The Mercedes school board approved Carolyn Mendiola as the lone finalist for superintendent during a special meeting Tuesday night.
The board has been conducting the search since March with the resignation of former Superintendent Daniel Treviño. Filomena Leo has filled the position in the interim.
Trustees hired Waterford School Services Inc. to assist in the hiring process through “identification, recruitment and background checks,” while the trustees interviewed the prospective applicants.
Mendiola is currently an assistant superintendent with the Sharyland school district and has over 20 years of experience as an educator, according to a news release. She was chosen out of a total of 46 applicants and has played the role of a teacher, assistant principal and other administrative positions in her career. She is also a Valley native, born and raised in the area.
Board President Oscar Riojas said they were looking for a “well-rounded” and experienced applicant for the position.
“We were very conscientious about not rushing the process, we felt that we gave ourselves plenty of time to review …” he said. “We made sure we that we were comfortable with the progress and process.”
In accordance with the law, school districts must wait 21 days before being authorized to approve a contract for a new superintendent. It is “anticipated” that Mendiola will begin work as the superintendent in July according to the release.
Mendiola will take lead of the district which recently decided to cut about 25 teachers by not renewing their contracts in May. The district has also received a series of red flag warnings since 2015 through the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST rankings.
Riojas said the process of hiring a new superintendent can put the district on the right trajectory to solving its financial woes, he said in a recent interview.