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McAllen ISD Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez, Ed.D., has been selected by TASA as Texas’ nominee for 2021 National Superintendent of the Year, an award given by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Gonzalez has served as superintendent of McAllen ISD, a district of nearly 22,000 students in the Rio Grande Valley, for the past four years. He has served as an administrator in the district for a total of 23 years. Prior to becoming superintendent, he held the position of Associate Superintendent for Instructional Leadership, coaching, supervising and evaluating principals in the district. He has also served as a principal, assistant principal, teacher and coach.

“Being an educator and having an influence on people is near and dear to my heart because when you look at it with depth and complexity and from a parent’s perspective, you start to understand the magnitude of what the field of education is all about,” Gonzalez said. “I am fascinated with the art of teaching and learning. Everyone is some kind of smart — be it mathematical, verbal, kinesthetic or musical. We all have a particular learning style, and it is our job, as educators, to help our students discover their talents and to build on their natural skill sets.”

Born in Laredo, Gonzalez was raised in Hebbronville. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University–Kingsville and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Pan American. In 2008 he completed his doctorate in education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership through UT-Pan American.

Gonzalez has been a member of TASA since 2016. He also belongs to the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP), as well as the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. He serves on the UT-Rio Grande Valley College of Education Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Directors of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the South Texas Association of Schools.

In October 2020, following his selection as Region 1 Superintendent of the Year, the Texas Association of School Boards named him the 2020 Texas Superintendent of the Year. Now, as a state nominee for AASA National Superintendent of the Year, Gonzalez will be considered by a panel of judges from across the U.S. that will select four finalists to be interviewed virtually in January. The 2021 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced and the state nominees honored at AASA’s National Conference on Education, which will be conducted virtually February 18-19, 2021.