The South San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees unanimously voted Monday to name interim superintendent Henry Yzaguirre as the lone finalist for superintendent.

Under state law, the board must wait 21 days before officially voting to offer Yzaguirre a contract as superintendent. Trustees Shirley Ibarra and Gina Villagomez were absent.

Yzaguirre has led the school district of about 8,200 students since December, after Superintendent Marc Puig, South San’s eighth superintendent since 2010, was suspended pending an inquiry into a conversation he had with a trustee that was caught by a live microphone. Puig resigned June 21.

Before the vote, newly appointed District 6 trustee Cyndi Ramirez said while the community has seen many things “we wish hadn’t happened” in the past few months, the work Yzaguirre has accomplished with his leadership team was admirable.

“We had an interim superintendent who has gone through more than any superintendent who’s been there for years has had to go through, and he’s held his head up high,” she said. “It takes someone very special, hard-working, to be able to endure what you’ve endured during this time.”

District 3 trustee Homer Flores said South San was “welcoming one of their own sons.”

Board President Ernesto Arrellano Jr. said Yzaguirre has endured many “trials and tribulations” during his time as interim superintendent but that he never quit, even though he could have at any time.

“But he stayed because he’s from here,” he said. “He loves the students and the district, and I’m proud that we’re making him the lone finalist for our next superintendent. Hopefully, this superintendent will be the first one to be here for multiple years.”

The board also voted to name Stacey Alderete as board vice president, replacing Ibarra, and Flores as board secretary, replacing Villagomez. Both Ibarra and Villagomez have missed numerous board meetings in the past few months, making it difficult for the board to reach a quorum.

Both Ibarra and Villagomez’s seats are up for election in November, along with Ramirez’s. A special election for the District 5 seat, currently represented by newly appointed trustee Gina Rovello, also will be held Nov. 8. The last day for candidates to file for a place on the ballot is Aug. 22.

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.