Ector County ISD’s new Associate Superintendent of Operations Anthony Sorola has devoted his life to education.

In the field since 2001, he started off as an elementary bilingual teacher and served as assistant superintendent of human resources and filled in for the superintendent at his last position in Donna ISD.

“The superintendent just recently left to Round Rock, I was wearing several hats there toward the end of my time with Donna,” Sorola said.

He added that it was a difficult decision to leave because he was happy there. But coming to ECISD was a chance to grow and learn. Another factor is that he’s from West Texas.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to come back home. I have a ton of family in Lamesa,” Sorola said.

Meeting people from the district also sold the job to Sorola.

“I had a couple of interviews and I was excited, but when I came here and met with Dr. Muri and the cabinet and the interview committee, I was very impressed with their professionalism so that was really a selling point was actually coming and seeing the district,” Sorola said.

Sorola earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish literature from Rice University.

When he graduated, he became a bilingual teacher. During that time, he completed a master’s degree in educational leadership.

“I worked for the Dallas Independent School District when I first came out of college. It was good preparation for being in Odessa because it is also an urban environment as well; same dynamics. I went through a program that Dallas had to get my master’s degree. It was a collaborative effort between the school district and UT Arlington. I got my administrative credentials there and I was blessed. I served as a campus administrator with Dallas … A little later on, I went to the University of Texas at Austin (and) … got my doctorate in educational administration. Specifically, it’s the cooperative superintendency program,” Sorola said.

His main areas of focus for ECISD are human capital, which is made up of human resources and talent development, and operations, which covers areas like facilities and construction.

Within operations are school nutrition, transportation and custodial. He also is over athletics.

“Another area that I really enjoy, it kind of goes along with human capital, I get to work with board policy (and) … facilitate updates to board policy along with the superintendent and the board, so it’s a really nice little assortment of areas I get to work with and good learning and ability to affect learning for the children,” Sorola said.

Ector County ISD’s new associate superintendent of operations Anthony Sorola poses for a photo after an interview Nov. 9 in the ECISD Administration Building. Sorola has 21 years of experience in education and plans to focus on staffing and students.(Jacob Ford|Odessa American)

Having been in Odessa since early October, Sorola said he’s been impressed with district leadership and its organization.

“Everybody’s been very friendly. It’s been an absolute joy. … My hope is to make a positive contribution to my areas of oversight …,” Sorola said.

Superintendent Scott Muri said ECISD is thrilled to have Sorola on board and previous supervisors gave him glowing reviews.

“He brings a wealth of human resource experience from multiple school districts in which he’s worked. He came with great recommendations. I know several of his superintendents from prior districts and they really sang his praises and so we’re excited to have him as a part of our team and look forward to what he brings to the table and how he will help us grow and expand as a system and become better,” Muri said.

He added that he didn’t know Sorola previously, but he applied for the position and the district did their homework.

“I know multiple of his former supervisors, and reached out to them and had conversations and all very healthy, just very positive, glowing recommendations,” Muri added.

For his part, Sorola is glad to be a part of Muri’s cabinet and to work with the principals and the community.

“I think one thing I want to emphasize is I try to be accessible to all … so if anybody has a question or concern, they’re welcome to contact me and I’ll make time to visit with them. I do believe in having an open-door policy,” Sorola said.

He noted that because operations is one of his areas of oversight, he knows it’s important that ECISD has an educational environment that’s conducive to learning.

“I’ve been very happy to see the district’s focus on not simply the instructional program, but obviously the environment, the facilities. That kind of ties into our work with the bond planning committee,” Sorola said.

Sorola was the youngest of eight children and education was very important in his family.

“… Being the youngest of eight, I knew there were certain expectations as far as going to college … Education was seen as a way to progress and achieve the American dream,” Sorola said.

“For me, education, my teachers had a huge impact on me being able to go to college and being able to be successful. So to me, it just seemed natural that I use those God-given talents and abilities to help other people. …,” he added.