Texan tabbed to lead Vail Valley schools; Dr. Carlos Ramirez selected as new superintendent | VailDaily.com

Texan tabbed to lead Vail Valley schools; Dr. Carlos Ramirez selected as new superintendent

EAGLE — A Houston school executive will lead Eagle County Schools, the school board announced Wednesday afternoon, March 21.

After months of searching and days of interviews and deliberations, the school board selected Dr. Carlos Ramirez as the next superintendent. He will succeed Dr. Jason Glass, who left Eagle County Schools last spring to take the helm of Jefferson County schools.

Ramirez was one of two finalists, with the other being Dr. Tyler Ream, also of Houston, current associate superintendent of academics for the Spring Branch Independent School District.

"The board was delighted to have the difficult choice between two exceptional candidates," said Kate Cocchiarella, school board president. "We are pleased to announce that Dr. Carlos Ramirez will be leading our team and moving our strategic plan forward toward the goal of increasing achievement for all of our students."

Ream won't stay in Texas, either. The Helena, Montana Independent Record reported Wednesday afternoon that Ream will take the top job with Helena public schools. Ream was offered the Helena job Thursday, March 15, but had agreed to an interview in Eagle County and said he wanted to honor that commitment.

Meet the new boss

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Ramirez is a first-generation Mexican-American and a fluent Spanish speaker.

"To have the opportunity to serve as the educational leader of this dynamic and diverse community is both humbling and exciting. I'm committed to continue the great work of Eagle County Schools," Ramirez said.

Ramirez lives in Denton, Texas, and is currently school support officer (assistant superintendent) for the Houston Independent School District. During his 26 years in education, he has served as a classroom teacher; an elementary, middle school and high school campus administrator; and as a senior-level administrator in California and Texas.

"Carlos is not only incredibly strong in the instructional arena, with extensive International Baccalaureate experience and a proven track record of moving the needle of achievement in schools, but he also embraces our value of a sense of adventure," Cocchiarella said. "He has a big heart for kids and believes in empowering teachers, characteristics that impacted positively on our decision."

In his current role, he oversees more than 17,000 students in 21 schools, including International Baccalaureate programs, Spanish-immersion programs, charter schools, early-childhood centers and magnet schools.

Ramirez earned his Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California, Davis, a master's degree in human resources from Chapman College and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of North Texas. His experience also includes work as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University in Houston.

Ramirez has served on multiple boards and in community-based organizations, including Communities in Schools and Serve Denton.

He has been married to his wife, Melissa, a middle school teacher and national best-selling author, for 27 years. Together, they have five children: Alex, 25, Sam, 23, Jared, 20, Sophia, 17, and Caleb, 15. Ramirez loves fishing, backpacking and his two dogs, a boxer, Jazz, and a pug, Bean, as well as Pablo, the family cat.

"We are grateful to the community members who participated in the selection process activities earlier this week, which provided the board with valuable insights and perspectives on our two outstanding finalists," the school board said in a joint statement.

The school district still has to hammer out a contract with Ramirez, who said he intends to visit Eagle County again in the coming weeks to get to know the staff, schools and community.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.