Members of the Austin Independent School District community had the opportunity to learn more about the lone finalist to be the next superintendent during a virtual discussion Tuesday night.
Stephanie Elizalde introduced herself during a conversation with school board President Geronimo Rodriguez. Elizalde is currently the chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD.
During Tuesday’s discussion, Elizalde said what she would like to bring to the district is better communication from the top — something the administration under outgoing Superintendent Paul Cruz has been criticized for lacking.
“Everybody thinks, ‘Yes, we’re going to be transparent,’” she said. “Truthfully, transparency means that even if there is some bad news we’re going to need to communicate, then we need to communicate it. Because, truthfully, we all know that the biggest sources of stress are unknowns.”
She also said that she knows administrators often don’t remember what it is like to be in the classroom and she values the input of teachers and other school-level staff to help make decisions.
Note: The discussion starts about 7 minutes in.
The conversation focused on questions the school board received from the community as part of the interview process.
The process was done behind closed doors, so candidates were not identified publicly. Under state law, the district cannot offer Elizalde a contract for 21 days, so she is not technically hired yet.
Elizalde will speak during two more video sessions this week. She will talk about her plans for academics Wednesday at noon in Spanish and 1:30 p.m. in English. On Thursday, she will discuss leadership, culture and equity at 6 p.m. in Spanish and 7:30 p.m. in English.