The McAllen ISD Board of Trustees named Dr. J.A. Gonzalez as the lone finalist for the district’s superintendent position July 14.

Dr. Gonzalez has spent 18 years with McAllen ISD (20 overall), serving in multiple key roles.

He has served as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Instructional Leadership since 2012.

His primary role included coaching, supervising and evaluating all principals in the district. Dr. Gonzalez has also served as a Principal, Assistant Principal, Teacher and Coach in multiple sports.

He will oversee a district which has all of its high schools nationally ranked. McAllen ISD has 33 campuses and serves more than 24,000 students.

“I’m honored and privileged to be selected,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “I’ve been with the district a long time. We have outstanding principals and phenomenal teachers. I’m going to work hard to do what’s best for children.”

Trustee Marco Suarez made the motion to name Dr. Gonzalez as the lone finalist and Trustee Conrado Alvarado seconded the motion.

Following a state-required 21-day waiting period, Trustees are expected to offer Dr. Gonzalez a contract for the position when they meet on August 4.

As Associate Superintendent, Dr. Gonzalez led the District Instructional Leadership Seminar, which focuses on leadership for principals, directors and coordinators. The District Instructional Leadership Institute is designed to cultivate aspiring principals and assistant principals from throughout the district. He is a former state finalist for Principal of the Year and a participant in The Principals’ Center at Harvard University.

“He was the first and best choice,” School Board President Sam Saldivar Jr. said.

The School Board considered 28 applicants and interviewed six candidates on July 5-6 before naming Dr. Gonzalez as the lone finalist. J.G. Consulting of San Antonio facilitated the national search for the new superintendent. Since the Board felt community feedback was vital, information gathered in an online survey, community-related meetings and meetings with city leaders was all part of the process.

“That additional information was invaluable as we continued our search,” Saldivar said.

“I want to assure the community … we are united. We are going to work together,” Trustee Johnathan Ball said. “This process was thorough. It was transparent. I congratulate Dr. Gonzalez.”

The position came open when former superintendent Dr. James Ponce resigned in February to take an education position in the Dallas area. Ponce served as McAllen ISD’s superintendent from 2009-16.

The School Board appointed Dr. Gonzalez as Interim Superintendent on February 8. Officially, he will continue to serve as Interim Superintendent until August 4.