HARLINGEN — The Harlingen school board has named Alicia Noyola as sole finalist for the superintendent position.

The position is currently held by Arturo Cavazos who announced his retirement last month effective June 30, 2021. The school board named Noyola its lone finalist this week.

“With her vast and wide array of experience in education over the past 30 years, including the last 17 at HCISD, we are confident in Dr. Noyola as our lone finalist,” said Board President Eladio Jaimez. “We have made great strides as a district, and we are confident we will continue in that path under Dr. Noyola’s committed leadership.”

The district is required to comply with the state-mandated 21-day waiting period before hiring Noyola as superintendent. A press release from the district says the board intends to hire Noyola upon the completion of those 21 days. To ensure a smooth transition, Cavazos will serve as superintendent emeritus until next summer.

Noyola has served as the district’s chief academic officer for eight years at a time of momentous change which included the development and implementation of the Strategic Plan. The district created various academies for specialized instruction as well as the Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory.

The board feels Noyola’s intimate knowledge of the district’s vision and goals, as well as her vast experience in education, make her an ideal candidate for the superintendent position.

“We believe that she will continue Dr. Cavazos’ legacy while at the same time ensuring that her own innovations and vision are carried out in the coming years,” Jaimez said. “We look forward to a bright future under Dr. Noyola’s leadership.”

Prior to becoming the district’s chief academic officer, she spent another eight years as principal of Vela Middle School. She also served as a teacher and as the director of student teaching.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected as HCISD’s lone finalist,” Noyola said. “I look forward to working with our incredible Board of Trustees, staff, students and parents to continue the tradition of excellence our community has come to expect.”

Noyola received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Pan American, her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas — Brownsville, and her doctorate from the University of Houston.