Dr. José Espinoza
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Jose Espinoza has served as Superintendent of Socorro Independent School District since September 2012. His expectation from Day One has been “We must educate and treat our students as if they are our own children.” His tireless work to overcome obstacles, boost achievement levels, and raise the standard of excellence for Team SISD earned him the prestigious national 2017 $20,000 Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education and led to Socorro ISD being the first district in a non-HEB market to earn the coveted HEB Excellence in Education Award for Outstanding Large District.
In addition, through his leadership efforts, Team SISD passed a $448.5 million Bond in 2017 with the highest approval rating among large school districts in the region in recent bond elections. He is also one of the first superintendents in the country and the first superintendent in Texas to earn National Superintendent Certification through AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Dr. Espinoza’s “100%...No Excuses” vision of excellence to ensure no child is left behind has been enthusiastically embraced by our students, staff, board members, parents, and community evidenced by the countless local, state, and national awards the district has earned as a whole.
“Achieving Success as a Team” describes Dr. Espinoza’s leadership approach, which has inspired Socorro ISD stakeholders to work together as Team SISD and soar to new heights. Specifically, in May 2012, SISD was behind the state in 9 out of 17 STAAR exams for students in grades three through eight. Under Dr. Espinoza’s leadership, Socorro ISD has outscored the Texas passing rates in ALL 17 STAAR exams in grades three through eight for five consecutive years. This is an accomplishment never achieved before at Socorro ISD. Among the largest 50 school districts in Texas, Socorro ISD is the only district with an over 90% minority and over 70% economically disadvantaged student population to surpass the state’s average in all STAAR exams in grades three through eight. Additionally, Socorro ISD became the largest school district in Texas and one of only three districts among the largest 50 in the state to earn the Postsecondary Readiness Distinction Designation awarded by the Texas Education Agency.
Additionally, Dr. Espinoza’s collaborative approach enabled him to establish a positive and productive working relationship with SISD’s Board of Trustees who were named Region 19 Board of the Year, a Texas Honor Board, and HEB Excellence in Education School Board/Leadership Award Finalist. Dr. Espinoza also was named Region 19 Superintendent of the Year, Texas K-12 Tech Savvy Superintendent of the Year, 2019 Sam Houston State University Distinguished Educator of the Year, and led Socorro ISD in earning recognition as the national Consortium for School Networking (COSN) Team Achievement Award winner as well as three-time national Best Communities for Music Education Award winner.
Dr. Espinoza has 23 years of experience as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal, and district administrator. Throughout his educational career, he has built strong relationships by communicating and collaborating with key stakeholders in the various school district communities he has served. Prior to joining SISD, Dr. Espinoza served in Houston ISD as a school improvement officer supervising and coaching principals to ensure all students excelled academically and campuses met district goals.
During his first year as an urban middle school principal in Houston ISD, Dr. Espinoza led his campus to it’s first-ever TEA Recognized Rating under the TAKS test era. Dr. Espinoza led his students and staff to even greater heights as they ultimately earned a TEA Exemplary Rating. Although his campus served predominantly minority, economically disadvantaged students, Burbank Middle School outperformed more affluent campuses in the district as well as the state. Dr. Espinoza was named the 2009 North Region Houston ISD Secondary Principal of the year and the 2010 League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Educator of the Year. He also had the honor of earning the highest ASPIRE Award (performance-based bonus) in Houston ISD in 2010, second only to the district superintendent, outperforming a large pool of highly effective principals and educational leaders. He earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University and a Master’s in Guidance and Counseling as well as a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Texas–Pan American.
Follow the Superintendent on Twitter @JEspinoza_SISD