They say never read the comments, but the new Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent hire might want to make an exception, given the love he’s received from his current district since the announcement of his impending departure.
MMSD announced Friday it had hired Matthew Gutiérrez from a group of three finalists. Gutiérrez will remain the superintendent of the Seguin Independent School District until June 1, when he will begin in Madison.
Comments on the 7,300-student school district’s Facebook page as well as those left on the articles by local media announcing his departure indicate a mostly positive reputation in the community, where he’s worked since 2017.
“That's great news that Dr. Gutierrez accepted the position but it's a sad time for us here in Seguin losing a great man and someone who's done so much for our schools here,” wrote one commenter on the Seguin ISD announcement.
“Our big loss is their gain!!! Going to really miss you,” wrote another.
The comments on the Seguin Gazette’s Facebook post linking to its article on his departure generated a mostly similar tone.
“Madison is getting a wonderful superintendent and human being, and we hope he is as successful there as he was here,” wrote one. “Seguin is losing a wonderful superintendent.”
Gazette managing editor Felicia Frazar wrote in an email that the reaction to the announcement “has been a mix of positive well wishes to disappointment.”
“He was a well liked superintendent who people feel was creating momentum in Seguin, so they hate to lose that,” Frazar wrote. “Of course, every person, no matter how popular, has detractors. He was no different. But by and large he was widely supported here.”
A few of those detractors joined the Facebook comments, expressing concerns about student achievement levels in the district during Gutiérrez’s tenure.
“The sad reality is that under Matthew Gutierrez the vast majority of the SISD students are not on grade level and in fact are on the decline,” one wrote.
But the overall tone remained positive — including hope that he was prepared for the winters ahead and the Midwesterners soon to be pronouncing “Gutiérrez.”
“I can just imagine them mispronouncing his name with their accents,” wrote one.
Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.