Mission schools name sole finalist for superintendent position

MISSION— After a night of interviews and deliberation, Mission school district trustees voted unanimously to name Carolina “Carol” Perez the sole finalist for the superintendent position on Thursday.

Perez, of Monterrey, Mexico, is the current superintendent of Kingsville school district, where she has been for nearly four years. Her education career however began in the Rio Grande Valley, where she grew up, and if her official hiring gets approved she will become the first female superintendent for the Mission school district.

“It is an honor to have been recruited by colleagues, friends, and family, and most importantly, to be offered the opportunity to serve and make a contribution to Mission CISD,” Perez said in a news release sent Friday. “It will also be a privilege to work as a Rio Grande Valley home-grown educator for the Mission CISD Board of Trustees, students, staff, parents, and community to fulfill the mission and vision of Mission CISD.”

Perez was one of 21 applicants that the statewide search yielded, said George McShan, former Harlingen school district trustee who was hired to conduct the search for Mission. Applicants came from all of South Texas, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, he said.

Only two applicants were interviewed as finalists on Thursday night, right before the board made a decision in executive session to announce their pick for finalist.

“We had an excellent pool of candidates,” McShan said. “They indicated they wanted someone with strong leadership skills, communication skills, a lot of strength in curriculum and instruction, as well as being highly ethical, obviously, and high moral standards and someone who was student centered.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree of arts in Inter-American studies and a master’s degree in education from the then University of Texas Pan American, Perez’ education career began as an English teacher at Crockett Elementary School in McAllen school district, where she also served as elementary language arts strategist, elementary reading and language arts coordinator, curriculum and instruction director, and instructional support services officer.

In 2010 Perez also earned a doctorate in leadership from Texas A&M University Kingsville and three years later she began working with Kingsville school district initially as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction before taking the top leadership role in 2014.

Before her hiring becomes final, Mission school district officials must wait 21 days in which the contract can be discussed before its approval. The board has already set a date for the special meeting to take place on July 18.