Marfa ISD Superintendent Oscar Aguero resigns

Superintendent Oscar Aguero, who announced his resignation from the district this week after eight years, thanks student Gaby Soto Reyes for her artwork which decorates his office bulletin board. Staff photo by Mary Cantrell.

MARFA — Marfa ISD trustees voted unanimously on Monday evening to accept the resignation of Superintendent Oscar Aguero and to appoint teacher and Coach Arturo Alferez as interim superintendent. 

Aguero, who is in his fifth year as superintendent, has resigned effective June 30. He is in his eighth year with the district overall, having served in principal and curriculum director roles before becoming interim superintendent in 2016, then superintendent in 2017. 

Aguero said the finality of the decision had not yet hit him, but he was proud of the strides he’d made at Marfa ISD, particularly in regards to the district’s accountability rating, and was excited for the district’s future.

“I’m still here. We’re still focused on making sure that Marfa is the best that it can be for now and for the future,” said Aguero. “I’m excited about what we’ve done — from when I got here, when it was an academically unacceptable district, to now being a B district.”

His wife Cheri Aguero, a teacher with MISD, is also leaving the district at the end of the school year. Oscar Aguero does not currently have another position lined up, but plans to move out of Marfa in order to be closer to family in Abilene. Between now and June, he said he intends to focus on recruiting and hiring teachers for next school year to ensure the district is adequately staffed, work on professional development and finalize the newly-approved four-day school week calendar. 

“We’re looking at staffing first, making sure that our plan for the four-day instructional week is solid and in place. Then, of course, having our teachers properly trained,” said Aguero. 

The board chose to appoint teacher and Coach Arturo Alferez as interim superintendent. If Aguero lines up a job and is required to leave the district earlier than June, Alferez will step in. The board of trustees could still open up the search for a new superintendent publicly, or could opt to stick with Alferez. Board President Teresa Nuñez said it will be a topic of discussion at future board meetings. 

“Oscar Aguero has been a great leader for Marfa ISD, and it has been great working with him. We wish him the best with his next endeavor,” said Nuñez. “We have named Arturo Alferez as our interim superintendent after Mr. Aguero’s departure, because he has been a great role model for the kids, his longevity at the district, and he has shown an invested interest in our school district.” 

Alferez, who is originally from El Paso, is in his eighth year with Marfa ISD and is currently working as a junior high and high school science teacher and athletics coach in football, ballet folklórico and more. He previously served for five years in various administrative roles at Presidio ISD, overseeing career and technical education (CTE) programs at the high school campus. Before that, he taught for 10 years at Presidio ISD. 

He said he was looking forward to using his years of experience in education to help run the district in a collaborative manner. “I don’t want to say I want to work with people, but instead I want to say I want to collaborate with people,” said Alferez. “I’m a systems approach person. I’ve always seen or made decisions based on data, based on input. I’m really excited [for] that collaboration that’s going to happen in this district.” 

Oscar said there is not an immediate search planned for Alferez’s replacement in his dual roles as teacher and coach, but if he were to stay on as superintendent they would fill those roles with a new or existing staff person.

“My family actually asked me, ‘Well, what’s going to be your first decision to make?’ and I said, ‘Well, I’m probably gonna have to fire myself as a coach because I don’t know if I’ll have the time,’” said Alferez, “But right now, we’re going through a transition period.” 

Cheri Aguero, who will be departing at the end of the school year in May, has also been with Marfa ISD for eight years, serving as a teacher for various grade levels including elementary and middle school. Cheri said she wished all of her students and fellow educators the best and said while she is not entirely sure what the future holds, she was looking forward to retirement soon. 

She was particularly proud of a Texas Tech University partnership which involved six burgeoning scientists at Marfa ISD conducting an experiment simultaneously with the International Space Station, among other accomplishments. 

“I have gotten to teach many students hundreds of different concepts and share in their triumphs and challenges,” said Cheri. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to have gotten to work with so many amazing young people in my 29 years in education.”

The board also voted Monday to extend the contracts of principals Amy White and Luane Porter as well as Chief Financial Officer Rosela Rivera until 2025.