The Ysleta Independent School District board of trustees voted to extend Superintendent Xavier De La Torre’s contract and give him extra vacation days.
The school board unanimously voted to approve a ninth amendment to De La Torre’s employment contract, extending his contract through June 30, 2027, and giving him 30 vacation days off at the board meeting Jan. 26.
A sixth amendment to his contract approved by the board in 2019 gave him 24 vacation days and was the last time his vacation time was adjusted.
“We would like for the community to know that we have just an incredible superintendent who works incredibly hard to put together an amazing team here at central office and our campuses,” said District 6 trustee Sotero G. Ramirez III.
De La Torre responded, “I certainly am blessed to have an amazing group of people who surround and support me, guide me.”
He added, “We’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of us in terms of learning loss and helping students catch up and perform at grade level and go on to colleges and universities. Otherwise, we’ll lose an entire generation of students and that’s just unacceptable.”
De La Torre has been superintendent of YISD since 2014 and his employment contract has been amended every year, a total of nine times to date.
Previous amendments to De La Torre’s employment contract adjusted his pay and benefits and bumped up his vacation days.
Per a seventh amendment to his contract, the board approved paying De La Torre a lump sum longevity bonus payment each fiscal year starting in July 2020 of $5,000, multiplied by the whole number of consecutive years of tenure he leads the district; he received $30,000 that first year.
He could expect to receive $40,000 in July of this year.
The annual bonus was added to recognize De La Torre for continuing to lead the district for longer than the 5.5 year average superintendent tenure of a large city school district, the contract amendment states.
A fourth amendment to his contract raised his annual salary to $313,899 but removed monthly travel and phone expense allowances valued at $10,800 from his contract, essentially raising his pay to cover the exact former monthly allowance amounts.
A third amendment gave him permission to deliver lectures at local colleges and universities, and at state and national conventions as long as the activities “do not interfere with the performance of his duties as superintendent and do not cause the district to incur any extra expense,” the contract states.
De La Torre unanimously was given permission by the board to be paid for consulting work in April 2018; his contract did not allow or forbid such work at the time. De La Torre had requested the board’s approval to be paid for giving presentations nationwide for aspiring superintendents.
De La Torre is now listed as a leadership coach at J.G. Consulting, an Austin-based education leader development firm that the Socorro ISD school board voted to hire in September to conduct that district’s superintendent search.