HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On the first day of the state takeover, the Texas Education Agency has announced the nine-member board of managers for the Houston Independent School District and selected a new superintendent.
Mike Miles was named the new superintendent by TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. Miles begins working on Thursday under a 21-day interim contract until he receives formal approval from the board of managers.
"I am honored and humbled to be here in Houston. It is my great privilege to lead Houston ISD in this work to make it one of the best school districts in the country," Miles said Thursday in a tweet.
In the statement, he also vows to help fix the "system" that is failing HISD students and specifically mentioned improving education for special needs students.
Miles previously served as superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District for three years, which is the second largest district in the state -- behind HISD. He was also superintendent at the Harrison School District in Colorado Springs, Colorado for six years and the founder and CEO of Third Future Schools.
Miles served as an officer in the Army and spent time working for the state department. One of his positions was as a diplomat to Poland and Russia at the end of the Cold War. He holds degrees from West Point, UC Berkeley and Columbia.
"Over the past few months, we have been heartened to see so many Houstonians eagerly step up to serve their community and the students of Houston ISD," Morath said. "We were looking for people from a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives who believe all children can learn and achieve at high levels when properly supported and who can work together. I believe the governing team I am naming today will work as a unified team, dedicated to improving student outcomes and supporting educators."
The following nine people were appointed to the new board of managers. Their bios were provided by the TEA:
- Audrey Momanaee: Momanaee is a Houston ISD parent and native Houstonian who grew up in a family of public school teachers and developed a strong sense of public service. Momanaee is an experienced litigation attorney and advocate for pro bono legal work, handling numerous cases to help families across Houston.
- Ric Campo: For more than 40 years, Campo has leveraged his energy, experience, and advocacy to build a better Houston. He has served on numerous public and private boards, in service to families, children, reducing homelessness, and promoting the City of Houston. Campo is the grandson of immigrant farmworkers and was the first in his family to graduate from college before successfully building his own company in Houston.
- Angela Lemond Flowers: An experienced educator, Lemond Flowers began her teaching career at Jesse H. Jones High School in Houston ISD, where her mother also taught. Lemond Flowers has devoted her career to the advancement of children's education. She has served as a high school English teacher and in administrative leadership for over twenty years in Houston-area schools. She is the proud mother of four, including two Houston ISD graduates.
- Michelle Cruz Arnold, Ph.D.: The mother of a Houston ISD student, Dr. Cruz Arnold earned a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Planning and has spent more than 20 years as an education policy advocate working to create college and career opportunities for students. Dr. Cruz Arnold is a proud Houstonian who currently leads government relations and advocacy work for a national non-profit college access organization.
- Cassandra Auzenne Bandy: Bandy is a proud Houstonian, Houston ISD graduate, and parent of fourth-generation Houston ISD students. She is an active PTO volunteer at her children's school. She is a chemical engineer by training and currently works as a business strategy manager at a global consulting firm.
- Janette Garza Lindner: Garza Lindner is a devoted wife and working mom of two children who attend HISD schools. She is a management consultant within the energy industry, and her civic advocacy spans education, the arts, and making neighborhoods in her community safer and healthier. A life-long Texan, Garza Lindner was born and raised in Brownsville and has lived in Houston for more than 20 years.
- Rolando Martinez: Martinez is a native Houstonian, a Houston ISD graduate, and a parent of three children who all attend Houston ISD schools. He currently serves on the Houston ISD District Advisory Committee and works as a human resources manager at a large healthcare system in the Texas Medical Center.
- Paula Mendoza: Mendoza is a longtime Houston resident, the mother of a Houston ISD graduate, and a committed community leader and entrepreneur. She is a small business owner and has demonstrated her commitment to the Houston community through service on numerous non-profit and governmental boards, including the University of Houston Board of Regents, Texas Ethics Commission, and Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
- Adam P. Rivon: Rivon is the parent of a Houston ISD student and is the founder and owner of a small business in the real estate industry. Rivon proudly served his country in the United States Army, earning a Bronze Star for leadership as an Army Artillery Officer during combat operations in Iraq.
The new board of managers will hold public board meetings and has the same legal requirements and obligations as the former elected board of trustees. This includes holding all meetings in public, allowing for public comment, holding public hearings, and posting all required budget and tax information for public review and discussion.
The new board's first meeting will be held on Thursday, June 8.
HISD has nearly 190,000 students. It's not only the largest district in the state, but it's the largest district the TEA has ever taken over.
Now-former Superintendent Millard House II's last day with the district was last week. He was in the position for just under two years and posted a thank you to the community on social media.
"We accomplished many of the goals we set together in the last two years," House wrote. "And while I know our time was cut short, I have no doubt that there will be more successes to come."
The TEA said it received 462 total applications, and 422 of them were from within HISD boundaries. In total, 52 applicants were interviewed. Here's a breakdown of the applicants:
- 199 male
- 260 female
- 3 other
- 180 African American
- 52 Hispanic
- 154 white
- 21 Asian
- 35 two or more races
- 20 other
- 22 high school diploma
- 118 Bachelors
- 198 Masters
- 124 Doctorate (38 with Doctorate in Education)
- 238 attended the Lone Star Governance training
- 227 completed the training and were eligible to advance in the selection process (some candidates left early or did not return for Day 2 of the training)
According to the TEA, the board members and superintendent will make all decisions on daily operations at the district.
In two years, the TEA commissioner will reevaluate HISD in order to decide if the takeover can end.
At that point, power will be given back to the local elected school board, select members at a time, over a three-year period. Or, the state's takeover will be extended for up to another two years if the commissioner decides HISD still isn't up to par.
We've seen a number of HISD leaders resign in recent weeks.
Our partners at the Houston Chronicle reported that the district's Chief of Schools, Denise Watts, is relocating to a job in Georgia. Her last day is June 14.