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Mesquite ISD names lone finalist for superintendent position

The move fills one of 10 superintendent positions that are currently open in North Texas.

MESQUITE, Texas — One of the school superintendent openings in North Texas is set to be filled.

The Mesquite Independent School District on Monday announced deputy superintendent Ángel Rivera as the lone finalist for the district's top job.

Texas law requires a 21-day waiting period before Rivera can officially be named superintendent.

Former superintendent David Vroonland announced he was retiring in December, one of 10 departures among superintendents in North Texas in recent months. The exits include leaders Fort Worth, Plano, Dallas and Richardson, and, as of Monday night, Little Elm.

For Mesquite, a district of about 40,000 students, the school board "has complete and unwavering confidence that Dr. Rivera is truly the right person to lead this district into the future," school board president Eddie Rose said in a news release.

“Dr. Rivera is no stranger to Mesquite ISD and is responsible for crafting and fine tuning many of the programs and initiatives currently in place," Rose said.

Rivera, an Army veteran, grew up in Boston and Puerto Rico before joining the military in 1992. After seven years of service, he moved to the Houston area, where he taught middle school science in the Pasadena Independent School District. 

Rivera later moved into administration, as a principal and then as an area director for the Garland Independent School District. In 2018, he came to Mesquite as the district's chief of strategic initiatives and partnerships. 

Less than a year after arriving at Mesquite, he was promoted to assistant superintendent of innovation and leadership. 

“From the moment I arrived in Mesquite, I knew this is the place wanted to stay, and I knew I could make a difference,” Rivera said in the news release. “I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity. It is a dream come true for my family and me, and I am honored that the Board Members have placed their trust in me and my leadership.”

Vroonland, Mesquite's retiring superintendent, supported Rivera's hiring.

“He has been integral in moving the work of the district forward," Vroonland said. "Dr. Rivera’s collaborative, relational leadership style makes him particularly adept at solving problems, and I have every confidence he will serve the district well in this new role.”

Rivera has a bachelor's degree from University of Houston-Clear Lake, a master's degree from the University of St. Thomas and a doctorate of education from Stephen F. Austin State University.

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