Twice Censured NEISD Trustee Resigns, Interim Superintendent Given Permanent Position

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Scott Ball / Rivard Report

NEISD board trustee Joseph Trevino (District 3) has resigned from his seat.

Embattled North East Independent School District trustee Joseph Treviño resigned his position Wednesday, citing reoccurring medical issues that would prevent him from representing his constituents properly.

Treviño had been censured twice, including in an emotional meeting last week, and had been banned from visiting campuses or attending district events. During that meeting, Treviño was seen grabbing his head and saying, “It hurts.”

“I would like to apologize to you [the District 3 community] as well for the last few months I have been censored and reprimanded for certain action by the board,” Treviño wrote in his resignation letter. “For this I am sorry.”

In recent months, the six other trustees serving on NEISD’s board chastised Treviño for attempting to get special treatment and acting beyond the limits of a board member’s authority. The six voted unanimously on two different occasions to censure Treviño and prevent him from attending campuses and district events through the end of his term in May 2022.

Treviño was appointed to his seat on the board in September 2017 and ran unopposed in May 2018 to represent NEISD’s District 3, which covers the southwestern part of the district and includes LEE High School. He previously served as the Parent Teacher Association president for Colonial Hills Elementary School.

At a meeting last week, board members described the offenses they had observed: releasing confidential information disclosed in closed session, sharing a post on Facebook that contained a racial slur, and seeking special treatment because of his elected office.

At the time, Treviño denied any wrongdoing.

At the same meeting, trustees also voted to name Sean Maika, who had been serving as the interim superintendent since May, as NEISD’s permanent leader. The board awarded him a contract through June 30, 2022, and an annual salary of $290,000.

Maika was serving as NEISD’s assistant superintendent of instruction and campus administration when he was announced as the successor to retiring Superintendent Brian Gottardy. Maika was given an interim title and a temporary contract. At the time, district officials described the interim contract as a trial period that could end if or when trustees felt confident in hiring Maika permanently.

Gottardy announced his retirement after eight years leading the 65,000-student district in North East San Antonio. The board did not conduct an external search for Gottardy’s replacement.

“Dr. Maika is a very compassionate, servant leader who cares deeply about our district and has made it his mission to get out of his office and discover the great things that are happening in schools,” Board President Shannon Grona said Sept. 3, after naming Maika the lone finalist for the permanent position. “

Grona described Maika as extremely innovative and forward-thinking and praised the superintendent’s three main goals: hiring, training, and retaining the best employees; promoting the district in an increasingly competitive educational market place; and addressing the mental health needs of students and staff.

“The board has seen his strong leadership during the budget process, August leadership, convocations, and the beginning of school,” Grona said. “The board believes that Dr. Maika is the perfect person to be superintendent of North East ISD and we didn’t feel that we needed to continue his interim status.”

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