Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
South San Antonio Independent School District trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to select a new district leader. Alexandro Flores, the superintendent of Palacios ISD, will succeed retiring Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, who served South San for the past four years.
Flores's role at the helm of South San will mark a return to San Antonio for the Eagle Pass native, who previously served as a bilingual teacher, assistant principal, and principal in San Antonio ISD.
After leaving SAISD, Flores served as assistant superintendent of academic and pupil services and as interim superintendent in Natalia ISD.
Palacios ISD, Flores' current district, is smaller than South San. Palacios, near Port Lavaca on the Texas coast, serves about 1,400 students, with a little more than half qualifying as economically disadvantaged.
The district was impacted by Hurricane Harvey and was therefore not rated on the state's accountability system. If given a score, Palacios ISD would likely have ranked a C, according to the state accountability site.
Flores has a doctorate of education and master's in educational administration from Texas A&M Kingsville. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
"I moved up [to San Antonio] at 18, went to school at UTSA, and never [looked] back," Flores said. "I met my wife here, got married, had babies, and bought a house, which I still have."
The new superintendent is father to three children. His oldest kids – Sunshine, 11, and Ilan, 7 – were born in San Antonio.
Flores said he aims to start his new job as soon as he can, and hopes to be in place by mid-October. In a speech to the board, Flores said he looks forward to continuing South San's current plan of offering specialized choice programs.
"There is no new vision to be set because the vision has already been set by the board," Flores said. "My job is to come and help them realize that vision."
Flores said he was drawn to the board as a group of progressive leaders guiding the district, and characterized his decision to apply for the superintendent position as a "no brainer."
State law mandates a 21-day waiting period before school boards can officially hire a superintendent. If approved, Flores will start after that period.
Trustees began the superintendent search after Saavedra announced his retirement in early June. Search consultant James Guerra told the Rivard Report that 32 people applied for the job from eight states. Trustees interviewed five candidates last week.
Saavedra came out of retirement in 2014 to run South San. He was the fifth person to lead the district in three years.
Trustee Elda Flores was not present for Tuesday's vote.