February 21, 2022
Educate Texas, an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, announces hiring of former Harlingen CISD superintendent to grow pre-K-12 program and policy work
Educate Texas is honored to announce Dr. Arturo Cavazos as Superintendent in Residence. His new role will play an integral part in growing Educate Texas’ work to improve college readiness, access and success in the Rio Grande Valley, a region that is a focus area for statewide efforts to support all Texas students and teachers. In 2021, Dr. Cavazos retired from Harlingen CISD, where he had led the district as superintendent since 2013 after joining as assistant superintendent for secondary education in 2001 and serving in several other leadership positions, including as Deputy Superintendent for Transformation and School Support.
“I am very excited to join the Educate Texas team for several reasons,” said Dr. Cavazos. “First, I have high hopes for students across the Rio Grande Valley and have appreciated the opportunity to partner with Educate Texas on many occasions over the last decade to share innovations and best practices in the field of education. Second, I am inspired by the fact that Educate Texas never shies away from the difficult work of setting strategic goals and collaborating with the right partners from all sectors. Last but not least, as Educate Texas expands its work in the area of higher education and workforce development, it aligns perfectly with the work that I have done previously in pre-K-12 to prepare students for career pathways and remove barriers to their success.”
Dr. Cavazos was one of the founding members of the leadership team for RGV FOCUS, an initiative of Educate Texas. In 2012, with the recognition that the establishment of an education-focused collective impact initiative in the Rio Grande Valley could greatly improve the educational outcomes across the four-county region, Educate Texas partnered with Valley-based leaders to establish RGV FOCUS in support of the vision that all Rio Grande Valley learners will achieve a degree or credential that leads to a meaningful career and successful life.
In his new role as superintendent in residence, Dr. Cavazos will advance the work of Educate Texas’ 2025 Strategic Plan by deepening our executive team’s expertise in designing partnership opportunities and policy recommendations that best serve public school students and educators. He will also help grow the number of districts and campuses participating in the organization’s programs, which includes a portfolio of work across four key impact areas: college and career readiness, effective teaching, higher education, and collective impact. Currently, Educate Texas has two offices in the region: one in the lower Rio Grande Valley area in Harlingen, and one in the upper Rio Grande Valley area in Mission.
"I am thrilled to have Dr Art Cavazos join Educate Texas as a superintendent in residence supporting Rio Grande Valley pre-K through 12 and higher education leaders to build stronger pathways to postsecondary degrees and certificates, as well supporting better teacher preparation programs,” said John Fitzpatrick, Educate Texas executive director. “Dr. Cavazos is a visionary leader with a track record of both innovation and academic achievement gains for students.”
Before joining Harlingen CISD, Dr. Cavazos began his career in education as a math teacher in Edinburg CISD in 1987. He moved to McAllen ISD in 1990, where he was employed as a math teacher, counselor, and principal. In 1996, he worked as the Director of Secondary Education in Mission CISD, where he led efforts in high school redesign and supervised secondary school principal. He holds a bachelor's degree and master’s degree in education from the University of Texas Pan-American and a doctorate in education from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, he has earned certifications in Mid-Management and Superintendency from the University of Texas Pan-American.
In November 2014, it was announced that Dr. Cavazos was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National ConnectED Superintendents Summit at the White House. He has taken on many leadership roles to further advance public education, including having been appointed as chairman of the State Board of Educator Certification in 2019.