Two of El Paso’s largest public school districts are moving forward looking for superintendents.
Socorro Independent School District board trustees voted Wednesday to hire JG Consulting to lead the search for the district’s next superintendent.
The proposed offer is $ 50,000, but the directors have yet to award a contract to the company, according to SISD spokesman Daniel Escobar.
The board initially expected to hear presentations from five research agencies, but Frederick Andrews LLC, of Greenwood Village, Colorado, stepped down ahead of the meeting.
The four remaining agencies were McPherson & Jacobson LLC; Ray et associés inc .; the Texas Association of School Board, Executive Search Services; and JG Consulting.
The council voted unanimously to choose JG Consulting, an Austin-based education leader development company.
One-Fourth Consulting LLC is its parent company. He started using JG Consulting publicly as a public name, said James Guerra, president and CEO of JG Consulting.
JG Consulting was founded by Guerra in Travis County in 2014 and began performing superintendent research in 2015. One-Fourth Consulting LLC was founded in 2014. There are no other companies under One- Fourth Consulting, Guerra said.
District 2 administrator Cynthia Najera said she appreciated the fact that JG Consulting said the company did not have a “stable” of applicants.
“We don’t have a stable of candidates, we don’t retrain candidates from district to district,” Guerra said during his presentation at the meeting. “Rather, we are working at the will of the board and bringing you all of the candidates to consider.”
The company is currently not conducting any further searches by the Superintendent.
District 1 administrator Eduardo Mena said he liked JG Consulting’s process of finding superintendents.
JG Consulting has managed the search for superintendents for some of Texas’ largest public school districts. The company’s most recent superintendent search was at ISD Houston, and JG Consulting also worked with ISD Austin to find a superintendent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has also worked with the Fort Worth ISD and the Lamar Consolidated ISD.
Guerra said the company would dedicate four employees to the SISD research, although Guerra said he would be the contact person for the research.
Guerra said there are currently 40 vacancies for superintendents in Texas.
JG Consulting employs eight retired Texas superintendents, he said.
“We are the only national research company based in Texas,” Guerra said. “Our roots are in the central Texas area, but we have a footprint statewide and nationwide.”
The company does research for superintendents, but also has a national academy with a nine-month program that trains future school district superintendents, with 30 future superintendents currently in training.
If a superintendent leaves within two years, the company would agree to repeat the search at no cost to the district, Guerra said.
Possible timeline of JG Consulting’s superintendent search
JG Consulting presented a suggested timeline for the research:
- October: planning discussion
- October to November: recruitment
- November: preselection, closing of applications
- December: examination of candidates
- January: interviews and nomination of a single finalist
“This timeline is suggestive; it’s nothing fixed,” he said.
District 4 administrator Paul Guerra proposed JG Consulting’s approval for the superintendent’s search, which was then unanimously approved by the rest of the board members.
Ysleta Independent School District Superintendent Xavier De La Torre is a leadership coach at JG Consulting, according to the company website.
De La Torre was unanimously authorized by YISD school board to be paid for consulting work unrelated to his duties as superintendent in April 2018. De La Torre had sought board approval to be paid for giving nationwide presentations for future superintendents at that time.
Former SISD superintendent resigned in May
Former SISD Superintendent José Espinoza announced his resignation on May 5 following a special board meeting to discuss Espinoza’s employment contract. Espinoza’s contract was due to expire in 2025 following seven changes to extend his tenure since 2012.
Espinoza and the board struck a deal in May to allow Espinoza to “pursue other interests” and allow the board to hire another superintendent.
The SISD has chosen its internal auditor, Marta Carmona, serve as acting superintendent.
EPISD is also still looking for the next superintendent
EPISD is also still looking for a new Superintendent to lead the District since former Superintendent Juan Cabrera resigned last November and was replaced by Acting Superintendent Vince Sheffield.
EPISD hired Texas law firm Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC and education consultant Ann Dixon to lead the research earlier this month after dropping out of the Texas Association of School Boards due to a potential conflict of interest.
TASB executive search services director Butch Felkner said he had informed the district that one of his team might have been interested in applying for the superintendent position, and as a result, the TASB and the district have decided to go their separate ways.
The EPISD board could vote on the next district superintendent by early December, according to a chronology of research published on the EPISD website. Applications for the position of EPISD Superintendent are due October 28, according to the district site.
The EPISD board is holding live listening sessions open to the public in late October for all high schools to get local feedback on the district superintendent’s research.
“Each administrator will be responsible for holding the listening session in the high schools they represent,” EPISD board chairman Al Velarde said in an email Thursday. “We know that we cannot have more than two meetings in a night because they will be recorded by the district.”
Velarde said administrators are planning these community meetings and nothing is final yet. He said he hopes administrators will have scheduled the meetings by the middle of next week.