South San Antonio ISD learned Wednesday the difference one month can make. On Feb. 20, the district had an open board seat that had been vacant since December when District 6 Trustee Helen Madla-Prather resigned, citing an impending move to Del Rio.

In 31 days, four potential trustees emerged. On Wednesday night, the six existing trustees reviewed the applications, interviewed the four candidates, and announced their new colleague will be Luis Rodriguez.

The board interviewed candidates one by one, and then narrowed the field to two candidates, eventually choosing Rodriguez.

Rodriguez retired early from a career in finance at various local universities. Before retiring, he worked as a university budget analyst at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. During his interview, he said his experience working at higher-education institutions helps him understand what it takes to get students into college.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Trinity University. He applied for the open position on March 2.

During his interview, Rodriguez touted his background in finance as something that would add value to the board in a time when the district is projecting a more than 7-percent budget deficit in the next school year.

In late January, the South San board appointed Edward Mungia to the District 3 seat, replacing former trustee Linda Longoria, who resigned in late October. Two other applicants also interviewed for the open position.

With the appointment of Rodriguez, the South San board is now complete for the first time in nearly five months.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.