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Tech Community Still Confident in CAST Tech After Leadership Switch

Paul Flahive
Kelly Isbell, then Flieger, looks on as women in tech talk to girls about the career at a Girls Inc. outreach event for CAST Tech

The San Antonio ISD has announced a change in leadership at CAST Tech High School, the first of its kind collaboration between the district, HEB, and the technology community.

Kelly Isbell, then Flieger, was hired in August of 2016 to open the innovative high school in renovated buildings on the Fox Tech High School campus. Now  she is on administrative leave until her contract ends  June 30. Melissa Alcala from NEISD's STEM Academy will replace her. 

Her dismissal took many in the tech community by surprise.  They’ve worked hard to rally support for the technology high school, and in doing so Principal Isbell, hosting several public events to raise funds and awareness.

The 80/20 Foundation gave a $600,000 matching grant to CAST Tech last year. 80/20 Executive Director Lorenzo Gomez says, despite changing horses mid-stream, he has no doubt the project will succeed.

"I am not concerned. I think that HEB is such a world class organization and partner. We value that partnership. And also Pedro Martinez, and the SAISD leadership team, they are also world class.”

HEB gave $1 million dollars  to CAST Tech and is renovating their building.

TechBloc CEO David Heard says the SAISD is in charge of all employees, and he trusts them to deal with day-to-day personnel issues like this.

"The success of this school will be measured in decades not days.  So, it's the right project for the tech community.  It's the right project for downtown, and for SAISD and kids really all across Bexar County."

Heard doesn't see the change impacting a successful school year starting in August.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive