Tonight trustees are expected to vote on accepting Superintendent Melody Johnson's resignation, which would take effect Sept. 19. In closed session, they are expected to discuss candidates and qualifications
for a possible interim superintendent or successor. Though Johnson's resignation wouldn't take effect for
another four months, some are pushing to name an interim now. At least four trustees want a special meeting this Friday to vote on an interim, the number of trustees needed to call a special meeting by board policy.
UPDATE from earlier posting: A frustrated sounding board president Ray Dickerson said the meeting will likely take place Friday though he wasn't exactly sure why it was needed. "I don't understand why these games are being played," Dickerson said. "We don't have an opening. We have a superintendent who will be in place until September. We hope to have a replacement by then but if not, we can consider an interim later."
But trustee Carlos Vasquez said an interim is needed to work with Johnson now to ensure a smooth transition should a superintendent search extend well past Johnson's last day, which he said was likely. "We need to have a transitional plan in place to start working with her and be with the superintendent for the closing of the school year and be there at the opening of school year to give stability to employees," Vasquez said. He pointed to former educator Joe Ross being appointed a transitional superintendent when former superintendent Thomas Tocco resigned in 2004. Ross was named in late April that year to take the reigns in July after Tocco's last day. Ross was to serve a few months but was in his post for about a year until Johnson began her duties here.
Johnson abruptly announced her intent to resign during a principal's meeting last week. Since then, some have already come out supporting Deputy Superintendent Walter Dansby (pictured left) as an interim or successor. Others want a national search, including Mayor Mike Moncrief who said he supported that during this morning's council meeting. Meanwhile, a former teacher/parent has launched a Facebook page urging transparency in the selection process.
Along with other council members, Moncrief thanked Johnson for her efforts in Fort Worth. Though the school district isn't perfect, she's done an outstanding job, he said. "I have never worked with anyone that comes close to her equal. ... I don’t think there’s a superintendent who’s given any more energy and focus to trying to make a difference,” Moncrief said.