UPDATE

Decatur ISD names new board officers


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A month after splitting on the vote to keep superintendent Judi Whitis, Decatur ISD school board has a new slate of officers.
Decatur ISD trustees named Cheri Boyd the new school board president Monday after reorganizing officers. Trustees appointed Rex Hoskins vice president and Jennifer Wren board secretary.
All three appointments had a 5-2 vote with previous president Wade Watson and vice president Matt Joiner casting dissenting votes.
Wren called for the reorganization to be put on the agenda after June’s 4-3 decision to keep Whitis. Watson, Joiner and Marsha Hafer voted against the move.
“I felt like we needed to start with a slate of officers that wanted to work with Dr. Whitis to improve the district,” Wren said. “After the last meeting, I was worried with the officers that we had they would not be willing to communicate with her effectively to improve Decatur ISD.”
Boyd, who was elected to the board in May 2016, takes over as president. Last month, she read the statement voicing the majority support for Whitis.
“I just hope to do a good job and assist the board in supporting Dr. Whitis in moving forward to be a successful and effective superintendent,” Boyd said.
“[The change] is reflective of the vote last month. Hopefully moving forward it will be a smooth transition to be supportive of Dr. Whitis and the district.”
After the meeting, Watson said he welcomed Boyd as the new board president.
“The board voted and I will respect the vote,” Watson said. “I will remain a board member.
“The new slate of officers agree with the direction the district is heading.”
Watson pointed out that his vote last month showed he obviously did not.
Before a pair of long closed sessions in June to evaluate Whitis and discuss her contract, Watson sent Whitis a two-page letter detailing “multiple concerns [that] have been brought to the attention of several [board] members recently.”
Last week after the agenda for the meeting was posted with the reorganization of officers, Watson mentioned concerns about communication. He reiterated that Monday after the meeting.
“Communication has not improved. Communication is still lacking between the superintendent and the board after our split vote,” Watson said.
Boyd disagreed when asked about communication.
“That’s not a problem on my part. When I’ve asked questions of Dr. Whitis, it’s never been a problem,” Boyd said. “She’s always been accessible.”

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