More than eight months after the South San Antonio Independent School District parted ways with district leader Alexandro Flores, the board voted 6-1 Wednesday night to name a lone finalist to replace him.

Their selection: Marc Puig, the current superintendent in Beeville ISD, a small school district located about an hour and a half southeast of San Antonio.

Not all trustees voted for Puig, however. Before the vote, trustee Homer Flores made a point to say he supported another candidate, Henry Yzaguirre, the executive director of operations in Southside ISD, according to the district’s website.

South San Board President Gilbert Rodriguez said before taking a vote that he felt Puig was the best candidate for the job.

“Certainly his accomplishments to date speak for themselves,” Rodriguez said. “In my conversations with Dr. Marc Puig, he welcomes the challenge of leading our school district going forward.”

Puig, appearing via video conference, said he was eager to get to work and congratulated the district with their work with the interim superintendent up until this point.

South San’s board bought out Flores’ contract last September after their relationship soured over a plan to reopen Athens Elementary, Kazen Middle School, and West Campus High School amid declining student enrollment. Three school board trustees resigned over the buyout and reopening plan. Flores’ contract was set to run through June 2022.

Since then, Dolores Sendejo, who previously served as chief academic officer, has overseen the entire district as interim superintendent.

In recent weeks, the board has spent many hours in closed session interviewing candidates for the job.

The board must wait 21 days after announcing Puig as the lone finalist to hire him, per Texas law. If approved then, Puig would become the eighth district leader in 10 years. He’ll begin leading a school district in the middle of a plan to invest more in a reopened second high school, West Campus High School, even amid an economic downturn.

Beeville ISD’s board hired Puig in 2016, and before that he worked as the superintendent in San Benito CISD just north of Brownsville and Culberson County-Allamoore ISD in far west Texas. His contract in Beeville ISD runs through June 2021.

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Beeville ISD enrolled 3,305 students in 2018-19, about one-third of South San’s enrollment during the same year. Beeville’s student population shares similar demographics with South San, enrolling a large group of Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

South San and Beeville scored similarly on the state’s report card in 2019, each earning a C grade.

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the Rivard Report.