New EPISD superintendent hosts first town hall at school at center of cheating scandal

New EPISD superintendent hosts first town hall at school at center of cheating scandal

POSTED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 10:54pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 11:03pm

El Paso Independent School District's new superintendent Juan Cabrera committed to hosting town hall meetings at schools throughout the district from now until January. Wednesday, he started with the school that was at the center of the district's cheating scandal, Bowie High School.

After all the student performances that opened up the meeting, parents and teachers got right down to business and submitted questions they had for Cabrera on index cards.

"It went great. I mean I had a lot of hard questions. I expected maybe a few easier questions but I tried to answer them the best I could. Tried to let folks know that we're committed to the success of Bowie and all the district," said Cabrera.

The community wanted to know the status of the cheating scandal investigation that landed the former superintendent in prison.

"We have no other investigations moving forward related to the cheating scandal. I did also mention TEA is doing their investigation as is some of the federal authorities," said Cabrera.

Cabrera acknowledged there is plenty of rebuilding to do, but said it will take time to get the district to a good place.

"I'm a person of character, of honor, of ethics and I think I can lead the district but I understand that with the general public, after what they've been through, they cant just necessarily listen to my words," said Cabrera.

Some parents and teachers, who did not want to appear on camera, said they still felt skeptical because Cabrera did not touch on a a lot of topics. But the new principal and Bowie alum shared his excitement for the future.

"We can make it the best Bowie High School we've ever had. That's my job. I'm not really looking into the past. I'm looking towards the future," said Bowie Principal Jesse Teran.

For now, the EPISD community will have the chance to get to know Juan Cabrera, who says time will only tell that he will make a difference and lead the district in the right direction.

"We'll show the people of EPISD, the community, the students, that we do care about them and that we are here for their success," said Cabrera.

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