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Friday, February 14, 2014 - 12:05am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Controversy is rising within the academic community over the Ysleta Independent School District's finalist for superintendent. Xavier De La Torre is a familiar face here in the Borderland. Having served three years as Socorro Independent School District’s superintendent with what many say is a stellar reputation but his role as the Santa Clara County Superintendent of Education in California, has left critics with much more to be desired.
Xavier De La Torre may be a familiar face among borderland academics. "I've heard of his name but I don't know too much about him,” Polo Stala, whose grandchildren attends a YISD school. However, among parents, his name is the only familiar thing about him.
"No, I just got into town I haven't caught up with anything,” Bobby Ruice, another parent whose children attend a YISD school told us.
His unfamiliarity may prove to be a positive factor for the former SISD Superintendent. "To be fair to Dr. De La Torre we need to start with a clean slate,” Shane Haggerty, a Trustee for YISD told us.
Recently, De La Torre, has found himself in hot water after California news outlets revealed employee complaints about his current role as Santa Clara County's Superintendent of Education. "The few and the loud who may have not been in full support of the reorganization (in his role as Superintendent of Education),” Xavier De La Torre told us in a phone interview. De La Torre addressed the allegations briefly. "I have not changed in terms of my disposition and the climate and the culture that I create in organizations."
But was much more chatty about his past role as Socorro's superintendent. "I'm focused strictly on preparing myself to do much of what I did when I was in the Socorro Independent School District."
During his time at Socorro from 2009 to 2012, SISD was named a finalist for a national broad prize for urban education twice and earned a Texas Education Agency Award, three times. "I hope he's able to move our district to that next level,” Haggerty explained.
Shane Haggerty is a YISD Trustee, a parent, and a little skeptical. "I'm going to keep what I read. I'm going to keep it in my mind. And I'm going to hold him to task,” Haggerty told us.
Though his reputation may precede him the sole YISD Superintendent finalist tells us he is looking forward to coming back to the borderland.
In his current position, Xavier De La Torre currently oversees more than 30 school districts and has received an unsatisfactory review.