ODESSA--The Ector County ISD Superintendent Hector Mendez announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year when his contract expires June 30. Mendez made the announcement at the ECISD school board meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Mendez has worked in education for 38 years and now he has another focus. Mendez's retirement comes on the cusp of new district changes.
At ECISD the district motto is 'A Tradition of Excellence'.
The tradition will have to be passed to another superintendent to carry the torch. ECISD parent, Armida Tarin has students in elementary and middle school. Tarin said the change of superintendents could be big.
Mendez said after serving six years as district super he's ready to change his education robes.
"It's been a very long career a very rewarding career...It's that point, I've reach that point and it's time for me to move forward," said Mendez.
In Tuesday afternoon's closed door meeting between Mendez and the rest of the school board, the group met for an hour and a half as they discussed Mendez's contract and worked to draw up a retirement agreement. Finally, the board came forth with a unanimous decision announcing the district had come to an agreement in relation to Mendez's retirement.
In the next year, ECISD is expecting to see a lot of changes in new schools and switching to a district wide middle school model that would take sixth grade out of elementary school and add it to junior high school. The move will make is to that students grades six through eight will attend school together.
Tarin said, even though Mendez is leaving the district will be able to move forward.
"I think having a good school board is gonna help and having your support from your parents your teachers and your principal...it could be done," said Tarin.
Under the Mendez leadership, the district was able to get citizens to vote to approve a nearly $130 million bond for district development in the November elections.
Tarin said, "I do believe the district has improved."
While it begins to sink in that more changes are coming, Mendez will focus on his other job.
"It's time for me now to devote and dedicate more time... more of my time to family."
As the end of Mendez's contract nears, the district decided that if a new superintendent is hired before then, Mendez will serve as advisor to the new super.
ODESSA -- Ector County I.S.D. Superintendent Hector Mendez will be retiring at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.
E.C.I.S.D. officials tell Big 2 that Mendez will retire when his contract expires on June 30th.
Mendez's decision comes after a meeting was held on Tuesday afternoon by the E.C.I.S.D. Board of Trustees surrounding Mendez's contract status.
The following is a press release from E.C.I.S.D. on Mendez's retirement
Superintendent Hector Mendez announces retirement
During a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon Superintendent Hector Mendez announced his intention to retire at the end of this school year. Mr. Mendez is finishing his 38th year in public education, his 33rd in ECISD, and his sixth as superintendent.
"It has come time for me, soon to be 63, to look at my future and family, and other activities I'm involved in. I'm officially going to retire on June 30," Mr. Mendez stated. He thanked the Trustees, the community, and all of ECISD's staff for making his a long and rewarding career. "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve this district for 33 years. I still run into former students and parents and that is one of the many joys of this job."
Mr. Mendez began teaching in San Angelo Independent School District. His one year there was followed by four in Midland ISD before being hired by ECISD in August of 1980. He served the students of Ector County as a teacher, principal, executive director, and assistant superintendent. In July 2007 Trustees named him the temporary interim superintendent, removed the temporary shortly thereafter, and ultimately hired him as the full-time superintendent in May 2008. He was given a three-year contract at that time. After two years that original contract was extended by two years through June 2013.
During his tenure, Mr. Mendez led the District and community through several significant events. He spearheaded the year-long strategic planning sessions that ended with the development of a five-year comprehensive plan for the school district. He guided the district through the mediation process that led to the settlement of the decades-old desegregation lawsuit and the development of a new Diversity Definition for student enrollment. Mr. Mendez held discussions with groups of high school students that began the investigation of and eventual formation of New Tech Odessa and its emphasis on project-based learning. And he played a central role in the development and passage of the largest school bond election -- $129.75 million - in school district history in November 2012.
"In taking care of my duties I have not been as attentive to my family," added Mr. Mendez. "I've missed things. After a lot of reflection, thought, and prayer, it is time to move into that next phase of my life."
He has been married to Rose for 42 years and they have five children and 9 grandchildren.
The Board of Trustees spent approximately one-and-a-half hours in closed session discussing his contract before returning to the board room and voting unanimously (7-0) to have a retirement agreement drawn up that will allow Mr. Mendez to remain superintendent through June 30 or work as a consultant through June 30 if another superintendent is hired before that date. The Board also voted to give him a 3% raise - the same raise given to all employees last summer - retroactive to the beginning of this school year as well as pay him for his accrued leave.
The meeting adjourned at 2:12 p.m.