Controversy puts DeSoto ISD's young board president in spotlight

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 27 at 3:54 PM

DeSOTO — At age 22, Warren Seay Jr. is the youngest elected official in the history of Dallas County.

Now, as president of the DeSoto ISD school board, Seay is dealing with a dilemma that would be challenging for any person in his position.

Dr. Kathy Augustine, his newly-hired superintendent, is accused of cheating and lying in a previous job. Seay is now expected to lead the district out of the debacle.

It's certainly has been a baptism by fire for Seay, who has been board president for about two months now.

He has quickly become the face of DeSoto schools, a district with a dilemma that has put a bullseye on his back as he's still learning the ropes.

"He's young; he's 22 years old," said DeSoto resident Jerry Hall. "I know at 22 I wouldn't want to be in this situation."

Five years ago, Seay was class president at DeSoto High School.

At age 20, he was elected to the Board of Trustees while he studied at SMU.

In May, Seay was voted in as president by his more seasoned board colleagues.

"This community elected me, this board elected me board president," Seay said. "They can rest assured that I wake up every morning and go to bed every night working for DeSoto ISD."

Supporters say he's been a breath of fresh air, working well with schools and teachers. Seay has received high marks for making time for parents in the district.

But he may ultimately be judged for what he and the board do about Dr. Kathy Augustine, a person Seay wanted as superintendent even though she was under investigation in Atlanta at the time.

"I think a little immaturity is a problem here, but I support him and I think he's doing a great job and he's going to get us through this," Hall said.

In his young life, Seay has been able to succeed at whatever he's taken on. "We're going to be an exemplary district," he pledged.

In his short tenure, he already sounds the part.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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