As Dallas ISD looks for a permanent superintendent, parents have a bit of advice for the district’s next leader. They agree that the next superintendent should cut down on politics, communicate and collaborate with the community.
Michael Hinojosa has been the interim superintendent since June. He stepped in after Mike Miles resigned. Hinojosa says he expects the school board will pick a search firm next month -- and that a new leader might not be chosen until at least the spring. Hinojosa, who previously served Dallas ISD from 2005 to 2011, says he’ll stay as long as the school board wants him.
Gutierrez lives in Northwest Dallas and has a 6-year-old son at Cigarroa Elementary.
“The superintendent should be reaching out to the parents and the community, and be a little more tangible,” Guiterrez says. “Perhaps visit a play at the school, go to a PTA meeting. You need to get to know the schools and the communities and realize that all the communities are completely different from one another. “
Desler is a parent of three children at Stonewall Jackson Elementary.
Superintendent Mike Miles, who resigned this summer, “made some very positive changes in the last three years, and I would not abandon those,” Desler says. “ I would look at them very hard and see what programs and policies that he's instituted are starting to make a difference because I think we run the risk of a really disjointed approach by having someone come in and throw out everything that just got implemented.”
Lagos is the president of the Sunset High School PTSA.
“I think the superintendent needs to know himself pretty well,” Lagos says. “He needs to have some emotional intelligence, not just brains. He really needs to have that sixth sense, you know, on how to deal with people. Being a good communicator is very, very important. Learn a little bit about the politics; be able to stand your ground if you have to; and learn the history of DISD so hopefully he won't make the same mistakes.”
Lindsey lives in South Dallas. She has a daughter who is a DISD teacher.
“I think that a superintendent should be open to the community schools model,” Lindsey says. “The whole community, the superintendent, the principal, of course, and the parents all have buy-in to the implementation of policies and procedures at the school. Really when we think of community schools, it's not just providing services and sharing services, it's actually having a seat at the table and making a plan for what will work better for our kids.”
This is part of KERA’s American Graduate series -- charting the journey from childhood to graduation.