HISD unanimously votes for new superintendent

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New HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza sang with a student-led mariachi band as part of his introduction to Houston.

The Houston ISD board voted late Thursday to name Richard Carranza the district's new superintendent.

Carranza currently has the top job for the San Francisco Unified School District. While he will visit HISD schools on Monday, he has to finish work in California before coming to Houston.

"I have no preconceived agenda," said Carranza, "except that every child will be served in our schools."

Carranza did outline some of what he believes are the most pressing issues for HISD, including budget cuts, equitable access to education for all students, and support for HISD educators.

When asked about the bond that voters approved to rebuild and renovate many of its schools, he said transparency is key.

"Anytime you're talking about construction, you have to plan for the eventuality of delays," said Carranza. He said he'll assess the program and also expressed confidence in the intentions of the board.

As part of his introduction, Carranza belted out a classic mariachi song backed up by students from both the Northside and Sam Houston High Schools mariachi bands. He even took the violin and played a little.

"How many times do you hear a press conference like that?" Carranza asked the crowd.

The Arizona native started as a teacher. He is bilingual and only HISD's second Hispanic superintendent. The district is now 62% Hispanic.

Carranza signed a 3-year contract, for a salary starting at $345,000 a year, with additional bonuses to be worked out at a later time.
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