It’s too late to convince Jeannie Stone to stay. If you’re a Richardson ISD parent, teacher or taxpayer who agrees with the Texas PTA that she’s one of the best educational leaders in the state, you are out of time and out of luck. Lake Highlands Advocate reported Friday that she’d been negotiating a “separation agreement” from the district after some board members made it clear they want her gone and a group of disgruntled parents began wearing “Fire Stone” tees to public meetings. The board has added “consider voluntary separation and release agreement for superintendent” and “consider appointment of interim superintendent” to the agenda for Monday night’s meeting.
Stone is not expected to attend the board meeting – perhaps no financial settlement is enough to subject oneself to public torture another time – but supporters are planning to present a petition praising her dedication and accomplishments.
“Over the last few difficult years in education, we have felt incredibly lucky to be in a district with a Superintendent and School Board members that value safety and science over politics and seek to make all students feel included and valued,” wrote Erik Archilla, a teacher in Richardson High School’s theater magnet program. “Sadly, we have allowed a small group of angry voices to steer the conversation and it has cost us valued members of our School Board and Administration.”
Archilla referred to another recent resignation – that of then-board president Karen Clardy, who worked for decades at Lake Highlands High School and represented Lake Highlands’ District 5 as a trustee until last month. Clardy came under fire by the same anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and anti-SEL (social emotional learning) crowd which targeted Stone at meetings and on social media.
Archilla originally shared his petition mostly with RISD teacher friends, but the effort gained traction as word of Stone’s departure began to spread. He’s now surpassed his goal of 2,500 signatures.
“We as teachers, parents and community members want to voice our support for Dr. Stone and the RISD School Board for all of their tireless work over the past few years in service to our teachers and students. They have weathered a storm of criticisms and personal attacks throughout this trying time to give their best to RISD.”
If you’d like to add your name, you may log onto Change.org here. If you want to attend the meeting in person, RISD trustees and attorneys will first meet behind closed doors at 5 p.m. to discuss acceptance of the separation agreement. Public comments will begin at 6, and the public vote on Stone’s separation agreement will be considered immediately afterward.