ALIEF, Texas (KXAN) — The Alief Independent School District Board of Trustees said Wednesday it named interim Austin ISD Superintendent Anthony Mays as its lone finalist to serve as the district’s next superintendent.

Mays will start the new Alief ISD job in January, an AISD spokesperson confirmed to KXAN Thursday morning. The AISD board will flesh out the process for choosing a new interim superintendent in December, and a new person for the role could be named as early as that, the spokesperson said.

“The chance to lead a district while putting down roots for a long-term partnership was something our family could not pass up,” Mays said in a statement Thursday about the Alief ISD job. You can read the full letter from Mays to the AISD community at the bottom of this story.

Prior to joining Austin ISD, Mays was the senior director of schools for the Harris County Department of Education. He has worked in Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs, starting at Pflugerville ISD as a special education teacher.

“The Board is incredibly excited to name Dr. Anthony Mays as lone finalist for superintendent of Alief ISD,” Alief ISD Board President Ann Williams said in a release Wednesday. “We are confident that he is the perfect candidate to serve as the district’s next leader. He is a proven leader and advocate for public education. We look forward to this new chapter and collaboration in creating not only a stronger Alief ISD, but a stronger Alief community as well.”

“I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to lead Alief ISD and I look forward to working with our board members and community to continue to build towards the future,” said Mays in the Alief ISD release. 

Mays was chosen as Austin ISD interim superintendent in June 2022 to replace former AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, who now leads Dallas ISD. Elizalde was with AISD for about two years, helping the district through the coronavirus pandemic.

Alief is 15 miles southwest of Houston. According to the Texas Tribune, Alief ISD serves over 41,000 students compared to Austin ISD’s 74,645.

Just Tuesday, voters in Austin ISD approved $2.44 billion in bonds to modernize existing facilities and add new ones.

Voters also decided on new AISD board members in the election, choosing three new board members and re-electing one incumbent. A fifth race for District 7 only had one candidate running.

Mays letter to AISD community

Dear Austin ISD Community,

As we enter this season of thanksgiving, I am so grateful for your involvement and support of Austin ISD. We are fortunate to have a community that comes together to ensure that our students, your children, are successful. As I meet with parents, committee members, and other groups, I always come away impressed by the commitment of time and service that so many of you donate to help us ensure that students receive what they need to realize their dreams.

I am also thankful for the opportunity the board of trustees provided to me to serve as your Interim Superintendent these past few months. It has been an honor and a privilege that brought me joy daily.

Last night, the Alief ISD Board of Trustees named me as its lone finalist for superintendent. The chance to lead a district while putting down roots for a long-term partnership was something our family could not pass up.

I know that TeamAISD will continue to move the work forward. The leadership team is committed to realizing the district’s vision and mission, to prepare every student with the knowledge and skills to thrive in college, career, and life.

Our newly elected board will be leading our district with the next steps. I look forward to finishing this semester with you knowing that you will continue to be advocates for all of Austin ISD’s children. Thank you for the grace you have extended to me as your interim superintendent. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve this community and the students of Austin ISD.

Anthony Mays, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent, Austin ISD