Harlandale ISD to Begin Search For Permanent Superintendent

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Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Samantha Gallegos is the interim superintendent for Harlandale ISD.

Harlandale Independent School District trustees will start a search for a new superintendent in the coming weeks. The board voted Monday night to initiate a search for a successor to Superintendent Rey Madrigal.

Madrigal resigned on Aug. 5 after the board placed him on leave in early July amid a Texas Education Agency investigation into dysfunction on the school board and questions about the district’s procurement practices. The board named Chief Academic Officer Samantha Gallegos interim superintendent in Madrigal’s stead.

The seven member board voted unanimously Monday to direct the district’s legal counsel to draft an announcement for the search. The search will likely take three or four months and Gallegos is welcome to apply for the permanent position, Board President Ricardo Moreno said. Trustees don’t plan to use a superintendent search firm and will rely on Harlandale’s legal counsel, the board president said.

TEA officials announced in late June that the agency intended to replace the elected board of trustees with an appointed board of managers, lower Harlandale’s accreditation status, and appoint a new superintendent in place of Madrigal.

Days after TEA announced sanctions, trustees voted to place Madrigal on leave and begin termination proceedings. The district appealed TEA’s sanctions in Austin on Aug. 7 and is awaiting a final decision from Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath.

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