DeSoto ISD Meeting To Discuss Warehouse Fire, Superintendent Resigns
The DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees met once again in a special meeting Sunday, August 30. In the citizens comments, Sandre Moncref said the calling of the special meeting was only a pretense to force the resignation of the Superintendent of Schools, D’Andre Weaver.
She said “I absolutely believe there is a lack of transparency here in calling this special meeting under the pretence of discussing PPE equipment loss from the fire. The real agenda is the forcing out of the Superintendent one week before school starts. … Once again this board is trying to usurp the Superintendent’s duties. The same board recently evaluated the Superintendent and gave him a raise. It is sad that this district will have to go through this process again.”
Susan Wright commented “I hope and pray that the board is not considering another extension of Dr. Weaver’s contract.”
The board then immediately moved into executive session.
One board member immediately asked Board President Daniel about the “fire” which was the posted reason for the meeting. She responded the board would consider this, but after the executive session. The board then went into closed session at 3:10 pm. The closed session lasted until 4:33 pm, when the open meeting resumed.
Ms. Daniel asked for a motion, which Ms. Kathy Goad made: “I move that the board accept the resignation , and voluntary resignation agreement of Dr. D’Andre Weaver according to the terms discussed in closed session.” The motion was seconded by Trustee Cynthia Banks. Trustee Aubrey Hooper said he was saddened by the action. “And, I don’t support the departure of the Superintendent.”
Fleming, Banks, Goad, and Daniel all voted to accept the resignation while Sargent, Hooper, Clark all voted no.
Board member D’Andrea Fleming then moved to remove Dr. Don Hooper as the board appointed conservator and appoint him as the acting Superintendent. Trustee Goad seconded the motion.
Trustee Aubrey Hooper said he did not support the motion and would suggest appointing someone with community roots and would support Shon Joseph, principal of DeSoto High School. He continued that the community needs healing. There was no further discussion on Trustee Hoopers comment in that it was pointed out that the current motion needed to be voted on. The vote to appoint Don Hooper passed by the same 4-3 motion as that to accept Mr. Weaver’s resignation.
Board President Daniel then moved on to the fire emergency measure that was on the original agenda. Acting Superintendent Don Hooper was called on to explain the fire situation. He said the warehouse building was destroyed. It had a value of $1,400,000 with an insurance deductible of $250,000. The inventory loss was estimated at $282,000. The loss in PPE materials was $79,780. With the PPE equipment that was already in inventory, Hooper said approximately $87,000 needed to be set aside for new PPE equipment.
Trustee Goad moved that the $87,000 be set aside for replacement PPE if needed. It was seconded by Trustee Hooper and passed with only trustee Clark voting no.
Dr. Weaver then thanked the board and the board members that hired him two years ago. He said he was confident that the district was now in a better place than it was when he first started. He then thanked Mayor McCowan and the city council as well as everyone in the community that he worked with.
The meeting was then adjourned at 4:55 pm.
Statement From DeSoto Mayor McCowan On Dr. Weaver’s Resignation
I was both shocked and saddened to learn of the resignation of DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D’Andre Weaver.
I respect the Superintendent’s decision to resign and would like to thank him for giving so much of himself over the past two years while trying to make DeSoto’s schools a better place for our children to learn and to be all that they can be.
Dr. Weaver inherited a mess, and I believe he gave his all to try and clean it up. In his efforts to enlist support from all stakeholders in the community, he passionately emphasized that if our children don’t get the quality education they deserve, they won’t have the chance to develop their full potential, thereby risking the loss of our next generation of leaders. As I’ve stated in the past, even though DeSoto ISD is independent from the City of DeSoto, we realize that the future of our great city is closely tied to the success of that school system.
As Mayor, and on behalf of City government, I pledge that we will work closely with the new DeSoto ISD leadership and do everything that we can to make our school system one that ALL will trust and respect.
On a personal note, Dr. D’Andre Weaver is an extremely professional, talented, and likable educator who will go on to make a positive difference for the children of whatever school system he serves next. DeSoto’s loss will clearly be another city’s gain. We all wish him well.
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