RRISD parents ask for public forum with superintendent finalist, postponing hiring

Hafedh Azaiez is currently superintendent at Donna ISD in South Texas. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Hafedh Azaiez is currently superintendent at Donna ISD in South Texas. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)

Hafedh Azaiez is currently superintendent at Donna ISD in South Texas. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)

A total of 16 Round Rock ISD parents spoke out against the possible hiring of superintendent finalist Dr. Hafedh Azaiez without offering a town hall or meeting on June 10.

The RRISD board of trustees announced Azaiez as the finalist for their superintendent selection process May 21, but have not scheduled a town hall for parents to speak with him and learn about his plans for the district.

“I'm a parent, and I have children at Harrington [Elementary], Hopewell [Middle] and Stony Point [High schools],” Tiffany Bus said at the meeting. “As you're meeting to discuss the salary for the lone finalist for superintendent, a few questions remain. Why have you done this entire superintendent search process in closed session? Why has it been so rushed? Why have you not made Dr. Azaiez available to the taxpayers that will pay his salary? What are you hiding? Our concerns for the superintendent candidate have not been addressed, and we continue to feel marginalized through this process.”

Bus said Austin ISD had held three public forums that allowed their prospective superintendent to engage with parents and answer questions. Bus and multiple other parents spoke to a point of questioning why the district had not given parents an opportunity to learn more about Azaiez and voice any concerns about his performance as superintendent in Donna ISD. One parent asked that hiring be postponed until he is made available to the community.

Place 7 trustee Danielle Weston moved that discussion item D1, which would have the board consult with their legal counsel about the contract for Dr. Azaiez, be tabled for that meeting. Her motion was seconded by Place 2 trustee Mary Bone.


“I do have some explanation about why I've got some regrets about our superintendent search,” Weston said. “I'm going to be very honest with you. I've expressed that to you all privately. I'm now expressing that publicly, that I could have done a better job at advocating for more transparency and for a slower process. And I'm going to own that. This is not the first mistake that I've made in my life, and it won't be the last.”

Bone also shared a statement regarding the contract, saying the single day board members had been given to review the 11-page contract was not sufficient. By dividing time between the budget and the hiring of a superintendent, Bone said she felt not enough attention had been paid to either.

“I do not feel that we are dedicating the appropriate time to both and therefore both will most likely suffer,” Bone said. “And when both suffer, the only people that will suffer are the children in Round Rock ISD. I ask that we pull back and take the time our children and community [and] taxpayers deserve to give them both a sound budget, which also now includes a discussion on virtual and a qualified superintendent that can be held accountable through a well-crafted contract.”

Weston’s motion was amended to limit discussion of the contract to 30 minutes in closed session. Without a second after its amendment, the motion failed.

The board will meet again at 12:30 p.m. on June 14, with a vote on employment of a superintendent on the agenda.
By Brooke Sjoberg
Brooke Sjoberg is the Round Rock reporter for the Round Rock and Pflugerville/Hutto editions of Community Impact Newspaper. She worked for The Gonzales Inquirer, The Daily Texan and The Daily Dot among other publications before coming to Community Impact. Brooke is from Seguin, TX and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Her last name is pronounced Show-burg.


MOST RECENT

Lingering symptoms, long-term impact of COVID-19 will take time to fully understand

Dr. Mary Katherine Theoktisto answers questions regarding the virus.

The Round Rock ISD board of trustees reiterated the district's previous announcement regarding virtual learning for the fall 2021 semester at its board meeting on June 10. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock ISD will not offer virtual learning this fall

Round Rock ISD will not be offering virtual learning in the fall.

Salvation Pizza, opening in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport June 16, is one of several new pizza options in the Austin area. (Courtesy Salvation Pizza)
Pie chart: See a map of 11 new, coming-soon pizza options in the Austin area

New spots include Above Ground Pizza opening in New Bruanfels after several permitting delays and Salvation Pizza feeding travelers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Photo of Congress Street
The Moontower Comedy Festival will return in September

Headliners for the four-day festival include Margaret Cho, Dave Attell and others.

The extension of Kenney Fort Boulevard is underway north of Hwy. 79. (Amy Bryant/Community Impact Newspaper)
North-south road in Round Rock makes progress; homestead exemption OK'd in Leander and more Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

The property being approved for rezoning from C-1 to PUD at the intersection of Greenlawn and Louis Henna Boulevards will become home to The District if approved. (Courtesy City of Round Rock)
Round Rock City Council approves rezoning for Round Rock Lofts, first reading for The District

Round Rock City Council approves rezoning for Round Rock Lofts, first reading for The District June 10

The grant, if awarded, would give the city $180,000 to purchase 12 vehicles and implement charging infrastructure. (Courtesy)
Round Rock City Council to submit application for TCEQ electric vehicle grant

The Round Rock City Council voted to submit an application for a TCEQ electric vehicle grant June 10.

The reappointment of Place 2 Round Rock City Council member Rene Flores as mayor pro tem and associate municipal judges Sandra Fitzpatrick and Lucas Wilson were approved by Council at its June 10 meeting. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock City Council reappoints associate municipal judges, mayor pro tem

Round Rock City Council reappoints associate municipal judges and mayor pro tem.

Walking inside the shop, a variety of hats are perched along the wall ranging from film noir fedoras to cowboys hats. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hutto hat shop owner creates custom pieces inspired by classic films

Owner Jimmy Pierce said his favorite part of the process is seeing a customer’s face light up as they try on their hat in the mirror.

Chief Financial Officer Susan Morgan gave a presentation of the city’s Long Range Financial Planning 5-Year Overview, stating that the city will continue to reduce its reliance on sales tax in its budget. (Courtesy Pexels)
Here's how the city of Round Rock's tax revenues could change in the next five years

City of Round Rock revenues could change to rely slightly less on sales tax by 2026.