RRISD Board Appoints Dr. Hafedh Azaiez as Superintendent

The Round Rock ISD board named Dr. Hafedh Azaiez as the new Superintendent of the school district on Monday, June 14.

According to an email that went out to parents:

The Round Rock Independent School District Board of Trustees has named Dr. Hafedh Azaiez the District’s next Superintendent. Dr. Azaiez will officially begin his new role on July 5. The District will host opportunities for the community to engage with Dr. Azaiez in July. More information on those events will be shared with families and community members soon.

The Board made the appointment and approved a contract for Dr. Azaiez at a called Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, June 14, 2021. The Board named Dr. Azaiez as sole finalist in the superintendent search on May 21 and the official appointment comes after a required 21-day waiting period.

The decision comes after an expansive search process, which included focus groups with hundreds of stakeholders, five community-wide meetings, and a community survey available in five languages that yielded 5,000 responses to determine a candidate profile. The nationwide search drew 48 candidates from across Texas and 19 other states. Following an extensive vetting process and series of interviews, the Board met in a special called meeting on Friday, May 21, to select a finalist.

Dr. Azaiez has served as Superintendent of Donna ISD in the Rio Grande Valley since 2018. Raised in Tunisia in North Africa, he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry from La Faculte des Sciences de Tunis. He came to the United States to pursue graduate school, earning a master’s of education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.

Dr. Azaiez is fluent in English, Spanish, Arabic and French. His career in public education began in 2002 as a middle school science teacher with Houston ISD. He later moved on to administrative roles, including assistant principal, principal, and lead principal in Houston ISD and assistant superintendent of middle schools in Spring ISD.

He is credited with spurring significant improvements in Donna ISD. He developed a five-year strategic plan for the district and expanded course offerings while streamlining business operations for maximum efficiency. More recently, he worked with the district to invest $5.7 million in providing technology to allow students and teachers to continue remote instruction during the COVID-19 crisis. He has long advocated expanding course offerings for middle school students, initiating changes in the Houston, Spring and Donna school districts for middle school students to take high school-level math and science courses, which expanded opportunities for those students to pursue higher- level math and science in high school. In Houston ISD, he partnered with Rice University to create the first middle school bioengineering program and is a strong advocate for Career Technical Education courses.

“Round Rock ISD is a thriving, dynamic, large and diverse community and already home to exceptional programs and campuses. I could not be more excited about the opportunities to build upon this legacy of excellence and foster and grow Round Rock ISD’s reputation as a world-class, destination district,” Dr. Azaiez said. “One of the things I love about Round Rock ISD is the diverse opportunities for students to excel and find a sense of belonging. From stellar academics to nationally recognized fine arts programs, athletics, clubs and organizations. We will continue to focus on the whole child, broaden opportunities to pursue diverse programs of study, and will maintain a relentless focus on equity, diversity and inclusion issues, ensuring all truly means all.”

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