Following a Dec. 15, 2022, appointment as Austin ISD’s interim superintendent, Matias Segura said he strives to bring a supportive and stable environment to everyone in the district and will continue to do so as long as he has the ability, noting his contract is valid through June 2024.

Current situation

Officials originally intended for Segura to serve as interim superintendent through June 2023; however, on March 30, trustees extended his contract an additional year. AISD Board President Arati Singh said there is not a definite timeline for when trustees will go back to the drawing board to hire a superintendent; however, the interim search firm contract with GR Recruiting will remain intact.

The plan

Segura said one way he plans to continue to provide the much-needed support for teachers and staff is by listening to needs, as well as being visible and accessible.

“Having educators in class that feel supported is critical; we have to be direct about it—for educators, librarians, etc.—we are putting forth an effort to let people know we value them and that we understand there have been challenges. We want to empower them,” Segura said.

The results

Part of the solution to a lack of support for teachers and staff was rectified when trustees unanimously passed a compensation package May 18 increasing salaries across the board, Segura said.

According to data compiled by AISD officials as of June, there were fewer than 70 available positions in the district compared to June 2022 when there were nearly 1,000 vacancies.

How we got here

The search for a permanent superintendent began in May 2022 after former Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde was named the lone finalist for superintendent of Dallas ISD and accepted the job. In June, Anthony Mays was named interim superintendent, but accepted a job as superintendent at a Houston-area district in November. Following his departure, Segura was appointed interim superintendent at a board meeting Dec. 15.

At that time, trustees said they planned to have a permanent superintendent in place by the summer of 2023 after hiring search firm GR Recruiting; however, on March 30, trustees called a special meeting to extend the agreement with Segura while also slowing the $42,000 search for a permanent superintendent. Singh said shifting focus to addressing students’ immediate needs was first priority, and the district would benefit from uninterrupted leadership for the time being.

Looking ahead

Segura said he has felt confident with his abilities to reset and refocus the district since the beginning of his tenure because his background has always been in moving difficult work forward.

“The system is responding favorably to what’s changed so far,” Segura said. "I genuinely believe that stronger schools will result in a strong Austin, and I love this community. I am humbled and honored to be leading, and I will do it as well as I can for as long as I can. Austin ISD is home.”