The Cobb County Board of Education plans to vote on whether to hire Michael Hinojosa as the school superintendent, effective July 1, during a special called meeting this afternoon at 3. The board announced Hinojosa, now the head of the Dallas Independent School District, as its sole finalist to replace retiring Superintendent Fred Sanderson at the board meeting May 19. During a mandatory 14-day waiting period, Hinojosa held three public meet-and-greet sessions.
4:10 p.m. Here's what Hinojosa has to say about becoming the Cobb school system's 24th superintendent, according to the press release from the Cobb schools: "I am truly honored that the school board has selected me to lead this outstanding school district. Cobb schools have an exceptional reputation, and I am thrilled to now be a part of that success. Cobb schools already do so many things very well, so my plan is to first do a lot of listening–to staff and to parents–and I will use that information to determine what is working smoothly and what areas may need our attention. Experience has taught me that positive, supportive leadership can go a long way. I look forward to this great opportunity, and I have no doubt that the Cobb County School District will continue to be a leader and a model for other school districts nationwide."
3:30 p.m. Later we'll have video and photos, plus details from the contract.
3:21 p.m. The opposition crowd starts shouting about voting out school board members and plays to the TV cameras on the way out.
"They rushed this through under the radar," one shouts. "There was no rush."
"You should be ashamed of yourself," another says. "Shame, shame."
3:20 p.m. The board votes 6-0 to hire Hinojosa at $237,000 per year, plus benefits.
3:10 p.m. David Morgan makes the motion to hire Hinojosa, effective July 1, and Kathleen Angelucci seconds it. The only discussion involves board member comments.
Lynnda Crowder-Eagle says there was an internal candidate she could have supported, as well as a Georgia candidate, but the board wasn’t united behind either. “I am willing to support Dr. Hinojosa.”
“I am excited about Dr. Michael Hinojosa,” David Morgan says.
“I think through this vetting process there have been some issues raised about Dr. Hinojosa,” Tim Stultz says. “I think he has tried to answer them to the best of his abilities. I know there are many in the community who still have reservations. … As a board, we can be cautiously optimistic.” He says he hopes Hinojosa will use his first 90 days to listen and find out what kind of community Cobb is.
“I look forward to voting for Dr. Hinojosa,” Scott Sweeney says, noting that the process of hiring Sanderson’s replacement has taken almost a year. “There was a tremendous group of candidates we looked at. Dr. Hinojosa was the standout candidate.” That comment draws some jeers from the crowd.
Kathleen Angelucci passes on her turn to speak, and Alison Bartlett moves straight to the vote, saving comments for the media afterward.
3:08 p.m. Everyone on the board is here except David Banks. Neither Sanderson nor Hinojosa is here.
3:07 p.m. Seven people opposed to Hinojosa are in the audience, most with signs criticizing illegal immigration, questioning Dallas' SAT scores and such.
3 p.m. We're here live at the Cobb County School District's Central Office for the likely hiring of Michael Hinojosa as superintendent. So far, Chairwoman Alison Bartlett, Vice Chairman Scott Sweeney, and members Tim Stultz and Kathleen Angelucci are here. They're the only four who attended the school board's special called Sunday meeting in January.