“Having been an educator for 35 years, a superintendent for 20 years, an administrator for 27 years, my wife and I decided it’s time for me to quit doing this kind of work on a regular basis. I notified the board of my intent to retire at the end of May,” Hinojosa said.
While he has yet to sign a contract with another organization, Hinojosa plans to accept a “very lucrative position” as a senior vice president of a Chicago-based national education consulting firm.
Hinojosa plans to return to his home in Dallas where he can be with his family, which includes his wife, a 91-year-old mother and an 84-year-old mother-in-law.
“As much as I love Cobb, I love my family more, and I think Mama is waiting for me with some tamales so I will be very excited to have some good Mexican food for the rest of my life,” he said.
Board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci said she was surprised with Hinojosa’s announcement.
Hinojosa told the board he was retiring just before Monday’s meeting began, Angelucci said.
She said the news was unanticipated and she was not sure what the next step would be in hiring a new superintendent.
Hinojosa was named superintendent in June 2011.
Before coming to Cobb, he was superintendent for the Dallas Independent School District.
Last March, the board voted 5-2 to extend his contract through Dec. 31, 2014, with Angelucci and board member David Banks voting against.
The MDJ reported in March his annual salary was about $277,000.
Hinojosa said he has given the board ample time, roughly 5 months, to search for his replacement.
The decision to leave Cobb was not affected by recent criticism he received from parents and residents upset with how he handled the transportation of students during last Tuesday’s snowstorm, he said.
Hinojosa is confident the Cobb School District’s budget will be in good hands upon his departure.
“I had some heartburn when I made this decision over the holidays because of the tremendous budget deficits that we were facing,” he said. “But because a lot of people in the audience, the board members, made a little bit of noise in Cobb, that never happens in Cobb, but because people made a lot of noise I think people at the Capitol listened and the governor has issued a very appropriate start to a good budget.”
Brumby, Mountain View selected for rebuilds
Nearly 40 parents, residents, teachers and students packed the meeting and pleaded with its members to select their school to be rebuilt with SPLOST IV funds.
They watched as board member Scott Sweeney recommended
purchasing 35 acres on Terrell Mill Road for about $9.4 million, a reccomendation approved 7-0. The land belongs to the Hill family and is broken up into seven different parcels, said Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent for operational support.
The board voted unanimously to rebuild Brumby Elementary School off of Powers Ferry Road, near the intersection of Terrell Mill Road, with SPLOST IV funds.
Banks then recommended the district rebuild Mountain View Elementary School off Sandy Plains Road in Marietta which was approved 6-1, with David Morgan opposed.