FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Walter Dansby is a Fort Worth Independent School District graduate and has been an employee of the school district for some 40 years. But now, the head man’s time as superintendent is about to come to an end.
Dansby submitted his resignation as superintendent and intent to retire Monday evening. His contract as superintendent wasn’t set to expire until August of 2016. Dansby’s role as head of Fort Worth ISD will officially end next week.
On June 10, 2014 Dansby’s official title will change to District Ambassador for Public Relations – a job he will be fully compensated for while on school related leave with benefits.
Until his official retirement on January 31, 2015 the Fort Worth ISD will pay Dansby nearly $900,000.
Like clockwork, Dansby was back at work as superintendent on Tuesday. His last day leading the district is next Monday.
Meanwhile, the resignation and retirement has left a lot of Fort Worth parents confused. As parents and community leaders talked one person asked, “With Mr. Dansby gone what’s our next step?”
Some parents said they’re now worried about the district’s future. Community activist Melinda Hamilton said, “This shouldn’t have happened. We had a superintendent that was doing what the other superintendent’s hadn’t done.”
Mother and parent Teena James said, “I’m a little disturbed, because it seems like when we make a couple of steps forward we’re pushed about 10 steps back.”
James has three children in Fort Worth ISD schools. Her oldest is about to graduate from Dunbar High School.
“Mr. Dansby has taken time to speak to the young men. He coached them in a lot of different areas,” she said of Dansby’s efforts as a leader and educator. “We have some kids that were willing to give up. He actually walked a lot of these young men to graduation status.”
On his watch — parents say Dansby tried to change things at some of the low-income schools. But sources say in the last several months concerns grew among school board members over how the district’s money was being spent. STAAR were apparently another concern.
While Dansby was on the job Tuesday he wasn’t talking about the resignation. But after informing the school board of his decision Monday night he did say he had no regrets. “I hope this doesn’t turn into anything very negative or impact the district in a very negative way,” he said. “I think we [FWISD] are bigger than this and we’ve got to be courageous in our moves.”
Even the biggest teachers association in Fort Worth was caught off guard by the resignation.
Steven Poole, the executive director of the United Educators Association, said, “We have one week left with these kids. The timing was a little suspect. I wish they could have waited until after the school year was over.”
Members of the teachers association told CBS 11 News that for an urban school district, three years for a superintendent is considered a long time – exactly the amount of time Dansby has served in the role.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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