The Judson Independent School District officially hired interim Superintendent Milton “Rob” Fields III last week on a three-year contract at a salary of $265,000 a year, with potential reductions in the event of widespread salary reduction or furlough.

Fields was selected as a lone finalist for the position at the end of April. He had been serving in an interim role since last year when the previous superintendent, Jeanette Ball, resigned. She is now the superintendent of the Southwest Independent School District. 

The new leader’s contract is $15,000 more a year than his predecessor, who had her contract extended through January of 2025 last year and was making $250,000 a year before resigning for unknown reasons. She received $140,000 in severance and accepted a contract of $255,000 a year at Southwest ISD for a three year contract. 

The salary puts Fields among the top 12 highest-paid superintendents in Bexar County, out of 44 traditional and public charter school leaders, based on Texas Education Agency data for the 2022-2023 school year.

In short remarks at a special meeting Thursday, Fields said the waiting period was the “longest 21 days in [his] life.”

The selection comes on the heels of the upset May election, in which voters ousted incumbent school board members Renée Paschall in at-large Place 6 and Rafael Diaz Jr. in at-large Place 7.

Place 1 incumbent Suzanne Kenoyer ran unopposed.

New board members Laura Stanford (Place 6) and Monica Ryan (Place 7) will be sworn in at a special meeting later this week.

The previous board expedited the selection of a superintendent before the election to prevent any disruption to the process, according to board president Jennifer Rodriguez.

With a new leader in place, board members delved into working out a budget for the next school year at the same meeting Thursday.

In a short video played after Fields was unanimously approved, the Judson graduate said the job was a “dream come true” after a career in the military and an education career spanning more than two decades. He served in various roles including teacher, coach, department chair, principal and district administrator. 

“Judson is the destination district. It is the place you want to be,” he said.