Finalist named to take retiring Sharyland ISD superintendent’s position

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Elaine Howard

McALLEN — The Sharyland ISD school board named Elaine Howard, deputy superintendent of Boerne ISD, as the finalist for superintendent position with current superintendent Maria Vidaurri retiring.

After three days of conducting interviews in special board meetings, the school district announced Howard as the lone finalist at a board meeting on Monday.

With Vidaurri stepping down at the end of the school year in June, the school district hired the Texas Association of School Board Executive Search Services to assist in the search.

Serving as the deputy superintendent and chief human resources officer at Boerne ISD, Howard received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lamar University in 2016.

She has also served as an executive district leader in the San Antonio and Austin area at Judson ISD and Hays CISD.

“In the realm of education in the state of Texas, Sharyland is considered a premier district,” Howard said. “It has all the attributes of a successful educational system. And it was just extremely attractive from the perspective of which I sit in, to be able to be a part of an organization that’s so successful and thriving and healthy.”

Board President Jose ‘Pepe’ Garcia said there was a mixture of candidates from in and outside of the Valley and that it was a difficult decision to name a finalist from the board’s top three choices.

“She’s worked for big districts in different capacities and that’s just been the vision that we connected with who we were looking for as our next superintendent,” Garcia said.

He added her experience in human resources and finances made her stand out among candidates.

“We’ve been in situations where we’ve been wanting to have discussions about a bond, and again, she brings some of that experience because she’s been involved in successfully passing bonds in her previous districts,” Garcia said.

An advocate for solid organizational structure, Howard said her skill set will be able to fine tune the already excellent work being done by the district.

“I am terribly humbled,” she said. “I don’t take the confidence that is being put in me lightly and it is going to be my honor to serve this community.”

By law, there is a 21-day state required period for contract negotiations before the district can hire Howard.