Xavier De La Torre, who left Silicon Valley five years ago after a rocky tenure as Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) superintendent, has been making headlines down in Texas for less-than-upstanding behavior. According to news reports, the career public ed bureaucrat head-butted Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) Superintendent Jose Espinoza last week at a Whataburger.
Espinoza reportedly—and understandably—reacted by punching De La Torre right in the kisser. A police report on the scrap suggests De La Torre was drunk at the time.
The former Silicon Valley superintendent issued a mea culpa undercut by a denial about the brief brawl. “I sincerely apologize for my conduct during the unfortunate incident that occurred in San Antonio last month,” De La Torre said. “This is not who I am.”
However, he added: “After deliberation and reflection, I want to be clear that I was not the aggressor in this incident, contrary to recent reports. I did not head-butt anyone. I understand there is information in the public domain that states otherwise, but this information is inaccurate as to the actual events that transpired that night.”
De La Torre took his job at SCCOE in 2012 amid an investigation into a cheating scandal involving his prior employer, the Soccoro Independent School District. In 2013, auditors cleared the superintendent and reinstated four of his top administrators. Back in San Jose, De La Torre wasn’t really vibing with his colleagues at SCCOE, locking horns with staff and racking up a series of poor performance reviews from the Board of Ed.
De La Torre jumped ship from SCCOE before the ax fell and landed a gig with YISD, which describes him in his official bio as a “nationally recognized superintendent.” If only the recognition were for more laudable reasons.