Valley View’s third superintendent in under a year gets permanent job

Sylvia Ibarra

PHARR — The Valley View Independent School District announced Monday that its school board has selected interim Superintendent Silvia Ibarra as lone finalist for the permanent post.

Ibarra was hired by the district in an interim capacity in February, replacing former interim Superintendent Leonel Galaviz.

(Read: Valley View reaches settlement agreement with super)

Galaviz assumed that post in late 2020 after Superintendent Monica Luna was suspended with pay pending an investigation into the process by which she was granted a contract after the November board election of that year.

Luna worked as superintendent for less than a month. The district reached a settlement with her in March stipulating she would stay on with the district in an assistant superintendent capacity that the district described as a win-win.

(Read: Valley View appoints new interim superintendent)

Ibarra, who most recently served as assistant superintendent for instructional services at McAllen ISD, has over 32 years of experience as an educator as a principal, director and lead counselor, according to a school district news release.

“Valley View ISD is a close-knit, family-oriented community with strong values and principles that align to my personal values,” Ibarra wrote in the release. “I am honored and blessed for the opportunity to serve this community as superintendent of schools.”

Ibarra’s four-month tenure as interim superintendent has not been idle.

Prompted by a financial situation district leadership described as unstable and untenable, Valley View launched monetary austerity measures in the spring that included closing a campus, dissolving the district’s police department and offering resignation incentives.

“Dr. Ibarra is passionate about education and believes that education removes barriers, creates opportunities for success, and empowers students to excel,” the district’s release stated. “Dr. Ibarra is an advocate for all students and a change agent who works tirelessly for the betterment of students. She is eager and excited to work collaboratively with the Valley View ISD community to provide a safe, nurturing environment so all students learn, grow and experience success.”

(Read: Valley View names former superintendent Galaviz interim)

Ibarra holds a bachelor’s degree in English and kinesiology, a master’s in education and a doctorate in education, the release read. It further stated the district’s superintendent search was conducted by the law firm of O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo, Daniel King and Abelardo Saavedra, and that it included a community town hall, surveys and weekly updates, and drew over a dozen candidates.

“Through the selection process, we involved multiple stakeholders across the community to ensure transparency and a systematic approach that would render the best candidate,” Board President Claudia Coronado wrote. “This process brought us exceptional candidates, and a lone finalist who is a transformational leader that will guide the revitalization of the educational experience at Valley View ISD.”

The district entered a 21-day waiting period for the post on June 18 as required by state law.