The Judson ISD board of trustees Jan. 3 approved a firm for the search of a new superintendent.

This discussion follows a resignation agreement from former Superintendent Jeanette Ball, who resigned in November, and a meeting Dec. 1 to appoint Milton “Rob” Fields III as the interim superintendent and send out a request for qualifications for a superintendent search firm.

After hearing presentations from three firms, the board made the decision to begin negotiations with Hazard Young Attea and Associates.

Each board member supported this decision, approving a motion to give the responsibility of negation to the board president.

District 6 Trustee Renée A. Paschall recommended the fee schedule for HYA be negotiated to a more competitive rate.

“We have the opportunity to negotiate with these folks,” she said. “HYA had that schedule of fees 50% to be invoiced at one particular time and 25% at another time. That is something that, if we were to choose them, that we would talk with them about. “

While the board will begin negotiations with HYA, it does not ensure that the firm will be selected, and the board reserves the right to select a different firm.

District 4 Trustee José Macias said the tentative timeline for candidates is March 30, but he is not opposed to extending that timeline to ensure the best candidate for the position.

“I don’t want to rush the process,” he said. “That is absolutely unacceptable for us to rush through anything. So, if each one of them is putting 120 days to five months, I want to be respectful of that.”

Board President Jennifer Rodríguez noted the board elections in May are a significant factor to the tentative timeline.

“I don’t think any of us on the board would move forward if we didn’t feel comfortable with the candidates that they brought forward to us, but we also agreed as a board that our preliminary timeline is something that we would try to wrap up in the four months,” she said.