Portrait of Dr. Cruz

Dr. Paul Cruz

Interim Superintendent

Dr. Paul Cruz is currently the interim superintendent for the Austin Independent School District, serving almost 86,000 students and nearly 12,000 employees. Dr. Cruz has worked in education for 28 years and is in his ninth year with AISD. 

In his prior role of chief schools officer, he supervised four associate superintendents for high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, and more than 120 campus principals/directors. He also led the Division of Learning Support Services and the Division of School, Family and Community. These divisions include programs such as dropout prevention, guidance and counseling, college readiness, after-school initiatives, athletics, attendance, discipline, AVID and Positive Behavior Support.

Previously, Dr. Cruz served as the AISD associate superintendent for middle schools, during which time he oversaw 20 campuses including one alternative school. He also worked as the assistant superintendent for educational services, a position that allowed him to focus on college readiness, dropout prevention, guidance and counseling, and student support programs.

He has worked as a teacher, campus administrator and central office administrator in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and south Texas. Dr. Cruz was also a superintendent of schools in the Laredo ISD, a district with approximately 23,500 students. He served as the deputy commissioner for dropout prevention at the Texas Education Agency. Dr. Cruz also has taught a graduate-level course in curriculum and instruction.

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 also 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, a former teacher, have been married for more than 24 years and have four children: Maricristina, a sophomore at UT-Austin; Selly, 17; Paul, 14; and Emmanuel, 10.