The La Joya Independent School District announced that Dr. Gisela Saenz has been named the lone finalist in their search for a new superintendent.
Saenz previously served as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction for 13 years, and according to a press release from the district, “it was evident that her history and experience with La Joya ISD” made her “uniquely qualified to lead the district into the future.”
“I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to work with the board of trustees, all our principals and district members,” Saenz said. “We need to talk about what are some things that we need to change in the district so we can continue to have the very best programs for our students.”
Saenz added that it would not just be her alone, it would take a group effort with her and the board to continue with La Joya’s trajectory.
“I want to get what their vision is, and what they want our district to look like in three years, in five years,” Saenz said. “And then we’re going to work with staff to realize that vision. I’m excited about the process, the goal-setting and all of that.”
While the announcement was recent, Saenz already has a couple of areas within LJISD that she wants to focus on.
“Our number one priority has to be increasing student achievement,” Saenz said. “There’s a lot of areas that we are doing very well in, but there are areas that we need to continue to work on. One of those areas is improving reading achievement for all of our kids and continuing with our college readiness initiatives.”
Dr. Saenz earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pan American University, and then went on to get her master’s and doctoral degrees in education from the University of Texas Pan American. She started as a teacher, then became an instructional supervisor, principal, assistant superintendent and recently served as the interim superintendent for LJISD.
LJISD has entered in the 21-day waiting period required by state law and will consider approving her contract from there.