RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Richardson ISD Board of Trustees voted 6-0 Monday night, Dec. 13 to accept the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone.

Richardson ISD Supt. Dr. Jeannie Stone (credit: RISD)

The board will begin the search for a new superintendent immediately.

Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum will serve as the interim superintendent.

“I thank you all for listening,” President Regina Harris.“We have to come together as a district to accept this resignation. It’s what Dr. Stone has asked us to do.”

Before the meeting even began a group of teachers protested outside the administration building in support of Stone.

Then about 45 people, mainly parents, spoke during public comment. Only a few, like Euan Blackman, spoke out against her.

“I would say she is lacking in the ability to bring academic excellence to the district across the board,” Blackman said. “I hope we find the superintendent that will focus on academics primarily.”

Many said Stone led the district well during an especially trying time, going against the Governor’s order to require masks this school year.

There’s also been mixed reaction to Stone’s creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department. A district board member resigning back in September after facing similar opposition.

“An opposition that has assassinated her character, that has assassinated the district as a whole under a false propaganda and rhetoric,” parent Denita Jones said. “DEI is important to all our students.”

Harris went on to say this was a very hard decision for the board to make. She’s asking everyone to to stand strong move forward.

RISD and Stone released a joint statement on the matter:

Dr. Jeannie Stone has announced her resignation as Superintendent of Schools for the Richardson Independent School District. Dr. Stone and the board have reached an agreement that allows her to pursue other interests and permits the board to pursue hiring another superintendent. The board and Dr. Stone have entered into the agreement believing it is in their respective best interests and in the best interests of the district. Prior to the effective date of her resignation, Dr. Stone will remain employed in the district and will assist the interim or successor superintendent during that time.

On behalf of the entire district, the board of trustees expresses its sincere appreciation to Dr. Stone for her efforts while serving as superintendent and for the many achievements and accomplishments of the entire district team during Dr. Stone’s tenure as superintendent.

Dr. Stone thanks the present and past board of trustees for providing her with the opportunity to serve in the Richardson Independent School District and would like to express her heartfelt appreciation to the staff and community for their support of the district’s programs and services during her term as superintendent.

Success requires hard work, dedication, leadership and vision. The board and Dr. Stone wish to acknowledge and recognize the teachers, principals, administrators, staff, students, parents and patrons who have contributed to the district’s success. The board extends its best wishes to Dr. Stone in her future endeavors. The board will begin its search for a new superintendent, so as not to disrupt the district’s operations.

Also at the December 13 meeting, the board voted to name RISD Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum to serve as the interim superintendent until a new superintendent is selected.

“I am honored to serve the students, teachers, and families of RISD as the interim superintendent,” said Ms. Branum. “We will continue the focus of serving all students and working to allow each of them to reach their full academic potential. I am grateful to Dr. Stone for her leadership and contributions, thankful to our Board of Trustees for this opportunity, and humbled to work in service of our amazing RISD students and employees.”

Erin Jones