Parents and even city leaders are looking for answers after the sudden resignation of Desoto ISD Superintendent D’Andre Weaver.
Anytime someone resigns there will be questions. Expect more head-scratching when the resignation comes on a Sunday, in an emergency board meeting, and several school board members don’t seem happy about it.
“I am disappointed by this,” board member Aubrey Cooper said.
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D’Andre Weaver was brought to Desoto ISD after the last superintendent was fired for mismanagement after the Texas Education Agency found more the $21 million misspent on everything from contracts to travel.
But that wasn’t Weaver, he was the person brought in to fix things. Since he took over, the district went from a failing grade to a C and appeared on track to dig out of all this.
"I really was offering the district some grace on the strength of Dr. Weaver. It’s another blindside and not going to do the district any favors with the relationship with the parents and the district," middle school parent Ty Jackson said.
Jackson said it was Weaver who calmed parents who were angry over misspending and promised better. Sources said he was forthcoming with the TEA, open and transparent. Even the city’s mayor seemed overcome with disbelief.
“What in the world is going on? I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t rest well last night, I too am somewhat confused and heartbroken,” DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan said.
The mayor admitted it doesn’t put her city in the best light.
“Absolutely I worry about it. We moved here because of the schools 40 years ago” she said. “We’re going to rise above this we’re going to be better than these past experiences we’ve had."
It all could be for nothing. Could Weaver simply have a new job? Is there something personal the board can’t tell us? Or does that 4-to-3 split decision say this was a disagreement on the board regarding their new leader?
Look at the words from board member Tiffany Clark.
"Ultimately, I participated in the meeting and voted against the 'Voluntary Resignation Agreement' because every single taxpayer dollar needs to go toward our students and schools, not toward negotiated settlement agreements. It is irresponsible and selfish to allow adult issues to usurp our focus on students, teachers and staff – especially in the middle of a life or death global health pandemic, one week before school starts," she wrote, in part, on Facebook.
Parents said leaders have to be open, and not surprise everyone less than a week before the start of school.
"This is not the best time, even if he did want to resign I would think in the best interest of the children, their families, and the community the board should have suggested that he wait until we are in a better position because of everything that’s going on," high school parent Gloria Fobbs said.
The TEA could take over DeDoto ISD based solely on the actions of the previous superintendent and board.
Sources said Weaver was well-liked in Austin. It’s unclear what impact taking him out of the equation will have on what’s next for the district.
Dr. Don Hooper, a former superintendent from outside the district will head things up for now. A district spokeswoman said he and the board would release a statement to the community via email and social media "later today."