Sean Maika has been named Interim-Superintendent over Northeast Independent School District
Sean Maika is named interim superintendent of North East Independent School District and the likely successor to Superintendent Brian Gottardy, who is retiring. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

School board trustees in San Antonio’s second-largest district voted unanimously Monday night to name Sean Maika North East Independent School District’s interim superintendent and the apparent successor to retiring Superintendent Brian Gottardy.

There will be no external search for Gottardy’s successor, board president Shannon Grona said.

Maika currently serves as NEISD’s assistant superintendent of instruction and campus administration. He previously served as NEISD’s executive director for school administration and as principal of Harris Middle School. He spent 11 of his 24 years in education with NEISD, he told the Rivard Report.

“I think the moment I got into education, this was always where I wanted to be,” Maika said of his promotion. “This is the premier district. … I’m excited to work with our people. We have the best, and so whatever challenges we have and encounter, I’m confident in our people’s ability to address them and do well with them.”

Maika is scheduled to start as interim superintendent on May 6. Gottardy initially announced that his retirement would be effective June 30, although a district spokeswoman was not clear on how Maika’s start date may affect Gottardy’s departure.

Maika’s interim contract runs through Dec. 20 and the board will have the option to hire him permanently at any point, the district spokeswoman said.

After Gottardy announced his decision to retire, trustees held three meetings in which they discussed to decide how to replace him, Grona said.

“That included the possibility of conducting a nationwide search, which can be a costly process,” she said, “or appointing someone the board felt to be a potentially qualified candidate as an interim superintendent.”

After meeting with Maika, the board felt confident he understood the district’s tradition of excellence and was the right person for the job, Grona said.

The search resulting in Maika’s selection was the same process used when Gottardy was promoted to the district’s top job in 2011, Grona said. Gottardy also worked for NEISD when he was selected as superintendent.

Gottardy and Maika plan to work closely in the next few months. Maika will sit in on executive sessions in board meetings and attend functions alongside Gottardy in preparation for the transition.

Gottardy, who has served as superintendent since 2011, announced his retirement in mid-January.  He told the Rivard Report he had been thinking about retiring since last summer and solidified his decision over the Christmas holiday.

“I am proud of my success, but I will tell you, to do this job right, it is a hard job,” Gottardy said. “It is a job I have taken very seriously for eight years, and it took its toll and now it is time for me to relax a little bit, spend some time with my family, and maybe take some trips.”

Noting he doesn’t have any plans for the immediate future, Gottardy said he and his wife plan to stay in San Antonio.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.