During a Jan. 26 meeting, the Austin ISD board of trustees approved executive search firm GR Recruiting for $42,000 to find the district's next superintendent.

“[Hiring a search firm] gives us access to a far more expansive and growing pipeline of potential candidates,” Trustee Noelita Lugo said.

In total, five firms submitted a bid with AISD, including GR Recruiting, Alma Advisory Group, Eugene Associates PC, McPherson Jacobson LLC, and Ray and Associates Inc.

Jacob Reach, chief officer of governmental relations and board services, said after a comprehensive evaluation by the review committee, GR Recruiting was determined to provide the best value to the district. The review committee consisted of Trustees Lynn Boswell of District 5, Andrew Gonzales of District 6, Candace Hunter of District 1 and Lugo.

GR Recruiting is based out of Fountain Hills, Arizona. According to the GR Recruiting website, the search firm specializes in recruiting educational leaders throughout the country.

Reach said trustees hope the search for the next superintendent will be finished on or before July 1. Until then, Matias Seguro will serve as interim superintendent. Segura was named interim at the Dec. 15 meeting of the board of trustees. His appointment was made after former interim Superintendent Anthony Mays resigned from the district Nov. 10.

The last superintendent search, which resulted in the hiring of former AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, cost the district $45,000. Elizalde resigned in June and served the district for fewer than two years.

Reach said the $42,000 paid to GR Recruiting for the latest superintendent search will go toward advertising, community engagement, travel and related items.

”This is an investment on behalf of the district for the district,” Lugo said. “This search will be transparent and rigorous.”