Harlandale ISD school board members listen to community concerns at a public meeting Aug. 1. Credit: Stephanie Marquez / San Antonio Report

As Harlandale Independent School District awaits a decision on its appeal of a state takeover, trustees filled a vacant board seat, appointing Norma Cavazos to represent District 4.

The district has appealed a decision by the State Commissioner of Education to replace its elected board of trustees with a state-appointed board of managers.

In the meantime, trustees voted unanimously Monday night to appoint Cavazos to replace longtime trustee David Abundis. Abundis resigned from the District 4 seat in mid-July, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

David Abundis

Cavazos previously sought election to the board. She placed third in the 2013 election for the District 4 seat, which Abundis won with 56 percent of the vote.

Cavazos works as a court coordinator in Bexar County. Should the State deny Harlandale’s appeal and move forward with its decision to replace the elected board of trustees, Cavazos would be ineligible to serve on the board of managers. 

The Texas Education Agency has been recruiting and interviewing candidates to serve on the board of managers.

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced his decision to replace the board in late June after an investigation found that Harlandale trustees broke state and local statutes and failed to exercise proper financial oversight of the district.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.