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20130719 Ricardo-Lopez-headshotThe Mission CISD (Consolidated Independent School District) Board of Trustees has approved a contract with Ricardo Lopez to serve as the district’s new superintendent. Lopez was approved as the lone finalist for the position in July. He will officially begin his duties, on site, on August 12.

“I am very excited to make the move to Mission and to begin the process of becoming an active part of the community,” said Ricardo Lopez. “I have already begun the process of getting to know the district and its programs. This process will continue once I arrive. The big goal is to work with the board of trustees, our instructional leaders and the community to continue to move Mission CISD forward; with students being put in the forefront of anything the district does.”

Lopez, has 18 years of experience in the field of education, starting off as a classroom teacher and leading to his most recent position as an area associate superintendent for Ysleta ISD in El Paso. As an area associate superintendent, Lopez has been in charge of 25 schools serving 17,000 students in grades PK-12. Lopez said he has handled the same responsibilities as a regular superintendent. This includes: construction, instruction, finance, and operational aspects of elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.

During his tenure as an area associate superintendent, the schools under his responsibility saw an increase in graduation rates, increased SAT scores, increased student scholarship amounts, improved TAKS/EOC passing rates. He also led a realignment of 85-year-old boundaries to best meet student needs. He oversaw the seamless transition of 6th grade students to the middle school. Lopez’s area comprises more than half of the district’s English Language Learner population, and includes the nationally renowned Alicia Chacon International School – a model of dual language and trilingual literacy.

Before assuming this role, Lopez served as the principal of Del Valle High School (DVHS) for three years. Under his watch, DVHS was rated “Exemplary” by the Texas Education Agency and was the first Recognized high school in Region XIX. All enrolled seniors graduated with their class and the campus was highlighted in Texas Monthly Magazine for its dual language program. As principal of Desert View Middle School, he led the campus to recognition as a Texas Mentor/Pathfinder School and as an Elmer Watson Award Recipient.

Lopez is widely recognized for his proven success in leading schools to closing opportunity gaps for all learners. In 2010 and 2011, YISD was one of the school districts in America to be named a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize in Education. YISD received high marks for its progress in decreasing achievement gaps and for student participation in SAT test participation.

Lopez has received numerous awards in recognition of his leadership and scholarship, including being named one of the El Paso Times Top 40 People under 40 and both Ysleta ISD and Region XIX Teacher of the Year. He is currently a Cooperative Superintendency Doctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Master of Arts from New Mexico State University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso. He has been published in Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies and is a recipient of the University of Texas at Austin Recruitment Fellowship.

Lopez replaces Dr. Cornelio Gonzalez, who left Mission CISD at the end of June to take a position as the executive director for the Region One Education Service Center. Dr. Gonzalez had been with Mission CISD for 3 1/2 years.

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