TEa News Releases Online
Dec. 6, 2012
Commissioner Williams appoints El Paso ISD Board of Managers
EL PASO – Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams today announced the appointment of a five-member board of managers to oversee the management of the El Paso Independent School District.
The board of managers – comprised of a majority of members from the El Paso community – will be responsible for overseeing the management of El Paso ISD (EPISD), including oversight of the district’s efforts to address and correct identified deficiencies and to implement effective, structural and procedural improvement strategies for long-term, positive change.
"This is an extremely critical time for the district, its students, as well as for the community," Williams said. "I am appointing a local board of managers because I believe El Pasoans are in the best position to initiate and sustain long-term, positive change for their school district."
Williams also announced the appointment of Vernon Butler to continue in his current role as interim superintendent when the board of managers is installed. The appointment of the five-member board must be pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice. Because the Texas Education Agency’s action temporarily replaces a seven-member elected board of trustees, federal pre-clearance is necessary.
The federal pre-clearance process is expected to take approximately 60 to 90 days. In the interim, Williams has immediately elevated the role of Dr. Judy Castleberry from TEA monitor to conservator. As conservator, Castleberry will oversee the operations of the district until the board of managers is formally installed. Castleberry has served as monitor for EPISD since her appointment in August.
In August, TEA lowered EPISD’s accreditation status based on findings that the district reported fraudulent data to TEA in order to inflate state and federal accountability scores. The agency found that EPISD failed to comply with requirements of multiple provisions of the Texas Education Code. The agency also found that these failures reflected serious structural and organizational defects within the district that allowed the fraudulent reporting and violations to go unchecked.
Williams is hopeful a board of managers can stabilize and strengthen EPISD and the education it provides to students.
"In my visits to El Paso, I have met and visited with many members of the community who want to make their school district a source of pride once again," Williams said. "With the appointment of a local board of managers, I am confident that the work to restore full confidence in El Paso ISD can be accomplished."2
Once in place, the appointed board of managers will assume all responsibilities of the elected board of trustees. The board of managers will be in place for up to two years. A school board election must be called within two years of this appointment.
The appointment of a board of managers for El Paso ISD was announced by Commissioner Williams and will been submitted to the U.S Department of Justice for pre-clearance. Williams announced four of the five appointees. The fifth appointee will be announced at a future date. The four persons announced and appointed to the board of managers are:
Edmund G. "Ed" Archuleta
Edmund G. "Ed" Archuleta has been manager (President and CEO) of the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board since January 1989. He has announced his retirement from that position. A registered Professional Engineer in Texas, New Mexico, and Iowa, Archuleta is a well established community leader who is currently serving or has assisted several civic organizations, including the United Way, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the Rotary Club, and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria is the Chief Financial Officer for the City of El Paso. She has served in this capacity for more than seven years and has worked extensively in the governmental sector throughout her career. In addition to her professional achievements, she is engaged in the community and volunteers her time for various causes such as the El Paso Chapter of the YWCA and the Center Against Family Violence. She and her husband have three children who attend school in the EPISD.
The Honorable Dee Margo
A resident of El Paso for over three decades, Rep. Dee Margo has served in the Texas House of Representatives representing District 78. For over 30 years Dee has worked at the John D. Williams Company, with El Paso roots dating back to 1898, working his way up through the ranks from Vice President in 1977 to President, Chairman and CEO.
Dr. Judy Castleberry
Dr. Judy Castleberry has served as the TEA monitor in the El Paso ISD since August 2012. A former executive director of the Region 20 Education Service Center (ESC), Castleberry has served in various instructional leadership roles for the Fort Sam Houston ISD and Region 20 ESC.
North Forest ISD was the last independent school district to be appointed a board of managers by the Texas Education Agency in 2008. El Paso ISD represents the largest district ever to be assigned a board of managers in Texas.