HOUSTON – Texas’ largest school district has a new leader.

Richard A. Carranza was introduced as the new superintendent of the Houston Independent School District following a unanimous vote by the school board Thursday. He signed a three-year, $345,000 contract to lead HISD.

“Houston is a model urban school district,” Carranza said. “While others are closing schools because of declining enrollment, HISD is growing and opening new schools. This is because the community here still believes in public education.”

Carranza comes to Houston after serving as superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, which serves 58,000 students.

Carranza steps into a much bigger role at HISD, which serves 215,000 students throughout 287 schools. HISD is the largest school district in Texas and seventh largest in the nation.

“I believe in teamwork,” Carranza said. “We must set a common, shared vision for our children and then all pull together in the same direction.”

He said his first order of business will be to visit various schools when classes begin Monday.

“Mr. Carranza stood out in a field of excellent candidates,” HISD Board President Manuel Rodriguez Jr. said. “His personal journey, including his upbringing as the child of hard-working immigrant parents and his strong record of collaborative leadership, make Mr. Carranza the right person to guide Houston schools into a promising future.”

Carranza replaces Terry Grier, who resigned from HISD’s superintendent post in March.