Dr. Xavier De La Torre, Superintendent
Dr. Xavier De La Torre is a well-known figure in the El Paso community. Prior to joining the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) in March 2014, he served as the Superintendent of Schools in the neighboring Socorro Independent School District (SISD) before relocating to California in 2012 to serve as the County Superintendent of Schools at the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
During his tenure at YISD, Dr. De La Torre has ushered in a new era of innovative thinking, with an ambitious agenda for all students and staff. He was instrumental in passing a $430.5 million bond in November 2015 that is providing funds for various campus projects, including safety and security updates; new athletics and fine arts facilities; school renovations and additions; technology upgrades; and the construction of several new campuses. Dr. De La Torre helped plan and launch the 2016 opening of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, El Paso’s only single-gender, college-preparatory public school for grades 6-12. An expansion of YISD’s highly acclaimed international schools, increased business-community partnerships, an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, math, and engineering), additional programs to help students earn college credit while in high school, and a new technology-driven initiative – “Engage Me! One Vision, Infinite Possibilities.” – have been the hallmarks of Dr. De La Torre’s time at YISD.
While at SISD, Dr. De La Torre emerged as a dynamic instructional leader and nationally recognized superintendent who was credited with securing two consecutive Broad Prize award nominations (2009 and 2010) and three consecutive Texas Education Agency (TEA) Recognized District distinctions (2009, 2010, and 2011). In 2010, 37 of 39 eligible SISD schools were rated “Recognized” or “Exemplary” on the state of Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). While at SISD, Dr. De La Torre spearheaded the successful passage of a $297 million facilities bond in 2011, which resulted in two new comprehensive high schools; a new combination school; three new elementary schools; state-of-the-art science labs; and refrigerated air-conditioning systems in all district elementary schools.
As County Superintendent of Schools at the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Dr. De La Torre led a regional service agency that provided leadership, instructional services, student services, and business services to 32 school districts and more than 270,000 students. His advocacy for universal pre-kindergarten programs led to the building of the first Educare facility in California. Under Dr. De La Torre’s guidance, the Santa Clara County Office of Education assumed a leadership role in the successful implementation of the national common core standards. His advocacy for biliteracy and bilingualism was recognized nationally when he was named the co-chairperson of the annual National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE) conference in San Diego. A staunch advocate for public education, Dr. De La Torre reinvented the vetting process for the evaluation of charter school petitions, demanding more rigorous standards, oversight, compliance, and outcomes.
Dr. De La Torre began his career in education as a teacher, coach and principal in various school districts in California before serving as Associate Superintendent of Human Resources in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, where he managed all aspects of personnel and labor relations. He then served as Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Chief Labor Negotiator in the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento, Calif. In 2005, Dr. De La Torre was named the recipient of the Edgar L. Morphet Award from the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA), which recognizes the nation’s best doctoral dissertation that addresses an important educational issue.
Throughout the years, Dr. De La Torre has earned accolades for his work in public education and on behalf of students and student athletes. In the 1990s, he was named Coach of the Year on four different occasions for his success as a varsity baseball coach and a varsity football coach. In 1993, he added a Teacher of the Year distinction while in the Hamilton Union High School District.
Dr. De La Torre, who was born and raised in northern California, holds a baccalaureate from California State University, Chico; a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco; and a doctorate degree from University of California, Davis.