DALLAS — As expected, the superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District announced on Thursday that he will be leaving his position at the end of 2022.
Dr. Michael Hinojosa made the announcement official during a press conference that followed DISD's monthly board of trustees meeting, where he formally tendered his resignation.
"I am going to exit as superintendent," Hinojosa said at the afternoon press conference. "My last official day will be December 31 of 2022."
It was an announcement some people said they expected would come for some time -- but that didn't necessarily make it an easy pill to swallow considering the 13 years of service Hinojosa has provided the school district across two different stints in its top role.
"We want to thank him for all of the work in making Dallas ISD one of the fastest-growing large school districts in the entire nation,” said Ben Mackey, Dallas ISD board president.
Hinojosa has most recently been at the helm of Dallas ISD since 2015 when school board members confirmed his return to the district as superintendent. He initially served in that role from 2005 to 2011.
At the Thursday press conference, Hinojosa refused to address rumors that he is leaving the school district at the end of the year to pursue political ambitions. Still, sources in the school district said the veteran educator may be planning a possible run for mayor of Dallas in 2023.
"I'm not going to mess with that," Hinojosa said when pressed on any future mayoral campaigns. "I'm going to land this plane -- and, in the future, I'll talk about that. But not now. And that race -- that situation -- is long, far away. So, I need to stay focused on what I’m doing right now."
Whoever is tapped to become Dallas ISD’s next superintendent has some big shoes to fill. School board trustee Pastor Maxie Johnson said equity should be among any candidate's priorities when considering the role.
"[We have to] make sure that whoever gets this position understands that all kids matter," Johnson said.
Trustee Joyce Foreman said she wants a smooth transition, and a process inclusive of the trustees.
"I am laser-focused on the 150,000 students that we have in DISD and assuring that we have someone who can take the helm and continue the success that we experienced," Foreman said.
Leaders among Dallas teachers and support staff will also be focused on the search for the next superintendent.
"Our main thing is to make sure that we find somebody who is as supportive as Dr. Hinojosa is," said Shelia Walker, president of NEA Dallas, a union that represents people who work for DISD.
Looking back at his still-ongoing tenure, Hinojosa said he is proud of supporting programs that are allowing students to achieve associate's degrees upon high school graduation, growing dual language programs and other initiatives.
The search for a new superintendent will begin in January 2023. Board members said the process will involve community input, and that they will consider internal and external candidates alike.