Monday night, Richardson ISD’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept Superintendent Jeannie Stone’s resignation. The vote happened without additional discussion among board members.
The announcement of Stone's planned departure last week came with blowback from parents and teachers who wanted Stone to stay, and felt she was pushed to resign.
Board President Regina Harris became emotional in a statement following the decision, stating the businesses of the district will continue.
“The board will begin its search for a new superintend so as to not disrupt the district’s operations,” said Harris.
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This board’s decision, however, wasn’t made before hearing from parents and teachers during the public comments portion of the meeting. The majority of those who signed up to speak were strongly opposed to Stone’s departure. Many gathered at district headquarters hours prior to the meeting in a show of solidarity.
Andre Watson is a Biology teacher at Berkner High School STEM Academy and a former Richardson ISD student. He said he was encouraged by Stone’s commitment to diversity and equity programs.
In 2019 Stone was named Texas' Superintendent of the Year and was praised for putting students and academics first and for standing with parents.
“It makes me actually really incredibly sad,” said Watson. “Having systems in place that really protect us and make sure that all students are going to be able to learn, that’s at stake here.”
But some believe the community only became more contentious under her leadership. For more than a year, parents were divided over issues such as masks mandates and racial equity programs; both of which Stone supported.
Euan Blackman said the board made the right decision tonight and looks forward to someone new in the superintendent’s seat.
“She definitely had some great supporters. If you were on her team, rah rah rah, she loved you and she was able to curate a fan base that was incredible as you saw tonight,” said Blackman.
He said he wasn’t impressed with the district’s academic performance.
“She was lacking in the ability to bring academic excellence to the district across the board,” he said.
Many others worried about the direction of the district.
Richardson ISD Parent Lowry Manders founded the organization Lake Highland Area Moms Against Racism and said Stone supported the group’s efforts.
“She was an awesome leader, is an awesome leader, so I know she’s going to go on to do great things, but I am very concerned for the future of RISD,” said Manders.
Board President Regina Harris said members reached an agreement with Stone and acted on her wishes.
Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum will serve as the district's interim superintendent.