Seguin will be looking for a new leader after Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez announced on Friday that he had accepted a position in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Madison Metropolitan School District issued a press release on Friday, trumpeting the hire to its community.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, it is a great honor and privilege to share this exciting news with our community,” MMSD Board of Education President Gloria Reyes said in a news release on Friday. “Although it is the board who makes the final selection, it was unprecedented community input that helped develop a leadership profile representing the voices of our community serving as our guide. The level of community involvement in this process is something to be very proud of.” 

Gutierrez was honored and humbled to have earned the selection of the MMSD board, and is ready to step into his new role, he said.

“During my visit to Madison, I was extremely impressed with the high level of community involvement and how community members hold education as a top priority,” he said. “I realize that with this role comes a tremendous responsibility, and I will work hard to ensure that we keep our strategic framework goals and our students at the center of what we do. Community engagement and support to teachers, students and families will be top priorities.” 

Gutierrez was the top selection out of three candidate finalists and was among about 30 applicants.

People in the Seguin ISD wished Gutierrez good luck.

“On behalf of the Seguin ISD board of trustees, we wish Dr. Gutierrez continued success in his career,” said Cinde Thomas-Jimenez, Seguin ISD school board president. “His leadership and professionalism has been integral in building a lasting, positive culture in Seguin ISD.”

His previous work with a search firm put him on the path to Madison, Gutierrez said. 

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a search firm and they felt Madison would have been a good fit,” he said. “There were some personal reasons why I felt I would entertain the idea and explore, and I did and I ended up going through the entire process.”

Gutierrez came to Seguin ISD in July 2017 to head up the district that has about 7,300 students, a pre-kindergarten campus, seven elementaries, two middle schools, one high school and two specialized alternative learning centers. In his almost three years at SISD, he created a five-year strategic plan and oversaw the passage a $64.7 million bond election in May 2019.

He has implemented new programs including Rigor and Relevance to help the district succeed academically, has worked closely with district employees, key stakeholders and a student advisory committee. 

Gutierrez said the work he began in Seguin isn’t over.

“I feel like there is certainly still work to be done in Seguin,” he said. “I don’t know if there would ever have been a right time. I felt personally and professionally it was the right time.”

Madison Metropolitan School District serves about 27,000 students in 52 campuses and is the second largest school district in the state, according to its website. 

Gutierrez plans to continue as Seguin’s top administrator until June 1 to finish out the school year, according to the release.

The decision to apply or accept the position didn’t come easy, Gutierrez said.

“This has been an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “My experience here in Seguin has been amazing. The outpouring of support has been just something I believe has helped make the last several years a success. I still feel so strongly about the work here that I am committed to staying to finish the school year because I really do believe that our campuses are making significant academic progress.”

The Seguin ISD board of trustees will begin discussing the next steps for the district and the timeline for a superintendent search.

“The transition will include opportunity for public input and feedback on qualities that an ideal superintendent candidate will possess in order to lead our district,” Thomas-Jimenez said.

Felicia Frazar is the managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at felicia.frazar@seguingazette.com .

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(3) comments

Dldmny

According to the Capital Times in Madison, the prior MMSD Superintendent resigned after six years. The student body (27,500) demographic, academic scores, and challenges are similar to those in Seguin.

Shepard

As noted by readers in the previous columns comments, Seguin needs to look a lot closer into the issues this superintendent leaves behind, namely the poor grades and knowledge retention rates.

I look to the school board to work harder to find the right individual to take Mr. Gutierrez’s place and implore them to investigate why we are not meeting the minimum standards.

Also, a portion of the salary for the next superintendent should be based on performance and we look to the school board to sign a contract that reflects the expectations of the community.

Dldmny

The concern for public education ix not unique to Seguin, it has been a global issue for a long time. Citizens typically address the goals, methods, cost, and effectiveness. Additionally, we must also be concerned about the student perspective of the problem, for they have little choice in this matter. Many students feel that attending school involves work during the school day and homework which is often difficult, time-consuming, and not always meaningful to them. Many parents share those concerns and lack in providing the required support. Superintendents must address the entire range of these issues. There is likely no single solution, and I would hope that candidates would be aware of and capable of addressing the challenges of this position.

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