HISD hires new academic, human resources chiefs

March 31, 2015 — HISD Chief Human Resources Officer Andrew Houlihan has been selected as the district’s new Chief Academic Officer, replacing Dan Gohl, who is leaving at the end of the school year to take a similar position in Broward County, Florida.

Houlihan will assume his new role on April 20, as Gohl moves into the position of special assistant to the superintendent. The move will ensure a smooth transition and allow the district to maintain the momentum generated by Gohl’s successful implementation of digital curriculum, innovative teaching practices and global education initiatives.

Replacing Houlihan will be Gloria Cavazos, a 31-year veteran educator and administrator who has spent the last nine years serving as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in the Aldine Independent School District. She also starts April 20.

“Drew will be a great asset as Chief Academic Officer. The academics division has done outstanding work this year and Drew will provide the team with consistency while also helping them build upon their existing momentum,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said.

“Though Drew is transitioning into a new role, I can rest easy knowing I have one of the most respected human resources professionals in the state filling his position. Gloria will only serve to strengthen our efforts to recruit and retain the very best teachers.”

Houlihan joined HISD in 2010 as the principal of Parker Elementary. In addition to school support officer, Houlihan also served as Chief of Major Projects and Chief School Support Officer before assuming the role of Chief Human Resources Officer. Prior to joining HISD, Houlihan worked in the Austin Independent School District as assistant director of the Leadership Development Center. He also served as the director of the Education Leadership Institute at the International Center for Leadership in Education in New York. He began his career as teacher in North Carolina.

Cavazos, who speaks fluent Spanish, started her career as a bilingual teacher in the McAllen Independent School District, but spent the bulk of her career in Aldine ISD, where she gained valuable experience as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, area superintendent and assistant superintendent.

Under her leadership, Aldine ISD has become a leader in teacher recruitment and retention efforts. She also oversaw the award of a major grant from the Arnold Foundation, Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Endowment to create and implement a new teacher evaluation system that emphasizes gains in student academic achievement.

“I believe in HISD’s mission. As an educator, I know how important it is to have an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective principal on every campus,” Cavazos said. “I’m eager to join the Human Resources team and continue building upon the great work already being done.”