El Paso Independent School District
El Paso, Texas
Juan E. Cabrera became superintendent of the El Paso Independent School District on Sept. 3, 2013. Immediately prior to joining EPISD, Cabrera served as a school law attorney and advisor to school districts.
Along with his leadership team, Cabrera seeks to provide EPISD’s young scholars with an academically rigorous, character-based dual-language education, focusing on the “whole-child”. This approach seeks to assure EPISD graduates are academically prepared, well-rounded, civic-minded young citizens. To this end, EPISD’s student learning goals include supporting the development of informed problem solvers, critical, knowledgeable and creative thinkers, responsible leaders and productive citizens and socially and emotionally intelligent individuals.
Working with EPISD’s dedicated teachers and administrators, Cabrera seeks to drive innovation and create “schools of choice” and great schools across the city to assure every child is provided every opportunity to succeed and learn in dynamic learning environments. EPISD is a national leader in Dual Language education and is currently expanding dual language programs across all of its schools. Additionally, with its expanding New Tech Network schools and district-wide professional development, EPISD is seeking to transform all of its classrooms into Active Learning environments where every child is empowered and engaged in their learning.
Cabrera has also worked with EPISD leadership to institute district-wide PSAT day for all eighth through – 11th and an SAT day for 12th-grade students. All sixth- and seventh-graders also take introductory SAT and ACT courses.
In 2015, EPISD introduced “Power Up EPISD” to transform teaching and learning through scaling laptops across all 10 high schools. In 2018 all sixth- through 12th-graders received take-home devices. Through districtwide Social and Emotional Learning, Active Learning, Dual Language and the introduction of New Tech Network schools, EPISD is more deeply engaging students through inquiry-based learning, project-based learning and a deeper focus on collaboration in the classroom.
Under Cabrera’s leadership, EPISD was selected as one of only 80 districts nationwide to join the League of Innovative Schools and one of 10 districts to join the CASEL network. EPISD was also selected as one of eight Texas districts to participate in Texas Education Agency’s System of Great Schools.
Cabrera is a former elementary bilingual teacher, but spent 20 years away from the classroom working as a technology attorney and software executive. Cabrera graduated from Texas A & I University in 1988 and the University of Texas School of Law in 1996. He has also completed programs at the London School of Business and the Harvard Negotiation Project. Additionally, he has completed the ALAS Superintendent’s Leadership Academy, which prepares experienced leaders to successfully run urban public education systems. Cabrera was selected as 2015 Texas Latino Superintendent of the Year, and in November 2014, Cabrera was one of 100 Superintendents selected by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the first-ever National ConnectED Superintendents Summit at the White House.
Cabrera is active in the local community and serves on the boards of the UTEP/El Paso Education Collaborative, the Center Against Family and Sexual Violence, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of El Paso, Junior Achievement of El Paso, EPISD’s Education Foundation and the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. He’s also a member of the Rotary Club of El Paso and the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
At the state level, Cabrera currently serves on Commissioner of Education’s Superintendents Cabinet and as founder and immediate past president of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents and the Texas Urban Council of Superintendents. He also serves on the state boards of the Minority Males Consortium, the Equity Center and the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
Nationally, Cabrera serves on the Executive Committee of the Council of Great City Schools, which is the nation’s leading advocate for large urban school systems and COSN’s Empowered Superintendent’s Committee and on the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee of The College Board, New Tech Network, and Renaissance Learning.