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Austin ISD superintendent named lone finalist for Dallas ISD top job

Dr. Stephanie Elizalde must wait roughly a month before she's officially offered the job, after which Austin ISD leaders will need to start a search of their own.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District (AISD) will likely begin a search for a new superintendent after it was announced that the current school leader, Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, has been named the lone finalist for superintendent of Dallas schools.

According to our sister station WFAA, Dallas ISD named Elizalde as the remaining candidate after serving just two years as superintendent in Austin.

The move happened during a special-called board meeting this week in Dallas, but Elizalde still has to wait about a month before school leaders can formally offer her the job.

RELATED: Dallas ISD names Dr. Stephanie Elizalde as lone finalist for superintendent

Since news broke of her imminent move, some have spoken out to thank the superintendent for her service to the district.

One of those voices is AISD board president Geronimo Rodriguez, who highlighted the tumultuous strain placed on the district as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

"Thank you to Dr. Elizalde for her steadfast leadership through what has been an unprecedented and challenging two years. Her commitment to our AISD mission allowed our community to safely move through the pandemic and stay laser-focused on academic achievement," his statement said, adding that AISD's board of trustees will meet soon to discuss the leadership transition this summer.

"She has been unwavering in her support of our students, faculty and staff as well as a mindful steward of our AISD resources," he concluded.

On Thursday, Elizalde addressed the announcement in a letter addressed to the entire district. It reads:

Dear Team Austin ISD,

As we near the end of the year, I am reflecting on all the successes we’ve achieved during what has been the hardest school year for many of us. We have stood up for what is right for our kiddos, and stayed focused on improving academics across the district.

It has been my honor to lead Austin ISD these past two years and I am proud of all we have accomplished together. Last night, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees named me as its lone finalist for superintendent. Dallas has always held a special place in my heart, and I am not making this decision lightly.

I know we have the right staff in Austin ISD to continue moving our work forward. The Leadership Team is well positioned to realize the district’s vision and mission, to prepare every student with the knowledge and skills to thrive in college, career, and life.

I look forward to finishing out this year strong as we celebrate our nearly 5,000 graduates starting next week. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for you all welcoming me into Austin and allowing me to lead this district. It has been an incredible pleasure that I will hold dear for years to come.

Respectfully,

Stephanie S. Elizalde, Ed.D.
Superintendent

According to our partners at WFAA, Elizalde was named one of four Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Hispanics in Education in 2014. The Dallas Morning News also named her a "Point Person" for her work in the community in 2016.

Elizalde has been awarded the UT-Austin Dr. Nolan Estes Leadership Ascension Award four times, most recently in 2017.

Elizalde is a third-generation public school educator, following in her grandmother’s and father’s footsteps.

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