President and CEO of public arts charter school steps down, board adds new director
President and CEO of the Texas Center for Arts + Academics Paul Gravley announced his resignation at a school board meeting on Sept. 19.
The Texas Center for Arts + Academics, also known as TCA+A, is the governing body of two public charter schools: The Texas School of the Arts and The Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. The latter is home to the famous Texas Boys Choir and Singing Girls of Texas.
At the meeting, Gravely thanked his colleagues and said he is leaving to take on a role at a nonprofit in Virginia. Before leaving, he wanted to reaffirm his support for the school.
“I want to be very clear here, this is my decision,” he said. “This has nothing to do with anything else because I believe this place is absolutely incredible and should live on into perpetuity.”
In other business, board members voted 4-1 to add another member to their ranks. Cheryl Prince Bean was absent for the vote that returned Michael Wellbaum to the board.
Charles Reid was the sole dissenting vote. He expressed concern that while Wellbaum might be a well-qualified candidate, there are other qualified applicants who have not yet been considered.
“I’m just afraid that if we go forward with this election of a board member — without considering the others — we could find ourselves in a position down the road where we modify the bylaws and lock in board membership at seven members,” he said, “and these other members who are highly qualified will never ever be considered.”
Several parents have raised concerns that the current board does not represent their values, following a controversial decision requiring students to submit birth certificates before auditioning for the Texas Boys Choir or Singing Girls of Texas — and permitting membership only if the choir matches the student’s sex assigned at birth.
Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.