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Harlandale ISD names interim superintendent

Superintendent Rey Madrigal was terminated with pay.

SAN ANTONIO — The superintendent of Harlandale ISD has been suspended with pay and now an interim superintendent has been named. The board gave a notice of termination to superintendent Rey Madrigal in the midst of a state overhaul.  

The district has named Samantha Gallegos as the interim superintendent. Harlandale ISD said Gallegos has 28 years of experience and most recently served as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the district. Her appointment is effective immediately.

This comes following a letter sent exactly one week ago. The TEA listed "multiple complaints" of alleged violations by the Harlandale board of trustees and superintendent as their reason. Issues were related to what the agency calls "contracting practices," "nepotism" and "open meeting act violations." At Gillette Elementary, for example, a repair job ballooned from costing $185,000 dollars to $4.4 million. The TEA said proper bidding and oversight procedures were not followed.

PREVIOUSLY: Harlandale ISD under scrutiny as state education officials step in

PREVIOUSLY: TEA announces sanctions on Harlandale ISD

They also allege the board has been wrongfully meddling in day-to-day operations of the district, with some board members accused of threatening employees who wouldn't do their bidding.

The TEA is planning to have a conservator oversee the district, lower the district's accreditation status and appoint a board of managers. According to the TEA, a district’s accreditation status is lowered to Accredited-Warned when “the district exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies.”

Board president Ricardo Moreno sent KENS 5 a statement saying: "We at Harlandale ISD continue to be committed in fostering an environment where our goals center on student outcomes and student achievements."

At Monday’s meeting, Harlandale ISD also voted to request a formal review of the appointment of the board of managers and assignment of accreditation warned status.

Harlandale ISD operates 14 elementary schools, five middle schools and four high schools on San Antonio’s south side.

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