FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS
This in from San Marcos CISD spokesperson Iris Campbell:
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The San Marcos CISD School Board has named Michael A. Cardona as the Lone Finalist for Superintendent of Schools on May 2. Cardona is a rising star who has been serving as the Chief School Officer with Houston ISD since 2012, where he oversees 36 schools (grades 6-8 and 9-12) and 15 charter schools (PK-12) with over 42,000 students and represents the superintendent as the District official in the community.
Following a state-mandated 21-day waiting period, trustees are expected to offer Cardona a contract for employment.
Recognized throughout his career as a turnaround administrator, Cardona has helped implement rigorous student performance standards resulting in increased passing rates and higher achievement scores. He has led schools through innovative research-driven curriculum changes including the adoption of an International Baccalaureate middle school program. Lauded by both teachers and administrators for his strong leadership, Cardona has a demonstrated record of strengthening student achievement at the secondary level, setting high expectations for all students, and improving school safety.
While with HISD, Cardona assisted in the passing of a $1.89 billion dollar school bond program and was a 2014 Broad Award Winner. He also built numerous community partnerships in the state’s largest school district with organizations including the J. J. Watt Foundation and the Jones School of Business at Rice University.
Prior to joining Houston ISD, Cardona was a principal and assistant principal in the North East Independent School District in San Antonio and an assistant principal, teacher, and administrative intern in San Antonio ISD. During this period, he earned numerous awards, including being a state semi-finalist in both 2011 and 2012 in the Secondary Principal’s Category for the H.E.B. Excellence in Education Award.
Cardona is a graduate of Antonian College Preparatory in San Antonio, and he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University-College Station in Political Science. He went on to earn a Master of Education from Texas A&M-Kingsville in Mid-Management and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at Texas A&M University-College Station. In 2014, he was awarded the Paul R. Hensarling Award for Distinguished Scholar from Texas A&M University.
In a letter to the Trustees, he said, “I am eager to continue moving the district forward and making San Marcos CISD the choice district in the central Texas area and a model district for the state and nation.”
School Board President Kathy Hansen said that Cardona’s references spoke very highly of him as an individual and as a professional. She added, “The School Board is excited that Mr. Cardona is joining our leadership team, bringing with him extensive knowledge, experience, and skills in leading a growing and diverse school district. We are looking forward to welcoming him and his family.”
In making the selection, trustees followed the timeline they established a few weeks ago. The Board spent nearly 14 hours interviewing applicants on Friday and Saturday before making a unanimous decision to offer the position to Cardona at Monday night’s meeting.