The lone finalist for the superintendent position at Arlington ISD has opted to stay on at the district where she currently works after contract negotiations broke down between her and the district.
Michelle Cavazos signed a five-year contract with Gregory-Portland ISD to serve as its superintendent, which was announced in a news release on Monday.
“As I have previously stated, I was not looking for the opportunity when called to interview with Arlington ISD — yet the chance to positively impact more than 55,000 students is one worth considering for any educational leader,” said Cavazos, per the release.
“Furthermore, I am grateful that they expressed confidence in my abilities and extended an incredibly generous offer that I have thoughtfully and carefully considered. In the end, I made the decision to accept a five-year commitment from G-PISD,” she said.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Arlington ISD’s Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to name Cavazos the lone finalist for the post, initiating a mandatory 21-day waiting period before she could officially be hired.
Arlington ISD is one of several North Texas school districts to see leadership shakeups in the last couple of years, some amidst controversy over allegedly obscene library books in school libraries and the merits of teaching critical race theory.
“I am appreciative of the offer made by the Arlington ISD Board of Trustees and wish them all the best as they search for the next Superintendent,” said Cavazos, per the release.
Responding to Cavazos’ decision, Arlington ISD Board President Melody Fowler told NBC 5, “We understand the enormity of the position we’re trying to fill and are committed to continuing our search to identify top candidates.”
The issue of finding another superintendent will be taken up at the school board’s next meeting on Wednesday evening.
The stakes are high for Arlington ISD, which has struggled to produce adequate student outcomes.
Only 40% of Arlington ISD students scored at grade level on last year’s STAAR exams, according to the Texas Education Agency’s latest accountability report for the district. For comparison, only 41% of Dallas ISD students scored at grade level.
However, Arlington ISD managed to outperform Dallas ISD last year in terms of on-time graduation, with 87.7% of its Class of 2022 graduating in four years. Dallas ISD only managed to graduate 81.1% of its seniors on time.