Dr. Pablo Perez Biography
Once, when Dr. Pablo Perez was a youngster, he was called before the class to read a story. He was excited at the chance to show off his reading skills until he realized everyone was staring at him. He was the only one in the room wearing no shoes.
It was a lesson that stuck with him for a lifetime as he turned himself into a tireless advocate of education for children. A migrant himself, he would always have a special place in his heart for migrant children. In fact, as superintendent of McAllen schools, he created the first migrant program in the Valley.
The program was so successful that it led to recognition of the district by the U.S. Department of Education and at an International Reading Conference in Canada.
Pablo Perez was McAllen’s first Hispanic Superintendent, serving from 1983 through 1992. That achievement anchored his 38-year career in education. His was a simple philosophy embraced by the district as its motto - All Children Can Learn.
A 1954 graduate of Mission High, he obtained his degree from Pan American College in 1960. He taught health and physical education in Mission schools and later became an elementary teacher. He earned his Master’s Degree from Southern Methodist University in 1970 and his Ph.D. from East Texas State in 1977.
He worked for the Dallas ISD in the 1970s as a Director for Bilingual Education and Director for Personnel Development. He later became an Area Superintendent, in charge of 50 schools.
Recognized for his extensive experience in curriculum and facilities, he became McAllen’s Superintendent in 1983. On his watch, a ninth grade campus (which later became Rowe High School), Morris Middle School, De Leon Middle School and Gonzalez Elementary were opened. Additionally, new wings were added to Milam and Rayburn Elementary Schools.
In McAllen, he initiated the District Improvement Plan, which is still in use today. It establishes short and long-range goals that guide every campus and department, another first for the region. A visionary in curriculum, the heart of any school plan, Dr. Perez is credited with establishing a model for the formal lesson cycle, linking specific lessons to a targeted objective. He also implemented the district’s Parental Involvement Program. In 1988, Texas Monthly magazine recognized the district as one of the ten best in Texas.
Following his retirement, he worked as a Superintendent’s Monitor for the Texas Education Agency. He finished his career as a Superintendent in Pasco, Washington before retiring in 1998. He is recognized as an excellent role model for the at-risk student because he was once an at-risk student himself.