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Local ISD Advances Name for Superintendent

School empty classroom, lecture room with desks and chairs, iron wood for studying lessons. | Image by smolaw, Shutterstock

Arlington Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday to name Michelle Cavazos the lone finalist for the superintendent position.

Prior to being considered for the position at Arlington ISD, Cavazos was superintendent at Gregory-Portland ISD for almost three years and held a ranking position in the administration at Austin ISD, NBC 5 reported.

Before being named Superintendent for Gregory-Portland ISD in July 2020, Michelle Cavazos served as chief officer of school leadership and academics in the Austin ISD, director of secondary education in Shertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, and has 16 years of experience serving as principal at elementary, middle and high school grade levels.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Arlington ISD family to support and extend the district’s tradition of excellence and innovation,” Cavazos said, according to WFAA.

Cavazos will be taking over for Marcelo Cavazos (no relation), who announced in January that he would be stepping down from the position on August 31. Arlington ISD’s trustees started a search for his replacement back in February.

Following the school board’s vote, a mandatory 21-day waiting period began, at the end of which the trustees can move to hire Cavazos.

Arlington ISD is only the latest North Texas school district to see new leadership. Both Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD recently named replacements after their superintendents announced they planned to retire.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, North Texas has seen a slew of superintendent retirements in recent years, some of which were announced amidst controversies regarding allegedly obscene library books in school libraries and whether critical race theory should be taught in public schools.

“I look forward to getting to know everyone while working collaboratively with our committed Board of Trustees, staff, families, and the community to further advance our district for our students. My husband and I are looking forward to making Arlington our new home,” Cavazos said.

Cavazos will be inheriting a struggling school system that has been yielding student achievement outcomes that are as poor as Dallas ISDs.

According to the Texas Education Agency’s latest accountability report for the district, only 40% of Arlington ISD students scored at grade level on last year’s STAAR exams. For its part, only 41% of Dallas ISD students scored at grade level.

Still, Arlington ISD did manage to outperform Dallas ISD last year when it came to on-time graduation, with 87.7% of its Class of 2022 earning a diploma in four years. Dallas ISD only managed to graduate 81.1% of its seniors on time that school year.

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