HISD's new boss gets down to business

September 16, 2009 9:16:17 AM PDT
HISD's newest superintendent is rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. We talked to Dr. Terry Grier on Eyewitness News Friday morning, the day after school board members unanimously approved his three-year contract. And later Friday morning, Dr. Grier held a press conference at HISD headquarters.

Dr. Grier was officially hired Thursday when he accepted the contract from HISD to become superintendent. He comes from San Diego, where he served as superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.

While serving there only 18 months, he's credited for cutting the dropout rate in half and doubling college scholarships available to high school seniors.

But it's what Grier will do here that is in question. While Dr. Grier has been recognized and honored as an educator, he's not stayed at a particular school district for longer than a few years.

He answered whether he's committed to staying at HISD for the length of his three-year contract.

"I can tell you that I decided to come here. I did not have to come here. I was not forced to leave. I have a good relationship with the board there and could have stayed there," said Dr. Grier Friday. "In fact, I had a community that very much wanted me to stay."

Dr. Grier spent the rest of his first full day on the job visiting with students and teacher at Bellaire High School, and in district meetings.

Not everyone is welcoming Dr. Terry Grier on board. State Senator Mario Gallegos, who is on the Senate Education Committee, is raising questions about Dr. Grier and the process in which he was selected. The senator claims there were negotiations going on through email that should have been public and has requested documents from the district through the Freedom of Information Act. Dr. Grier he says he looks forward to working with the state senator.

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