Skip to content

Ocaña to stay at Ann Richards Middle School

Ann W. Richards Middle School Principal Thomas Ocaña will stay on in his current position at the school after the La Joya ISD decided not to go through with a considered plan to switch him over to one of the district’s high schools.

La Joya ISD trustees were greeted by about a dozen community members at a board workshop Thursday who held signs supporting Ocaña and his leadership at Richards.

They had a petition opposing his transfer signed by 64 individuals.

“We firmly believe that keeping Mr. Thomas Ocaña at Ann Richards Middle School is vitally important for the continued success of our school,” it read.

None of those individuals spoke during public comment, but the small group did burst into applause after the meeting when Board President Alex Cantu and Interim Superintendent Heriberto “Beto” Gonzalez told them Ocaña would be sticking around the middle school.

Gonzalez described Ocaña as a particularly effective administrator at a particularly successful school, saying consideration to move him was routine.

“So every year we look at our staff allocation, we look at our best leaders and where we can put them to stand in the gap,” he said. “Anytime we have a need, from the boardroom to the classroom, we work together always — administration and board — to look at where we can fill in certain gaps or shortcomings.”

Gonzalez said the decision to not move Ocaña was motivated more by finding a different adequate fit for a high school than by resistance to Ocaña’s departure.

“It’s normal,” he said. “We were able to ameliorate, and there was another leader that was able to fill in that gap, so we were able to keep Mr. Ocaña on his campus.”

Gonzalez didn’t specify which high school the district considered moving Ocaña to but said all three were being considered.


  1. Tomas Ocana on September 16, 2023 at 8:03 am

    Ann Richad # 1, Thanks son, keep doing your best, and love you.

    • Roberta on September 17, 2023 at 8:01 pm

      Extremely happy that he’s staying. My children were so sad to hear he was leaving them. You wouldn’t imagine the excitement they showed when they got home to tell me he was staying. Thank you Mr Ocaña. Thank you for being an amazing principal and leader to my kids.

Leave a Comment