MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Metropolitan School District Friday announced the selection of Dr. Matthew Gutiérrez as the next Superintendent of Schools.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, it is a great honor and privilege to share this exciting news with our community,” said Gloria Reyes, Board of Education President. “Although it is the Board who makes the final selection, it was unprecedented community input that helped develop a
leadership profile representing the voices of our community serving as our guide."
Gutiérrez is currently the Superintendent of the Seguin Independent School District in Seguin, Texas.
He previously served as deputy superintendent with the Plano Independent School District with 54,000 students and before that as an interim superintendent and human resources director in the Little Elm Independent School District.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the new superintendent of the Madison Public School System, and I am excited to join the Madison Community and the MMSD family,” Gutiérrez said in a news release. “During my visit to Madison, I was extremely impressed with the high level of community involvement and how community members hold education as a top priority. I realize that with this role comes a tremendous responsibility, and I will work hard to ensure that we keep our strategic framework goals and our students at the center of what we do. Community engagement and support to teachers, students and families will be top priorities.”
At a Friday afternoon news conference at district headquarters, Reyes said Gutierrez's commitment to "black excellence" with the district's African American students helped him best the other two finalists for the position. The Madison school district has struggled with a persistent, racial acheievement gap.
Gutierrez's selection also makes him the first Latino to lead the 24,000 student Madison district.
"For our students to see a Latino, our first Latino superintendent, it is a powerful message to our students, all out students that anyone in this city and community can succeed," Reyes said.
There have been calls for the district to remove police officers from the city's four high schools. The contract between the district and the Madison Police Department contains a clause that could trigger the removal of the assigned officer to a given school under certain circumstances. Reyes did not comment on Gutierrez's stance on the issue. But she said during listening sessions, Gutierrez heard a majority of participating students urge a continued police presence in the four high schools.
Reyes said the 39-year old Gutierrez's selection by school board members was unanimous. Reyes said the recent resignation of finalist Eric Thomas from his educational leadership position in Georgia was not a factor in passing him over for Gutierrez.
Reyes said Gutierrez would begin his tenure as Madison's superintendent June 1. The details of his pay and contract terms were not disclosed Friday.