By JACOB LOPEZ
Members of the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees expressed optimism in their selection of Dr. Marc Puig as the lone finalist for superintendent of schools.
The board selected Puig via a unanimous vote, 7-0, after reconvening from closed session during a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 6. Puig recently served as the superintendent of Culberson County-Allamoore ISD in Van Horn, which is located in West Texas.
Celia Longoria, community relations director for SBCISD, issued a press release the same evening of Puig’s selection that detailed his qualifications and accolades.
Puig brings a “hybrid” background to the superintendency with commanding experience in both business and education, according to the press release.
His experience includes serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. Furthermore, Puig has “spent seven years in the corporate world as an account executive, research analyst and project manager for a national marketing firm based in Fort Worth.”
Puig was named the Region 18 Superintendent of the Year and his board was recognized as a 2014 Texas Honor Board. According to the press release, that means it was “one of only five districts in the state to earn this distinction.”
As a principal in Dallas ISD, Puig led a TEA Exemplary campus. His research in the area of public school governance and student achievement won the “Outstanding Dissertation of the Year award from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.”
He also serves as a mentor superintendent for the Texas Association of School Administrators Learning for Leadership Program. The newly-named SBCISD superintendent is a registered provider of board training credit through the Texas Education Agency.
“He has made numerous professional presentations statewide, including workshops on how to establish strategic board-superintendent relations, curriculum policy and visioning,” the press release reads, further stating, “Most recently, Dr. Puig was selected to present at the 2015 National School Boards Association Conference in Nashville on the topic ‘school board influence on student outcomes.’”
He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s from the University of Texas at Arlington. In May 2014, he completed his doctorate in education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Puig’s selection ends a search for a superintendent that began on July 8. The board commissioned Waterford School Services Inc. to conduct the search and build a profile based on traits and qualifications determined by the board and through public input.
According to Texas state law, there is a 21-day waiting period required after the board names a lone finalist for superintendent.
Board member Angel Mendez, said, “I’m very confident that the individual that we selected is going to bring in some new perspective. As a whole, we selected the best candidate for the job.”
Current superintendent Antonio G. Limón said that he will begin his new position as assistant superintendent of human resources one day prior to Puig taking over, as per his contract.
“My duty is to make it as smooth a transition as possible (for Dr. Puig) and I intend to do that,” said Limón, adding, “and I look forward to the arrival of Dr. Puig and look forward to a smooth transition.”
As for his interest in retiring in the near future, Limón said it’s a “possibility” he’s discussing with his family.
Board president Arnold Padilla, said that the board was “ecstatic” about Puig’s selection.
The process was “a tedious affair,” according to Padilla, but he said that the board exercised serious contemplation and diligence in making the decision.
“I personally feel that we’ve done a tremendous job,” said Padilla.
After taking the top six of 49 applicants, the board selected Puig, according to Padilla, adding that the decision was unanimous.
One of the main things that separated Puig from the others, even though they all had what Padilla referred to as “equal” qualifications, was his energy, and “the personality needed to help move this district forward.”
Trustee Yliana González said she is “optimistic” about Puig and that, in all interactions they’ve had with him, he’s been “very processional.”
He “has a charisma about him,” said González of the lone finalist, adding, “That’s not to say the others weren’t.” She said every applicant was qualified, but “at the end of the day [the board] can only select one.”
Details concerning Puig’s contract negotiations, including salary, have yet to be released.
Attempts to reach board vice president Hector Leal, board secretary Oscar Medrano and fellow trustees Anna Cruz and Fatima Huerta were unsuccessful as of press time Friday.