MCISD hears presentations for potential superintendent search firms

Gearing up for new leadership, MCISD is looking to hire a new superintendent who can help the district.

At the Mission Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees meeting this week, board members listened, considered, and scored two presentations for potential firms that would conduct a superintendent search process for MCISD. Each presentation was ten minutes long, so the presenters were slightly pressed for time.

MCISDlogoThe first presenter, who also got the highest overall score from the board, was George McShan from the McShan Consulting Firm. An independent, who also is currently serving on the Harlingen School Board, McShan spoke about what kind of superintendent MCISD needs.

“When I look at school districts, we think about the three ‘A’s,’ the academics, the arts, and the athletics,” McShan said. “That’s what we need to be looking at for our students, because that’s what is going to prepare them to be successful and balanced in life. We want someone to be a visionary leader who is able to allow students to achieve success in a safe, nurturing learning environment.”

The second presenters, from JG Consulting, were James Guerra and Dr. Patricia Linares. Guerra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the executive firm, and Linares is a former superintendent and Guerra’s business partner. They also spoke about the importance of the superintendent’s role in a school district, and their methods of recruitment.

A third presentation from Springstead Waters Executive Recruitment was also in the running, but a scheduling conflict made them unable to speak for the board of trustees. No word has been made on which firm will be selected for the superintendent search.

The board heard a presentation about the district’s self-funded group health insurance, pharmacy benefits management, and stop-loss insurance plans. The presenter, Zach Gingrich, from Carlisle Insurance, laid out comparisons of spending and changes with the insurance from the averages of the past three years.

Gingrich had three recommendations for the district in order to maintain the current insurance method as well as decrease spending. He said the district should “consider conducting a stop loss Request For Proposal during the May and July months of this year, explore formulatory and network changes with the current pharmacy benefit manager that could lead to increased savings and rebates received by the district, and increase funding from the district and employees by 7.06% and/or to the 2018-19 stop loss attachment point to ensure adequate funding for increased costs of healthcare.”

To kick off the meeting, Craig Verley, MCISD’s director of public relations and marketing, announced the honorees of the evening. 163 students were awarded and photographed for their accomplishments in athletics, performing arts, visual arts, academics, and the career technical education programs.

“Believe it or not, that’s not one of our longest lists,” Verley said. “But the list tonight is probably more diverse. We have a really well-rounded group this evening.”

A public comment was made by Julio Fuente, who has been a social studies teacher at Mission Collegiate High School for three years. Fuente wanted to thank the district for all that he learned while working at MCISD, and explain why he was leaving.

“The reason why I’m here today is to express my emotions and my feelings towards all the right things this district has been doing,” Fuente said. “I wanted to thank you all for trusting the infrastructure that Mr. Farias has put in place.”

Fuente spoke about the principal’s dedication to students and how he greets every student every morning with a handshake.

“The support I get from my principal, Orlando Farias, is enormous,” Fuente said. “He is a great leader, a leader that teaches not by demanding, but by action.”

Fuente recently got a new job as a psychology teacher in Costa Rica, at an international school that is one of the top three schools in the continent. He credits MCISD for preparing him for that job and giving him the opportunity to grow and excel.

“It’s not a goodbye, it’s an ‘I’ll see you soon,’” Fuente said. “I do believe that all of the stuff that I learned in Mission provided me the required intelligence and knowledge to be qualified for the new job. I’m going to truly change the world, and I will come back to Mission Collegiate and also MCISD to go ahead and give back what I have learned outside.”

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