Waco ISD's Board of Trustees chose a former Superintendent of the Year Wednesday as its only finalist for superintendent.
Waco ISD Spokesman Bruce Gietzen said they named Dr. A. Marcus Nelson as their choice after interviewing six candidates in person and getting nearly 60 applications. Nelson will take over for Superintendent Bonny Cain who announced her retirement in November.
He said Nelson has led Laredo ISD for the past eight years overseeing 24,100 students and 4,500 employees on 33 campuses. While leading Laredo ISD, Gietzen said Nelson helped improve student test scores, attendance, scholarships and graduation rates. All that helped Nelson earn the Texas Association of School Boards Superintendent of the Year award in 2014.
Because Laredo ISD has a poverty rate three times the state average, Gietzen said Nelson is familiar with the challenges for Waco ISD's 15,000 students and 2,400 employees on 26 campuses.
"I consider the Waco community one of the premier locations in our state," said Nelson in a statement. "I am committed to continuing the transformative work already underway in Waco Public Schools."
Nelson is conversational in Spanish and taught in elementary and high schools, then became an assistant principal and later a high school principal.
Gietzen said three Waco ISD trustees visited Laredo on Monday and Tuesday to help them make their decision on Nelson. They must wait 21 days to officially hire Nelson.
Nelson is expected to finish the school year in Laredo ISD and replace Dr. Bonny Cain in early June.
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