EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A new principal will take the reins of a West Texas high school that's mired in a cheating scandal, which landed the superintendent in jail and put the school district on probation.
Jesse Teran will begin his work at Bowie High School on Tuesday, filling the position that's been vacant since Jesus Chavez was reassigned in April, the El Paso Times (http://bit.ly/Yts5NC ) reported.
Teran said he's the person to rebuild the trust broken during the scandal.
"I really do feel I'm the perfect person for the job," Teran told the El Paso Times. "I care about and have the passion for Bowie, for the community.
"I grew up six blocks away. I've roamed the halls. I've been where the students are," said the 1989 Bowie High graduate.
Teran was selected by a committee among a pool of 12 candidates. Bowie Alumni Association President Jaime Rodriguez said the El Paso Independent School District provided three candidates to consider in November, but the committee didn't think any were the right fit, so they asked the district to re-open the job posting. Teran was in that second group of candidates.
"He brings a substantial amount of knowledge and familiarity with the school," said Rodriguez, who was a drum major when Terán was in the school's band. "He understands the needs of the community, he knows how to engage the community, particularly the parents, which is lacking in our area."
As part of a scheme to raise the district's rating and secure funding and bonuses for former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia, dozens of students with low academic scores were kicked out of Bowie or placed in another grade so they would not participate in state testing.
Garcia was sentenced in October to three and a half years in federal prison and the Texas Education Agency placed the school district on probation and named a board of managers to take over the duties of the board of trustees.
Garcia, who was hired in 2006, implemented a plan with several other administrators that allowed for the pre-testing of 10th-graders to identify those who were likely to fail the standardized tests, used to measure the school's performance under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.