Jeanette Ball has been named a finalist for the Judson Independent School District position.
Jeanette Ball has been named the finalist for superintendent in the Judson Independent School District. Credit: Courtesy / Uvalde Consolidated ISD

Judson Independent School District’s board of trustees named its new superintendent Wednesday night, announcing Jeanette Ball as the lone finalist to succeed Carl Montoya, who is retiring.

Ball currently serves as superintendent of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, a district west of San Antonio that serves about 4,700 students. She has held the job since 2013, and has been an assistant superintendent, executive director, director of staff development, and principal in San Antonio’s Southwest ISD.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the board of trustees for this wonderful opportunity,” Ball said in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to joining this great district, transitioning into the district as soon as possible, and getting to know staff, community, students and joining the JISD team!”

State law mandates a 21-day waiting period before a district’s hiring decision can become official. Trustees plan to take a final vote July 16 to hire Ball, at which point board President Melinda Salinas said Ball would start in her new role.

Twenty-two candidates applied for the superintendent position before the board narrowed down the candidates to five. Ball stood out because of her previous experience, communication skills, and the early literacy and marketing initiatives she implemented in Uvalde CISD, Salinas said.

In moving to Judson ISD, Ball will go from leading a district of close to 5,000 in rural Uvalde County to leading a growing district in northeast Bexar County of 23,000 students. The two districts have similar demographics – both serve a student population that is primarily Hispanic and more than 60 percent economically disadvantaged.

At a February board meeting, Montoya announced he would retire from his 44-year education career at the end of the district’s Fall 2018 semester. Montoya has led Bexar County’s fourth-largest school district since March 2015.

Montoya previously served as the superintendent of Brownsville and Aransas Pass ISDs. His salary was $230,000 for the 2017-18 school year. Ball’s salary in Uvalde CISD for the same year was $162,260.

If approved, Ball would bring the number of female superintendents in the 15 Bexar County school districts to two.

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Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.