MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – The head of the Dallas Independent School District was named superintendent of Georgia’s second largest school district on Sunday.
The Cobb County school board approved a contract for Michael Hinojosa, who will start July 1 at the 100,000-student district. Hinojosa was announced as the lone finalist for the job in May.
He replaces outgoing superintendent Fred Sanderson, who is retiring.
“I am truly honored that the school board has selected me to lead this outstanding school district,” Hinojosa said in a news release. “Cobb schools have an exceptional reputation, and I am thrilled to now be a part of that success.”
He said he first plans to listen to staff and parents before he makes any decisions about the district. He’s spent the last two weeks holding meetings with parents, students and community members.
District officials say Hinojosa will earn $237,000, in addition to Texas pension benefits worth more than $200,000 annually.
Hinojosa was head of the 150,000-student Dallas school district for six years, running a $1.2 billion budget and overseeing 250 schools. He was named the 2002 Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and 2005 Superintendent of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin.
He earned nearly $330,000 a year in Dallas.
Hinojosa got his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, a master’s from the University of North Texas and his doctorate from the UT-Austin.
Cobb County school board chairwoman Alison Bartlett said Hinojosa has an energy and enthusiasm that are “infectious.”
“The board believes it has found the right person to lead our already outstanding schools to even greater success,” she said.
Two other large Georgia districts — Atlanta and DeKalb County schools — are searching for new superintendents. They say they plan to have leaders in place by July 1.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)