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Ed Commissioner Appoints New Board, Superintendent For Edgewood Schools

San Antonio ISD
Edgewood's new superintendent, Sylvester Perez, previously served as superintendent for San Antonio ISD.

State Education Commissioner Mike Morath has named five new board members to manage the troubled Edgewood Independent School District. He’s also appointed a new district superintendent familiar with schools in Bexar County.

In March the commissioner told Edgewood’s seven elected board members he was replacing them because they seemed incapable of governing the district and its 11,300 students.

“They’ve been most of the school year without a permanent superintendent,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency.

“The board was so split it couldn’t hire two principals for two campuses, so it went most of the school year without permanent principals.  It had gotten to the point where they could not make decisions,” said Ratcliffe.

The Commissioner asked for volunteers with a commitment to helping the district get back on its feet and received about 40 applications. The five chosen for the unpaid positions include former Edgewood graduates with strong ties to the district’s PTA and alumni association, as well as community members with business experience and financial management skills.  

The San Antonio residents appointed to the Edgewood board of managers are:

·        Stella Camacho – A graduate of Edgewood ISD, Camacho has one son who is also a graduate of the district and has two children currently enrolled in Edgewood schools. She has served as a PTA president and as secretary of the EISD PTA Council. She is self-employed as a bookkeeper.

·        Frank Espinosa – Espinosa is a manager of terminal services for NuStar Energy. He is a member of the Edgewood District Alumni Association and the Edgewood Education Foundation, as well as being actively involved in many community organizations.

·        Amanda L. Gonzalez – Gonzalez is the campaign manager for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Campaign. She has previously worked as a legislative aide and as a tax processor in the Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office, as well as working on a congressional campaign staff.

·        Richard Santoya – Santoyo retired from the City of San Antonio Fire Department in 2015, having served for 30 years as a firefighter and paramedic. Prior to that, he worked as a physical science teacher and a registrar aide at John F. Kennedy High School in Edgewood.

·        Roy Richard Soto Sr. – A graduate of Edgewood’s John F. Kennedy High School, Soto is the owner of five Premier Rental-Purchase stores. He has served as chair of the finance council of St. Ann Parish since 2005.

The commissioner also named retired San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Sylvester Perez as Edgewood’s new superintendent.

Ratcliff says Perez is familiar with schools in the area and that was a factor.

“He certainly knows the issues.  He’s worked in Harlandale, Judson, North East, Northside, San Antonio and now Edgewood.”

Superintendent Perez will be on the job Wednesday.  The appointed board will be sworn in Tuesday night and will remain in place until the commissioner calls for a new election.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.