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I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all so very much for this wonderful honor.

A special thank you to my wife, Peru, and my children, Joe Douglas, Samantha, and Joshua, who are nine, eight and seven, in first, second and third grade. 

Also, a big thank you to the Texas Association of School Administrators and also to the Texas Association of School Boards for your commitment to ensuring that every child in the great state of Texas has access to a quality education. 

I would also like to thank the TASB selection committee for seeing something special in McAllen ISD and I. 

And to all the superintendents that were selected for your regions and to all the finalists. I looked at your bios and I looked at all the work you all have done and I am so honored and I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful group in 2020 of outstanding superintendents.

To my colleagues in Region One and the Region One Service Center and all the superintendents, thank you for all the well-wishes. Region One is a tight-knit powerhouse and we do a lot down here in South Texas and I’m very proud of my colleagues and everything that they do. 

To the McAllen ISD board of trustees, that you all so very much for believing in me. Thank you all for holding me to a high standard, for holding me accountable and for all the oversight and direction that you provide myself and the district as we continue to thrive in this environment. Each one of you motivates me in a unique way and I thank you all for that. I appreciate you all. 

And this award would not be possible without the entire McAllen ISD family, from the executive leadership team to the principals and directors and coordinators, everybody, all 3,000 employees. 

Thank you so much to our teachers. Thank you for grinding and for pushing hard, even in this remote environment. And to our wonderful students. Thank you for putting us on the map. We are an “A” rated school district, with a post-secondary readiness distinction and a perfect score on the financial integrity rating system of Texas, because of all of you.

So, thank you.

And in closing, as educators we are in the dream business. We are entrepreneurs of the human spirit and I commend every superintendent in the great state of Texas for all that you are doing for the children of our great state. 

I have the utmost respect for all for you. To all the school board members out there. Thank you all so much for everything that you do for your school districts. We appreciate you all. 

To the Texas Education Agency and Commissioner Mike Morath. Thank you for leading in these difficult times. 

And, finally, I dedicate this award to my father and my mother. I hope that I made you all proud. 

Thank you. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was the acceptance speech given by Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, superintendent of McAllen ISD, when he was named Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards on Oct. 1, 2020. Gonzalez is the first superintendent from McAllen ISD to ever win this award. He can be reached via this email: [email protected].


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