HISD selects new superintendent finalist

August 20, 2009 8:35:06 PM PDT
The Houston Independent School District Thursday introduced the lone finalist for the superintendent's job. Doctor Terry Grier now heads up the San Diego Unified School District. He says he wants to tackle dropout rates in HISD and get more students to graduation.

"This is a wonderful opportunity. It's a unique opportunity," said Dr. Grier.

However, one state lawmaker from Houston is upset at the selection. State Senator Mario Gallegos of Houston is not happy with HISD naming Dr. Grier as the lone finalist for HISD superintendent. Sen. Gallegos says Dr. Grier has a lengthy history of butting heads with districts and parents.

"I'm very disappointed in the board of trustees. He has had continued controversy with the board of trustees, with parent groups, with teachers' groups, with administrators filing lawsuits against the board of trustees," said Sen. Gallegos.

Dr. Grier told us he wants to work with his critics for the benefit of children.

"I care deeply about children and the one thing that you even find about most of your critics, they care about children too and you work together to find bridges to bridge those differences," said Dr. Grier.

Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Abe Saavedra said he thinks Dr. Grier can work with the school board to push the district forward.

"The desires and needs of individual trustees with what's in the best interests of the district as a whole. and while challenging at times, you know I think most trustees are able to see the big picture as well," said Dr. Saavedra.

HISD Board President Lawrence Marshall said the district was looking for someone who could enact change in HISD.

"We were looking for one of the most capable, child oriented, reformist, mind personalities in the country," said Marshall.

Dr. Grier feels the city has a strong interest in their children's education.

"A community that there's no question cares about education. From parents to the business community and they're willing to invest time and resources to make schools better for children," said Dr. Grier.

Under Texas law, HISD must wait 21 days from Thursday before offering Dr. Grier a contract. He says he plans to spend the next three weeks meeting with people from different communities and local leaders.

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