Ysleta Independent School District has hired Xavier De La Torre as its new superintendent.
"I'm both humbled and excited about continuing the great work here in the Ysleta Independent School District - a school district I have always held in high regard,” De La Torre said in a statement. “One can't help but get excited about contributing to its rich history and proud tradition in ensuring that all students thrive and receive a world-class education. I am looking forward to working with the Board of Trustees and to building a high-performing and cohesive team of eight."
De La Torre has a lot of work ahead of him to tackle a host of issues facing YISD, including declining enrollment and budgets in the land-locked district. De La Torre said that he hopes to keep the district competitive. If cuts do become necessary, he says he will look to the administration and managerial roles to keep the impacts as far away from the classroom as possible.
"We all know they need a great teacher in the four corners of the classroom," De La Torre said. "Schools need great instructional leaders in the form of principals and assistant principals. They need data. They need a rigorous curriculum to provide them. And then as you get farther and farther outside the classroom, then everything is, I think, subject to review."
De La Torre was named the lone finalist for the position at a Feb. 12 board meeting, but state law requires trustees to wait 21 days after announcing the lone finalist before extending a contract offer.
De La Torre joins YISD after having served as the county superintendent of schools at the Santa Clara County Office of Education in the Silicon Valley of California since July 2012. Prior to that time, he served as superintendent at the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso.
The board also approved items intended on making board meeting and members more transparent and accountable. In a 6-0 vote, the board approved making board members district volunteers, thereby mandating they undergo a yearly district background check; making all board members file semiannual campaign finance reports; and having board meeting materials available online for the public.
The issue of transparency came up in previous weeks when it was discovered Trustee Ana Duenez was over $4,000 behind on her taxes.