Gerardo Soto (left) is superintendent of Harlandale ISD.
Gerardo Soto (left) is superintendent of Harlandale ISD. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The Harlandale Independent School District board wrapped up a year marked by leadership changes and questions about Texas Education Agency intervention Monday night when trustees voted unanimously to formally promote Gerardo Soto, the district’s executive director of operations, to superintendent.

The board voted to offer Soto an annual salary of $207,000. The contract, which was still being drawn up, will last 3 1/2 years, Soto said.

“I would like to thank the Harlandale ISD board of trustees for giving me this opportunity in leading this wonderful district,” Soto told the six trustees in attendance following their vote. “Our students are exceptional and deserve nothing but the best to excel in all they do. … Now we have to continue to celebrate our successes and face our challenges and will do so together.”

The board first voted to name Soto the lone finalist for the superintendent position in early December, but state law requires trustees wait 21 days before finalizing contracts. Soto will replace Samantha Gallegos, who acted as interim superintendent after the board severed ties with longtime district leader Rey Madrigal.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.