The Spring ISD Board of Directors unanimously confirmed that Lupita Hinojosa would become the district’s new superintendent at a specially called session Friday night.

Hinojosa, the first Hispanic woman to hold the position, previously served as the district’s chief innovation and equity officer, and first joined the district in 2014 as the district’s academic director.

“Thank you for your belief, trust and commitment to our district,” Hinojosa said, speaking to the Spring ISD community after her confirmation. “We believe in spring, we believe in each other and we believe in our students. It is truly an honour. »

She replaces former district superintendent Rodney Watson, who resigned earlier this year to serve as deputy executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Hinojosa was named the sole finalist for the job on January 6, but had to wait a 21-day waiting period required by law before officially becoming superintendent, which will begin on February 1.

“I ask all of us who are here today and those of us who were unable to be here to re-commit and re-commit to Spring ISD, to our children,” she said during of Friday’s meeting. “I want us to have joy in the work we do.”

Born and raised in South Texas to immigrant parents, Hinojosa is a first-generation Mexican-American and holds a doctorate in education from the University of Houston. She previously served as a teacher and principal at Houston ISD and an assistant superintendent for School Choice before joining Spring ISD.

In his previous roles with the district, Hinojosa helped implement the district’s five-year strategic plan and helped create opportunities for students from many backgrounds and secured over $40 million in grants for the district.

“We are empowered and together we will ensure that every student receives a great, equitable education this spring,” Hinojosa said.

Spring ISD Board Chair Justine Durant said Hinojosa stands out for her three decades of experience as a leader in public education.

“Despite the number of qualified candidates we had to choose from, Dr. Hinojosa rose to the top because of her longstanding commitment to Spring ISD students,” Durant said in a statement. “Since coming to the district, Dr. Hinojosa has shown true dedication to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed. Having seen her commitment in action and having witnessed her passion for education over the past few years, we firmly believe that she has the wisdom, the know-how and the heart to lead our district into its next chapter.

In a Jan. 6 statement, Watson said he was thrilled with the board’s choice of Hinojosa as the new superintendent after she was announced as the sole finalist.

“There is no stronger leader than Dr. Hinojosa and no stronger student advocate,” Watson said in the statement. “If you consider her contributions to the District thus far, you can see the upward trajectory she has already charted. She understands the District and she has a plan. There is no other direction but for Spring ISD .

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