UPDATE: The ECISD board has scheduled a special meeting for Friday, May 22, at 5:30 p.m. at the Board Room at 411 N. 8th Street. It will be a closed door session with three items on the agenda:

• Discussion with school attorney on items exempted under attorney-client privilege.

• Discussion of salary and benefits for new superintendent of schools.

• Conduct interviews of selected applicants for superintendent of schools.

The search for the new Superintendent of the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District is underway. With 32 applicants for the position, the board will evaluate and rank each candidate. A special meeting will be called and present the evaluation of each candidate.

The deadline to apply for the superintendent position was April 10. According to Jacques Trevino, the ECISD attorney, approximately half of the candidates have a Ph.D, have an average of 15 years experience and have held a high-ranking position. Candidates applying are current superintendents or have been past superintendents.

Each applicant will be screened, have a background check and narrowed down to the top candidates by a search committee that consists of school employees, teachers, a member of the public and a member of the student council, Trevino said.

“This committee will evaluate and rank all of the candidates, after each applicant is ranked there will be a special board member meeting to present to the school board the evaluation of the committee. From that list, the board will decide how many candidates to interview for the position,” Trevino said.

Once the top candidates have been selected, the interviewing committee will conduct one hour block interviews with each candidate, interviews will be audio taped.

Trevino said under state law, the school district has to announce a candidate for superintendent to the public for 21 days. The new superintendent will have two weeks to meet with school officials and will be part of the last school board meeting of the school year — before beginning their new role as superintendent in the new upcoming school year.

School board president, Omar Palacios said about half of the candidates are from the Rio Grande Valley. “It is a really good mix of people; we have a lot of people that are local or statewide. I am really happy with the results of the search,” he said.

The name of the candidate will be made public by the end of the month. Current ECISD superintendent Gilberto Garza Jr. announced his retirement earlier this year, effective in June.