Portrait of Dr. Cruz

Dr. Paul Cruz


Dr. Paul Cruz is the superintendent of the Austin Independent School District, serving 84,000 students and 12,000 employees. Dr. Cruz guides the district in realizing the vision to reinvent the urban school experience

Under Dr. Cruz’s leadership, AISD graduation rates are an all-time high, students are performing well on the state’s accountability system and AISD is ranked among the best in the country on the Nation’s Report Card.

Dr. Cruz has worked on the development, implementation and expansion of various initiatives at AISD, including:

  • Creative Learning Initiative 
  • Dual-language programs
  • Early College High Schools
  • Family Resource Centers
  • Pre-K for 3- and 4-year olds
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

Dr. Cruz began his career in education in 1987. He worked as a teacher, campus administrator, central office administrator and superintendent in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and south Texas. He also served as the deputy commissioner for dropout prevention at the Texas Education Agency.

Having set a personal goal to earn a doctorate before he turned 30 years old, Dr. Cruz received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Austin at the age of 29. In his doctoral program, Dr. Cruz was a fellow in the Cooperative Superintendency Program, which is designed to prepare future urban school superintendents.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from UT-Austin, with a specialization in English, and a Master of Science degree in educational administration from Corpus Christi State University.

Dr. Cruz and his wife, Diana, have four children: Maricristina, Selly, Paul, and Manny.