WOODSBORO – Growing up in Woodsboro was a community-wide experience for Roland Hernandez.
“I felt like I knew the entire community and felt like they knew me,” Hernandez said.
He explained that the community kept him on the right path. He said if he swayed, other parents and relatives would let his parents know just as they would for other youngsters in the community.
Now, at age 46, Hernandez emerged as the sole finalist for the position of Corpus Christi school district superintendent, a school district with about 39,000 students.
“I am excited and honored to be chosen as the lone finalist for Superintendent of Schools for the Corpus Christi Independent School District,” he said.
He credits his community and family for his success.
“When I look back over the many successes I have had throughout the time of earning my degrees, working in several school districts and the Texas Education Agency, I am most appreciative to my wife, Dr. Cynthia Hernandez and children, Lauren (20 at Texas State) and Leyton (a sophomore at CC King High School), my parents, Justo and Gloria, my sister, Melissa (high school math teacher and basketball coach in Angleton), and the many mentors I have had along the way,” he said.
“I know it is all in God’s plan for me, and I am thankful,” he added.
“We’re very proud of our son. We know he is capable of doing the job,” said Gloria Hernandez, Roland’s mother.
“He has always been one of those who has a lot of determination,” she said.
That determination is apparent in Hernandez’s resume. He has a doctorate degree of philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin with a major in educational administration and a minor in public affairs/social work. Of course, he has his superintendent’s certification.
He earned a master’s degree in education administration with a principal certification from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a B.S. in kinesiology from Texas State University.
He attended classes K-12 in Woodsboro and graduated in 1986.
“I was a pretty good basketball player. I participated in all sports,” Hernandez said.
His basketball team made all district three times and all region two times. He also made it three times to all region in tennis.
Currently, Hernandez is the all-time leading scorer in 2A, as well as all-time rebounding.
When he was a senior, his team was ranked No. 4 in state.
Hernandez also was Class President in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. And he was Student Body President in his senior year.
And word of his latest success has spread in Woodsboro.
“Everybody in town has heard about it,” Gloria said. “We’re happy for him, and we’re glad to have him close to home.”
Hernandez has worked for the Corpus Christi school district for the past four years as the district chief administrative officer.
“Dr. Hernandez has a broad range of experience that will help him see the “big picture” as superintendent. He’s been a teacher, coach, campus administrator, and central office leader in curriculum, instruction, testing, technology and human resources,” said Scott Elliff, Corpus Christi school district superintendent. Elliff is retiring at the end of August.
“He’s a good listener with a steady disposition. He waits to hear all sides of an issue and then takes decisive action,” Elliff added.
Before Corpus Christi, Hernandez served for four years as the Waco school district superintendent. That district has about 16,000 students.
He also held positions in the Tyler school district (deputy superintendent), Texas Education Agency (state director of national assessment of educational progress), and the Belton school district as deputy superintendent, just to name a few, not including several principal positions and coach positions.
Hernandez, the teacher, mentor, leader and role model, has a message for students in Woodsboro and Refugio:
“Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities that your parents and others provide for you,” he said.
“You only go through high school once, and you can never go back in time to be a part of something you wish you had. Set goals and work hard to become better at whatever it is you do,” he continued.
“Work harder in the classroom, on the court, on the field. Always remember who you are, where you came from, and the many people who supported you along the way. Your life and future careers are what you make of them,” he said.
Hernandez knows his advice works. These best practices led him to the successes and accolades he has achieved.
Hence, Hernandez is proud of his home and community in Woodsboro and Refugio County.
“My upbringing in a small town laid the foundation for who I am today. Great schools, great teachers, and overall, just great people who influenced my life in some form or fashion,” he said.
“While I may not have had the perks of a city boy with daily access to theaters, malls and various forms of entertainment, I wouldn’t trade growing up in Woodsboro for the world.”