HARLINGEN : Superintendent Dr. Arturo Cavazos

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LATINO ED: What is your vision for your school district?
DR. CAVAZOS: Our vision for excellence begins with our outstanding Board of Trustees as we work for Harlingen CISD to remain a system of world-class schools where students develop the means for college and career success in the 21st century and are able to compete globally.

LATINO ED: What inspires, motivates, and drives you? What are you most passionate about?
DR. CAVAZOS: Our drive is our students. They guide the work we do each day and remain the core focus of our district’s mission to provide educational excellence for all students while cultivating college and career readiness and opportunities to create a meaningful and successful life.

LATINO ED: Have there been cuts to your district’s state funding in recent years? If so, what impact are these cuts having on your district?
DR. CAVAZOS: While there has been a decrease in the funding of public education in Texas, we take pride that our district and Board of Trustees remain fiscally responsible while promoting the best interests of our students and their futures. Our budget reflects our district’s fortunate financial position as we have been able to consistently provide our teachers, administrators and staff with competitive salaries, while remaining prudent of our taxpayers’ dollars.

LATINO ED: What is your perspective on the recent changes enacted by the Texas Legislature in the form of House Bill 5 and what impact will these changes have in your district?
DR. CAVAZOS: The recent changes to public education benefit students across the Rio Grande Valley and Texas by giving them an opportunity to gain early experience in career and technology pathways.
It’s a vision shared by our district as we have recently opened our Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy, which allows our students to select one of five pathways as an area of study, much like a college or university. Our pathways align with the five endorsements that were recently set by our Texas Legislature, and their mission to emphasize college and career readiness.
Our district is currently transforming to reflect the way our students learn as our society functions in a globalized economy. These developments solidify our transformation by reflecting not only the changes in our region, but the direction of public education in Texas.

LATINO ED: What, in your opinion, are your school district’s greatest assets? What is unique about your district that sets it apart from others in the Rio Grande Valley?
DR. CAVAZOS: Our students are our greatest assets, and we understand that each of them possess individualized learning needs. Our district believes in providing our parents and students with choices in their pursuit of a quality education, and that HCISD continues to meet the demands of both our students and a changing society.
As we continue with our district’s transformation, our options for educational advancement will continue to grow. Our Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy, School of Health Professions, Leader in Me Academy, Dual Language Academies and Digital Classroom initiative offer students the opportunity to find their passion while nurturing college and career readiness in the 21st century. These educational options accompany our open enrollment policy at our elementary and middle schools, which permits parents to choose what campus their child attends. Our increasing choices will continue to remain a factor in why our parents and students choose to enroll in the great schools at HCISD.

LATINO ED: Charter schools appear to be spreading throughout the region. What impact are these schools having on your school district, if any?
DR. CAVAZOS: Charter schools, along with our district’s growing academic and extracurricular programs, provide our parents and students with choices.
As we’ve seen a recent growth of the number of charter schools in the Rio Grande Valley, we identify the need to provide these choices to our parents and community. We will continue to develop and offer our parents and students options that meet their individual needs while advocating for the advancement of public education. When given a choice our parents and community will choose the outstanding schools and programs at HCISD.

LATINO ED: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as Interim Superintendent?
DR. CAVAZOS: Working as a member of administration for more than ten years, the biggest accomplishment has been seeing our efforts to transform our district come to a successful reality. We’ve anticipated change, and have created initiatives to address those developments for the benefit of our students. With this transformation, the next logical step we’ve launched is a strategic planning process, which will help guide our work for the next three to five years. As we see further transformation, achievements will continue to take place, and there is only a bright future ahead for HCISD.

LATINO ED: What are your biggest worries as a superintendent?
As a district, our primary concern is keeping our students prepared for their futures in a changing society. The way we work, learn and collaborate with one another in real life situations changes every day. It is up to us as administrators and educators to adapt to those changes and develop rich learning opportunities that will prepare our students for future success.

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