Unexpected Resignation Of MISD School Board Trustee Has Many Asking “Why Now”
MIDLOTHIAN – In a handwritten letter earlier this month, Midlothian School Board Trustee and Vice President Andrea Walton formally resigned from her school board trustee seat. The handwritten letter was addressed to Place 2 School Board Trustee and President Gary Vineyard.
Walton’s most recent term began November 2020 and was not set to expire until next May.
The letter said “I resign immediately for all the reasons listed in the letter I gave to Jo Ann Fey. Please consider this my formal notice.”
In her letter to Dr. Fey, Walton said that the decision did not come lightly and that the relentless power struggle for the past four years has taken a toll on her health. Fey is the Superintendent of School for Midlothian ISD.
“The Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of Board member Andrea Walton at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, February 21, 2022. MISD thanks Mrs. Walton for her five years of service. Mrs. Walton was elected to place 7 in November 2017,” Sheri Brezeale, Executive Director of Communications for Midlothian ISD.
Vineyard said at the upcoming school board meeting on March 7, the board will decide if it will appoint someone to take the Place 7 seat Walton vacated or if a special election will be held.
Andrea Walton Shares Her Reason
In response to FDN’s questions regarding her resignation Walton said, “Many friends have reached out with love, asking for more details on school board. I wanted to share that after a very serious case of COVID in the fall, then experiencing an emotional holiday season losing several close family members – it created a time for pause and reflection. Nick and I evaluated our time and priorities. Many months of prayers went into this decision.”
Walton said overall, she realized she could make a bigger impact volunteering in classrooms and reading with students than sitting on school board.
“I was blessed to meet a special fifth grader a few weeks back, while reading at Vitovsky Elementary,” she said. “She shared a vision of leadership, and it was inspiring. She filled my cup and I want to be like this young leader; impactful with my time and full of joy.”
Additionally, Walton said she was honored to serve in the role of Trustee and humbled by the trust the community placed in her.
Addressing Community Rumors
“Not once did I take that responsibility lightly,” she said. “Although rumors can be very entertaining, they are all false and baseless unless you hear it from me personally. Many friends have shared the most unique questions recently. Since transparency is very important, I wanted to set the record straight. I am not leaving the role of Trustee to; 1. Join the Olympic Team, 2. Go on tour with the WWE wrestlers, 3. Write a book (although it certainly would be a bestseller!), 4. Open a food truck, 5. Nor have I ever been arrested – this made me laugh out loud. Nick and I simply treasure our family time.”
Walton spoke highly of MISD Superintendent Dr. Fey. She said the new Superintendent is bringing strong expectations and goodness to the classroom in Midlothian ISD. She added “I have confidence in her and her team moving forward.”
“Overwhelmingly parents have expressed their concerns to me for the intensity of politics,” Walton continued. “Personal politics has taken center stage. There is a place for a vote and political debate, it isn’t in the classroom. Kids are not red, blue, or purple. All our students are hungry for adults to serve up love, attention and reading. We seem to all agree the importance of getting back on course after two years of COVID. Parents are sending a very strong message that everyone is ready to get back to learning.”
Moving Forward, Overcoming Challenges
Walton said her heart goes out to the teachers and staff who are weary from the two most difficult years of their careers.
“A mark of community success is healthy dialogue, healthy disagreement too. Staying engaged on the issues with respectful conversations,” Walton added. “We all have more in common if we take time to listen. Student success starts with adult behaviors changing, and it takes all of us leading by example.”
Walton also noted hundreds of people had reached out to her in support of her decision as well as her thoughts on the core values of getting back to a community-focus supporting the classroom.