Dr. Abelardo Saavedra
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Abelardo Saavedra was named
Superintendent of Schools in the South San Antonio Independent School
District (SSAISD) on March 19, 2014 after serving three months as the
interim chief.Motivated by a purpose to serve, Dr. Saavedra returned
with the intention of being a positive force for change.
urge to help transform South San schools and their respective
neighborhoods was instrumental in Dr. Saavedra's decision to apply for
the position full time. "Once it's in you, you want to continue," said
Dr. Saavedra at the time. "Can you continue to make a difference in the
lives of the children and the community?"
Saavedra touched thousands of lives during his distinguished 36-year
career as teacher, principal, school district administrator and
ultimately, as superintendent. At each stop, he left the campus, or the
school district, better than he found it.
his tenure as Superintendent of Schools in the Corpus Christi
Independent School District (CCISD), the district received state and
national recognition for its "Real World Academic Standards" in all
grade levels. AUSA Today (April 18, 1997) article stated that CCISD's
academic standards "are more rigorous than those adopted by the State of
Texas and span every grade and subject starting with prekindergarten."
success led Dr. Saavedra to accept the challenge to become
Superintendent of Schools in the Houston Independent School District
(HISD), the largest school district in the state of Texas and the
seventh-largest in the nation. Rolling up his sleeves, Dr. Saavedra
implemented a value-added assessment program to measure the performance
of students and teachers, leading to a meteoric rise in academic
performance. The number of "Exemplary" schools rose from 6 in 2005 to a
total of 84 by the time he retired in 2009, a 1400% increase. Upon his
departure, almost three-fourths of the HISD campuses were rated
"Exemplary" or "Recognized" in state accountability standards. There was
also great progress in closing the achievement gap by minority students
and children of poverty.
retirement, Dr. Saavedra remained active in several non-profit boards,
served as an education consultant to school districts throughout the
state and the nation, and was a Clinical Professor on the faculty of the
Department of Educational Administration and Human Resources at Texas
A&M in College Station.
as most teachers would tell you, there is no such thing as a retired
educator. Every day is a new opportunity to touch the future. For Dr.
Saavedra, that meant returning with a desire to leave a lasting impact
at SSAISD. "I see a lot of potential in the South San community," he
said upon becoming the permanent Superintendent of Schools. "We're at a
point where South San can be a great district."
Saavedra holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from
Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) and a Doctorate
in School Administration from the University of Michigan. Dr. Saavedra
is married to his wife, Myrna, and has two grown children.