Board president Clarence Crawford said that Choudhury was among 55 applicants for the position, 11 of whom were interviewed and researched. Four finalists were “truly outstanding,” he said, but Choudhury was unique.
“He thinks big, and he thinks small,” Crawford said. “He thinks big because he thinks of big, bold, fresh ideas. He thinks small because he’s able to turn those ideas into results.”
Board members described Choudhury as a high-energy leader with a sense of optimism and a commitment to equity.
He was credited for helping lead a transformation of San Antonio’s school system, which state officials said had a failing rating before he arrived and became the fastest-improving large district in Texas. Ninety percent of its students are economically disadvantaged.
Choudhury started out as a classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and led transformation and innovation efforts in the Dallas Independent School District before moving to San Antonio, officials said.
He will replace Karen B. Salmon, who retires on June 30 after 45 years as an educator. She was state superintendent for five years and a longtime superintendent in Talbot County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
State leaders said Choudhury’s contract is being finalized, and his salary and contract terms will be released in coming days.