Meet Our Superintendent
A new era in EPISD begins Jan. 4 when lifelong educator Diana Sayavedra takes the reigns of the region’s oldest and largest school district. The 30-year veteran educator will be the first permanent woman and Latina superintendent in its more than 140-year history.
Sayavedra, who was selected as the sole finalist after an extensive search, signed her contract Dec. 8 after a short executive session and a unanimous vote by the Board.
“I’m looking forward to working together with the Board and building a team of eight so we can chart the course for success to make the school district a world class school district and the best in the state,” she said, shortly after signing her contact. “It’s just an honor and a privilege to serve as next superintendent in El Paso ISD.”
Among those in the audience watching this historic moment in EPISD were members of Sayavedra’s family, including her daughter Soledad Sustaita and dad Dr. Leo Sayavedra. She thanked her father specifically for leading her on the path to a superintendency.
“The passion and conviction that I have for the education for children comes from my father,” she said, her dad proudly watching from the front row. “He taught me three things: operate with integrity, never forget where you came from and make sure you give 100 percent in everything you do.”
Sayavedra was selected by the Board as the sole finalist for the job on Nov 16.
“Ms. Sayavedra is a dedicated educator who understands communities like ours and who has made it her mission to create instructional opportunities for students of all backgrounds,” he said. “The Board of Trustees is in full agreement that our historic vote to hire our first Latina superintendent will have a positive impact in the lives of children for many years to come.”
An expert in curriculum and instruction, Sayavedra started her teaching career 30 years ago in Laredo, Texas where she grew up. She has served in different leadership roles in education throughout the state including a stint as interim superintendent of Fort Bend ISD. Sayavedra received a Bachelor of Arts in English and physical science from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in education administration from Texas A&M University. She currently is finishing a doctorate in philosophy in education administration from Texas A&M.
“I feel like I’m coming to a community that mirrors the community where I grew up in and where I started my career, so I feel like I’ve come full circle,” Sayavedra said. “I feel honored and connected already to the community of El Paso.”
Sayavedra, who plans to spend her first days in EPISD listening and learning, said she will soon present a Superintendent Entry Plan to outline the strategies and goals that will guide her initial days in the District.
“I want to hear from the entire community about the district’s points of pride and better understand the opportunities for growth so that I can work closely with the Board to chart the course for the District to be the District of choice in El Paso.”
1014 N. Stanton
El Paso, TX 79902