AUSTIN, Texas — One day after announcing his resignation from the Austin Independent School District to pursue a role at the University of Texas at Austin, Superintendent Paul Cruz told the public Feb. 20 that while this has "been an emotional time," he is excited to join a university he has graduated from twice.
Amber Elenz, secretary of the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, said board members will meet on Monday to discuss the next steps in regard to Cruz's resignation.
Cruz will join the UT Austin staff as a professor of practice in the Cooperative Superintendency Program (CSP) in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. At a press conference on Feb. 20, Cruz said he is excited to be a part of the organization that "prepares people to be future district leaders."
He is no stranger to UT Austin. He has two degrees from the university and, in fact, he said he graduated from the same superintendency program he will soon join.
He said that after working for 33 years in the public school system, "I've got a lot of real-world examples."
Cruz has served as the district's superintendent for the last six years. Deciding to part with a school district comprised of 81,000 students and 12,000 employees has been a difficult process for him, Cruz said.
"I love Austin. I love Austin Independent School District," he said.
He thanked current and former school board members, who he said has made his role easier at Austin ISD.
"I’ve gotten to know what we’re about and what we’re about is the future, making sure all our kids are successful and making sure they all feel welcome," Cruz said.
He said that he is proud of the initiatives that have started under his leadership, including a focus on increasing the graduation rate and a focused literacy plan at all grade levels.
When asked about the school closures that were recently approved and what the process will be going forward now that he is moving on, Cruz said, "there's significant work ahead and that will continue." He said that specific dates for school closures will be discussed in the near future.
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