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Hinojosa Could Be Named Dallas ISD Superintendent Finalist Next Week

Bill Zeeble
Dallas interim superintendent Michael Hinojosa takes a break from Thursday's board briefing to talk about picking a chief of staff and streamlining the district's management structure.

Michael Hinojosa has moved a step closer to being crowned the permanent Dallas school superintendent -- again. School board members on Thursday signaled their willingness to forego a national search, and they could name Hinojosa the lone finalist next Tuesday.

Hinojosa took over the interim role last June and has done what board President Eric Cowan called a fabulous job since then, getting to know the issues and making key decisions.

When Cowan suggested hiring a search firm, a majority of trustees said they were ready to name a lone finalist as early as Sept. 15, and there’s only one applicant, presumably Hinojosa. Board vice president Miguel Solis explained why his constituents like the choice.

“They want stability and they want consistency,” Solis said. “And over the course of the past 20 years, we’ve not provided that to them. The only time we did that was under Dr. Hinojosa.” 

Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News
With interim leader Michael Hinojosa listening, trustees discussed options of hiring a national search firm or choosing a lone finalist as early as Tuesday. Most were content to pick a finalist next week - presumably Hinojosa.

Rena Honea, who leads Dallas’ largest teacher organization, says Hinojosa is a collaborative leader who listens to teachers and parents.

“He’s reached out to many of those stakeholders to get that important information and feedback,” Honea said. “For me, personally, I think he brings a stability and calmness that our city and our students and our employees need right now.”

Hinojosa had to fire hundreds of teachers during his six-year Dallas tenure because of an accounting failure. He became interim superintendent in June after the abrupt departure of Mike Miles.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.