NEW YEAR, NEW SUPER: Puig may assume role in January

Managing Editor

San Benito CISD officials have recently pointed to early January as the starting date, more or less, for Dr. Marc A. Puig to take over as superintendent of schools.

Arnold Padilla, president of the SBCISD Board of Trustees, confirmed on Friday that Puig will be tendering his resignation at Culberson County-Allamoore ISD, the Van Horn, Texas area school district where he currently serves as superintendent, in mid to early December.

In the meantime, Padilla said contract negotiations between the district and Puig have progressed and hopes for unanimous approval by the board at an upcoming meeting.

“The contract discussions have gone extremely well,” Padilla said. “There’s been some dialogue going back and forth between myself and Dr. Puig. We felt comfortable that we had reached what looks like an agreement.”

Padilla acknowledged that although district officials originally expected Puig to begin in early December, pushing the start date back was inevitable due to the incoming superintendent’s departure transition from CCAISD and the upcoming Christmas holiday making December a short month in terms of operations.

The board president said, “As far as the start date for Dr. Puig, it was our first impression that he may come in by early December, but I am now understanding from Dr. Puig that he will have to submit his resignation with the district he’s in around the 10th or 12th December.

“Putting the days together, I understand now that his start date may not be until the first day of January. And that works out. Even if he came in December, the last two weeks of school is kind of shut down due to the holidays. At this point, it’s likely he’ll come to us in the first week of January.”

Details with regard to Puig’s salary with SBCISD and the number of years for which he’ll be contracted remain unknown as of press time. However, Padilla expressed optimism that Puig’s contract will be approved by Dec. 9 – the next regular board meeting – at which time the terms of the contract will be made available.

“Now that we have reached what we feel is an agreement, personally I’m satisfied with something we can present to the board; that the contract will be presented to the board at the regular meeting of Dec. 9,” Padilla said. “We feel comfortable that what we’ve come to an arrangement on is something that the board will agree upon. We’ve reached what we feel is a contract that satisfies everybody’s concerns and everybody’s wishes, and that it will be approved unanimously.”

It was on Nov. 6 when SBCISD trustees unanimously approved Puig as the lone finalist for superintendent of schools.

Puig’s qualifications and accolades were highlighted in an SBCISD press release that hailed his “hybrid” background in both business and education that includes stints as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. According to the release, Puig also “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;” not to mention being named the Region 18 Superintendent of the Year while his board was recognized as a 2014 Texas Honor Board. As a principal in Dallas ISD, Puig led a TEA Exemplary campus; and 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.”

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