The Mercedes school board approved Carolyn Mendiola as the lone finalist for superintendent during a special meeting last Tuesday.
The board has been conducting the search since March after the resignation of former Superintendent Dr. Daniel Treviño. Dr. Filomena Leo has filled the position in the interim.
The district hired Waterford School Services Inc. to assist in the hiring process through “identification, recruitment and background checks,” while the trustees interviewed the prospective applicants.
Mendiola is currently an assistant superintendent with the Sharyland school district and has over 20 years of experience as an educator, according to a news release. She was chosen out of a total of 46 applicants and has served as a teacher, assistant principal and other administrative positions throughout her career. She is also a Rio Grande Valley native.
Board President Oscar Riojas said they were looking for a “well-rounded” and experienced applicant for the position.
“We were very conscientious about not rushing the process, we felt that we gave ourselves plenty of time to review,” he said. “We made sure that we were comfortable with the progress and process.”
In accordance with the law, school districts must wait 21 days before being authorized to approve a contract for a new superintendent. It is anticipated that Mendiola will begin work as the superintendent in July, according to the release.
Mendiola will take over a district that recently cut two dozen teachers from the payroll by not renewing their contracts last month. The district received a series of red flags regarding its swindling finances since 2015 through the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, or FIRST ratings.
In a recent intervier, Riojas said the process of hiring a new superintendent can put the district on the right trajectory to solving its financial woes.