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Short Timers: A Roll Call Of Dallas School Superintendents

A long line of leaders of Dallas schools has come and gone since August 1884 when a man named W. A. Boles was elected superintendent. KERA’s Shelley Kofler looks at this revolving door of superintendents in a story that aired today.

It’s worth noting, that in a quarter century, no Dallas school district superintendent has lasted more than six years. Through the years, there have been some retirements, resignations, firings, a few interims and even a prison sentence.

Who’s lasted the longest? You have to go back to Warren Travis White who began his began his stint in 1946, leading the district for more than two decades through the post-World War II years. He retired in 1968, and a high school in North Dallas was named in his honor.

In contrast, Yvonne Gonzalez lasted less than a year on the job in 1997. She resigned amid an FBI investigation of her lavish spending — $16,000 worth of furniture using district funds.

Current Superintendent Mike Miles has been in his position a little more than a year. Last week, an independent investigation found that at least two of his recent actions could be “good cause for dismissal.”

The board will meet Saturday in closed session to discuss the findings of the investigation, but won’t vote on Miles’ status with the district until a future date.

Here’s a list superintendents who have served during the last 20 years:

Mike Miles, 2012 to present

Michael Hinojosa, May 12, 2005 to Jun 30, 2011. Resigned to take a job as superintendent in Cobb County outside Atlanta.

Mike Moses, Jan. 1, 2001 to Aug. 31, 2004. Resigned and now runs School Executive Consulting Inc., an education search firm.

Waldemar “Bill” Rojas, Aug. 1, 1999 to July 5, 2000. Fired after feuding with the school board.

James H. Hughey, Sept. 24, 1997 to August 1999. Served as acting superintendent for almost a year, and then superintendent until Rojas was hired.

Yvonne Gonzalez, Jan. 9, 1997 to Sept. 17, 1997. Resigned amid a spending scandal. An FBI investigation found she used $16,000 in district money to buy furniture for her personal use. She ended up serving 10 months in federal prison.

Chad Woolery, Dec. 1, 1993 to Aug. 5, 1996. Resigned just before the new school year after taking a job as president of Voyager Foundation. But his resignation raised questions about potential conflict of interest because the district awarded the company some contracts after he left.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.