SAN ANTONIO – On the job for two weeks, Dr. Emilio Castro Jr., now the superintendent of the Edgewood Independent School District, has begun a listening tour at each of the district's nearly 100 schools.
Castro said he is also planning community meetings after the first of the year to get additional information from parents and students, to help develop a plan of action.
“Let us know what have we done well, that we can continue to do, and where we need to change,” Castro said.
Castro has previously been a principal at elementary, middle and high schools in Dallas and most recently came from San Antonio ISD where he was deputy superintendent.
After a national search, he was voted in by the district’s school board, but also had to be approved by the board of managers appointed by the Texas Education Agency, according to district spokesperson Kayhla Lugo.
According to the TEA, its commissioner, Mike Morath, took the action after an investigation found “a systematic breakdown in the school board’s ability to govern the district and a failure of the board to work collaboratively with district administrators.”
Most on the board of managers were involved in various ways with the district.
“The board began in May and has met well over 35 times already to ensure that we move Edgewood on (a) track to excellence,” Castro said.
He said early childhood literacy and improving attendance are among his top priorities. He also said he wants to encourage high-performing students.
“That’s why it is so exciting that we are moving to have early college high school at both Memorial and Kennedy high schools,” he said.
Castro said despite the challenges, he is aware of Edgewood’s historic role in the long-standing fight over school finance.
The district won its case before the U.S. Supreme Court over increased state funding for property-poor districts.
“Being a very historic district, the culture, the richness of what is available here with our people, with our community, just offers a lot to build on,” Castro said.