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Richardson ISD school board accepts superintendent's resignation

RISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone speaks in a video message.
Richardson ISD screengrab
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Jeannie Stone in an earlier video message to Richardson ISD.

Jeannie Stone will no longer be the Richardson ISD superintendent after the school board voted Monday night to accept her resignation.

The board didn't explain why Stone was resigning, but she has faced criticism for efforts to address educational disparities in a district where nearly 40% of the students are Hispanic and 22% are Black. Meanwhile, Stone and the district have been criticized for requiring masks during the pandemic.

An online petition in support of Stone features thousands of signatures. Most of the speakers who addressed the board Monday night spoke in favor of Stone and criticized the board for accepting her resignation.

After the board voted 6-0 to accept the voluntary separation agreement, school board chair Regina Harris addressed the crowd.

“We have to come together as a district to accept this resignation,” Harris said tearfully. “It is what Dr. Stone asked us to do.”

Other board members did not make public comments immediately following the vote.

Soon after the vote, the district released a joint statement on behalf of the school board and Stone.

“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 statement reads. “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.”

Officials say Stone will remain employed with the district and will assist the “interim or successor superintendent.”

The board voted to name Tabitha Branum, RISD deputy superintendent, as interim superintendent. In a statement, Branum said she was grateful to Stone for her leadership and contributions.

Stone had told people in the district in recent days of her plans.

Stone became superintendent in 2017 after serving in the interim role following former superintendent Kay Waggoner’s retirement. Stone first joined the Richardson district in 2015 as deputy superintendent over curriculum and instruction.

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Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org. You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.