Board interviewing candidates for superintendent position 

Applicant pool consists of candidates who match leadership profile developed with public input 

The HISD Board of Education is interviewing candidates for the position of superintendent of schools to replace former Superintendent Terry Grier, who stepped down on Feb. 29.

The Board, working with the search firm of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, narrowed down an initial list of 35 applicants to a select pool of candidates for a first round of interviews, which is underway.

“Once we have finished interviewing all our candidates, the board will get together and debrief, and talk about the candidates—the pros and the cons of each—and from there we will select candidates for a second round of interviews,” said Board President Manuel Rodriguez Jr. during an interview for his monthly TV Show, HISD Up Close.

Once the second round of interviews is complete, the Board could choose to name a finalist for the position or conduct more interviews. By law, the Board must give public notice of the name or names of finalists being considered at least 21 days before the date of a meeting at which a final vote will be taken.

“We were initially looking for July 1 as a naming date, but things happened where we had to push that further back, so hopefully we can have someone named by August 1,” said Rodriguez.

The initial applicant pool consisted of applicants matching a Leadership Profile Report, which was created by the search firm after gathering community input from more than 3,200 individuals. The firm also created a report outlining the Desired Characteristics sought in a candidate, based on the input it gathered.

Serving as interim superintendent as of March 1 is Ken Huewitt, former deputy superintendent and chief financial officer. The board voted unanimously on Feb. 17 to name him as the interim leader while conducting the search for a new superintendent.

Huewitt joined HISD in 2001 as the district’s controller. He served as chief financial officer from January 2013 to July 2015, overseeing all financial operations of the district, including the Controller’s Office, Budget and Financial Planning, Benefits and Risk Management, Medicaid Finance, Real Estate, Materials Management and Warehousing. In July 2015, he was tapped as Dr. Grier’s second in command and charged with overseeing the district’s day-to-day operations in the superintendent’s absence.