1st Day For Just-Hired DeSoto Superintendent Could Be Her Last

Updated 9:50 p.m. 7/11

DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday was the first day on the job for DeSoto’s new school superintendent. But, under fire for a cheating scandal in Georgia, Kathy Augustine’s first day could also be her last.

Trustees of the DeSoto Independent School District school board meet behind closed doors Monday evening to discuss the Georgia cheating scandal and the extent to which it implicates their new superintendent.

With a doctorate from Harvard and 35 years in public education, Kathy Augustine appeared to be a top pick for the $188,000 a year job.

But, now the former Atlanta Public Schools Deputy Superintendent has been cited in one of the largest test cheating investigations in the nation. Augustine is accused of purposely providing investigators with false information.

The 60-year-old administrator issued a statement Wednesday, dismissing the accusations against her.

DeSoto school board trustee Sandra Wheeler says the district has no business hiring anyone who is under suspicion and claims that critical data about Augustine was not revealed by the search firm who recommended her.

“We should’ve been notified about that right up front,” Said Wheeler. “If I’m going to interview someone who’s under investigation, that should’ve been told to us before we even got to her.”

George McShan, the lead consultant for the educational leadership search firm BWP & Associates says Wheeler’s statements are wrong and a misrepresentation of the facts.

McShan says the Atlanta cheating investigation was discussed thoroughly with DeSoto trustees, and nothing in the investigation, at the time gave them pause regarding Augustine.

BWP was paid $14,000 to conduct the superintendent search.

The special called DeSoto school board meeting got underway at 6:30 p.m. Monday night and as of 9:45 was still in closed door session.  Outside, a group of protesters led by unsuccessful board candidate Cecil Lofton called for Augustine’s firing.  Lofton has three students in the district and says board members owe it to DeSoto to apologize for hiring the embattled leader.  “We were the first ones to come to this board when we knew that they were interviewing Dr. Augustine and we said, ‘No, we don’t accept that.   There are a lot more people across America that fits this bill more than she does because of this cheating scandal.   We don’t need that.”

Augustine claims she knew nothing directly about the scandal, and was up front about the investigation.

The former chairman of the Atlanta school board, Khaatim El, resigned from the school board Monday night because of the investigation, telling the school board in Georgia he “failed to protect thousands of children.”


One Comment

  1. Hemroidious says:

    She could work for John Wylie Price. Maybe do a Kwanza Fest or two or laundry a few bills. There’s lots she could do for him. She would fit right in.

  2. Hemroidious says:

    Or better still. she could go to work for Edie Bernice Johnson selling scholarships.

  3. C Bauer says:

    “OK, Kathy. We’ll begin your new hire orientation in about five minutes, followed by an hour lunch, then your exit interview after that.”

  4. Beverly says:

    The Board should have been told about this prior to her being hired. 188K??? Wow, must be a very rich school district.

  5. sbeck says:

    If Desoto school board allows her to continue they are foolish. There is a great possibility she will be indicted. There is more information to come. Why would you begin your school year and tenure with a cloud.

  6. Ann says:

    I guess Kathy Augustine felt she could start over in Texas like nothing happened with the same mode of operation. Once a snake, always a snake!!!!!!!!

  7. Schoolhouse says:

    It is just one unfortunate piece of news after another unfortunate piece of news. Dr. Augustine, your career is over in Education. The children of Atlanta have been cheated out of an education because of the greed and fear of failure of the educators in Atlanta Public Schools. If teachers complained about cheating, then you were very much aware of the fact that cheating was occurring in the Atlanta school district. Furthermore, you realize that overall student-achievement-gains occur gradually, not exponentially as they did under your watch. You failed to protect those students in Atlanta and you were responsible for protecting them from harm; however, you turned away from them and refused to allow them to struggle and learn on their own. No school district should allow you as even a school teacher in their district. We are educators, and that is what we do…educate, not cheat!

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