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Arlington superintendent is tops in region

School may be out for the summer, but Arlington school district Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos is still earning high marks.

Education Service Center Region 11, which serves 77 school districts and 52 charter schools in North Texas, recently named Cavazos as its 2016 Superintendent of the Year. Praising his leadership as the district established a host of new programs, including a STEM academy, a collegiate high school, and police and fire academies, the Arlington school board nominated Cavazos for the award, sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards.

Arlington board President Jamie Sullins said Cavazos has led a districtwide transformation “in a time that can still be measured in months, not the years and years that you may expect.”

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In addition, “Dr. Cavazos has an exceptional reverence for the worth and potential of every kid in our system and every employee, and he wants to make sure that they see it in themselves,” she said.

Cavazos began his career as an English teacher in the Mission consolidated school district in 1990. He also worked in the Texas Education Agency department of school finance and support before joining Arlington in 1999 as associate superintendent for instruction. He was named deputy superintendent in 2009.

Cavazos’ 3  1/2 years as superintendent have included voter approval of a $663.1 million bond program in May 2014. Since then, the district has opened two fine arts/dual-language academies, expanded community-based pre-kindergarten offerings, and signed agreements with the University of Texas at Arlington, University of North Texas and Tarrant County College to give high school students greater access to dual-credit and early admission options.

Cavazos said he was “humbled and honored” by the award.

“This award really reflects the hard work of our teachers, our staff and, most importantly, our students and the work that they do every single day as they prepare for their futures,” Cavazos said. “I’m honored to represent them at this level.”

A committee of school board members from across Region 11 judged the nominations based on leadership, dedication to improving the quality of education and ability to build good relationships.

Cavazos now moves to the state competition. A state winner will be announced at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards joint annual convention in September.

Twitter: @tracipeterson

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