Aug 12, 2014 1:46 PM by Sara Donchey
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Corpus Christi Independent School District's only finalist for superintendent, Dr. Roland Hernandez, made his first public appearance Tuesday morning.
Hernandez and CCISD hosted their "Coffee With the Finalist" event at Luby's Restaurant on South Padre Island Drive and Greenwood.
It was one of the first opportunities for the public to meet the superintendent-to-be and to ask him questions directly.
Nearly everyone in the crowd was a current or former district employee, but there were still a few tough questions for Dr. Hernandez.
CCISD Trustee Guillermo Perez brought up the issue of accountability.
He asked specifically about how Hernandez would deal with district employees favoring family members when it comes to hiring practices.
"Are we going to hold schools accountable for all the money taxpayers have spent," Perez asked.
Hernandez ensured him that he would give priority to applicants based on qualification rather than familiarity.
He also addressed bi-lingual education, the upcoming bond election, and even CCISD schools that have not performed well.
"Take a look at the curriculum, with the schools that might be struggling, and then make sure that we're giving them the resources curriculum-wise to help them be successful," Hernandez said.
That may be easier said than done in a cash-strapped district; but Dr. Hernandez said his solution boils down to efficient spending.
"We want to evaluate how we stand with positions, and staff and if there's any duplication of positions and services then that's something we need to address."
Hernandez was quick to point out that he didn't intend to fire teachers or staff, and for now, he seems to have the support of the teachers union.
The Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers President Ray McMurray said he feels Dr. Hernandez will be an ally for teachers and students alike.
"I'm very optimistic that we're going to be able to do some good things with Dr. Roland Hernandez," McMurray said. "And that the community will unite behind our public schools."
Outgoing Superintendent Scott Eliff is set to officially step down on Thursday morning; Hernandez will assume responsibility then.
14 hours ago
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