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TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development; it describes our members themselves — school leaders who inspire others as they work to prepare future-ready students. Meet Matthew Gutierrez, one of those Inspiring Leaders. 

Since 2017, Matthew Gutierrez has served as superintendent in Seguin ISD, where he has led the district through the design of two new strategic plans, with an eye on improving schools to provide the best possible learning opportunities. Since he took the helm, Seguin ISD has added and expanded CTE pathways, dual-language offerings and three new bonds.

Andrea Jaramillo, deputy chief of innovation and learning in Seguin, says beyond these measurable achievements, Gutierrez has also improved communication and engagement in the district.

“Dr. Gutierrez builds authentic and genuine relationships with internal and external stakeholders,” she says. “He inspires me each day to maintain a high commitment to our diverse students, and I know I speak for many who feel the same. He leads by example and we see it through his very transparent actions each day. He is a fierce advocate for our students and public education.”

Gutierrez says the close-knit culture he feels in Seguin has helped the district achieve its successes, including passing bonds and improving campus ratings. “I am exceptionally proud of the community pride that exists, which has enabled the district to think outside of the box to put into place innovative programming for students.”

The school culture in Seguin is inclusive and supportive, and Gutierrez has worked to make Seguin a destination district.

“Our students know him by name and oftentimes seek to be highlighted or recognized by their superintendent,” Jaramillo says. “He has built community, and I have no doubt that more families and potential employees will seek to become part of the Seguin ISD family.”

Leading a district through change can often feel like an uphill battle, but Gutierrez says he maintains focus on his mission to get him through the challenges.

“Great work is strongly correlated with hard work, no doubt. Therefore, one will encounter many challenging and difficult moments as we approach hurdles along the way. However, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. This in itself keeps me motivated each and every day because I have a unique opportunity to impact thousands in my sphere of influence by ensuring all have the resources, capacity, and mindset to move towards the vision.”

Working with a team is a crucial element of Gutierrez’s success, and through connections with others, he strives to learn as he leads.

“We are all learners from students to staff; therefore, mentorship is critical for ongoing support, on the spot coaching, and to move the work forward. What better way to learn and receive feedback than in the trenches and on the spot coaching. The partnership is powerful in order to sustain district and campus efforts throughout the school year.”