A new school superintendent’s love of mariachi led to a full-blown performance from students welcoming him to the job — and he couldn't resist joining in.
Richard Carranza, 49, was hired to head up the Houston Independent School District last week. Other staff knew Carranza loved the traditional Mexican music genre, so they recruited students perform for him on the day of his hiring as a welcoming gesture.
“I grew up being a mariachi performer,” Carranza told InsideEdition.com. “It helped pay my college tuition and has always been a part of who I am.”
But while the students actually came to serenade Carranza, he said he couldn’t help himself and joined in on the performance, and a camera was rolling to capture the moment.
Cheers can be heard as Carranza starts singing. At one point, he even picks up a violin and starts playing along.
“They asked me to sing so I sang, and then they asked me to play so I did,” said Carranza.
Carranza grew up in Arizona in a household with immigrant parents who only spoke Spanish. So he learned English at school. After college, Carranza served as a bilingual classroom teacher before becoming a senior level administrator in Tucson, Arizona, and Las Vegas.
“Mr. Carranza stood out in a field of excellent candidates,” HISD Board President Manuel Rodríguez Jr. said on the district's website.
“His personal journey, including his upbringing as the child of hardworking immigrant parents and his strong record of collaborative leadership, make Mr. Carranza the right person to guide Houston schools into a promising future.”
Carranza said it was Houston’s reputation for capitalizing on its diversity to build a dynamic and thriving community that drew him there, and the district wasted no time showcasing it.