Board approves $275K contract for interim AISD leader

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin School Board approved a $275,000 contract for the new interim superintendent.

It’s a big raise for Dr. Paul Cruz; as chief schools officer, he was making about $180,000 a year.

Dr. Meria Carstarphen was making $283,000 as superintendent.

Cruz’s contract will be month-to-month while the district looks for a permanent replacement. Board members said they hope to have a search firm selected by the end of May and start the search process in June.

The school board also selected Jaime Padron Elementary School as the new name for their newest elementary school in North Austin. Senior Austin Police Officer Jaime Padron was killed in the line of duty after being shot by a man inside a North Austin Walmart.

Pearce Middle School was renamed Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy. The school will become AISD’s second all-girls school.

Trustee Cheryl Bradley led the charge. She said Means is an Austin civil rights leader, former teacher, administrator and business leader who helped integrate the city of Austin.

“Not naming it after her would just be wrong,” said Bradley.

A long history of low test scores led the state to close the campus at one time. The top six names included Liz Carpenter, Michelle Obama and State Rep. Dawnna Dukes.

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