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Photo Courtesy of Dr. Lupita Hinojosa.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Lupita Hinojosa.

Dr. Lupita Hinojosa is Spring ISD’s first Hispanic superintendent

She is an experienced educational leader with more than three decades working in the public education sphere.

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Dr. Lupita Hinojosa is making history in her current role as the first Hispanic woman to be appointed Spring ISD (Independent School District) Superintendent of Schools. 

She officially began the role of the district’s top leadership position on Feb. 1, after her appointment was confirmed on Jan. 27.

“I am honored and humbled to have been given this opportunity to lead a district that has become family to me,” Hinojosa said upon her confirmation. 

She also laid out her aspirations for her new important role.

“My goal is to channel the energy and boundless enthusiasm I have for education toward improving student outcomes and supporting teaching and learning in Spring ISD,” she noted. 

She plans to emphasize six major points: student outcomes, innovation, leadership, well-being, engagement, and equity. 

Spring ISD serves more than 33,000 students in a diverse community, as 49% of the students in the district are Hispanic and Latino, and 44% are Black. In addition, about 85% come from low-income families, and 10% are learning English as their second language.   

Hinojosa is very familiar with the educational system, as well as Spring ISD. She originally joined the Harris County, Texas, school district in 2014 as Chief Schools Officer before later serving as the district’s Chief of Innovation and Equity. 

In the former role, she helped oversee the implementation of the district’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, which focused on student-centered transformation. She sat on the forefront of the district’s equity study. 

The latter role saw Hinojosa work to create opportunities for students of various backgrounds to ensure excellent and equitable outcomes. Throughout her tenure, she managed to secure more than $40 million in grants for school and transformational efforts. 

“Since coming to the district, Dr. Hinojosa has shown a genuine dedication to ensuring every student has the opportunity to be successful. Having seen her commitment in action and having witnessed her passion for education over these past few years, we firmly believe that she has the wisdom, the know-how, and the heart to lead our district into its next chapter,” said Spring ISD Board President Justine Duran.

Hinojosa is a first-generation Mexican-American. Her parents were immigrants from Monterrey and San Luis, respectively. Born and raised in San Benito in southern Texas, she saw firsthand the challenges and barriers many underserved communities faced, and wanted to be a part of the solutions. 

At a young age, she became very involved, helping translate for her parents during parent-teacher meetings and conferences, enrolling in honors classes and participating in various extracurricular activities. She initially anticipated entering the legal profession. 

“I wanted to be an attorney to be able to help people in the community, like my parents. My parents became U.S. citizens and they went through the process not knowing what to do," said Hinojosa in an interview with ABC13 in Houston. "Immigrant families are hard-working community members that are paying taxes, that are invested in their own community, but they don't have access to any social services.”

However, the struggle to afford the cost of a law degree forced her to switch to business. Her foray into education was sparked by volunteer work she did, reading books to Spanish-speaking students. 

She began her professional career in education in the late 1980s as an elementary school bilingual teacher with the Houston Independent School District. She later went on to serve as an elementary principal, middle school principal, executive principal, school services officer, and assistant superintendent. 

Hinojosa worked her way through the entire educational leadership system, and is now the first Hispanic woman to be named superintendent of the Spring ISD.

 

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