinojosa back in a permanent capacity. In just a brief time since his return, he has proven to be the steady and experienced hand needed to guide Dallas ISD,” he said. “Dr. Hinojosa is committed to working with the trustees as we work to graduate students that are college and career ready. We have much work to do, and we are all ready to get started.”
Hinojosa will officially take the reins of a district facing an upcoming bond election and uncertainty of the implementation of the Miles-pushed teacher evaluation system. His salary is unknown, but he's made $25,000 a month as a temp. Miles made $306,000 a year.