FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth Independent School District’s school board named an interim superintendent at Tuesday night's meeting.
Deputy superintendent Walter Dansby will lead the district until the board hires a permanent replacement for Dr. Melody Johnson.
Dansby is a highly regarded former principal at O.D. Wyatt High and basketball coach for an award-winning program at Pascal High.
As deputy superintendent Dansby managed projects funded by a $593 million bond program. That was the district's largest ever.
Dansby will take over immediately for Dr. Johnson, who unexpectedly resigned as superintendent last month.
"I would hope we are able to bring this Board together for the benefit of children and put an end to the divisiveness that exists on the Board and in this city," Dansby said in a statement released by the Fort Worth ISD. "I wholeheartedly support a statewide and national search for the next superintendent. It is very important that we remain completely transparent in this process."
Dansby said he would serve as interim superintendent "as long as is necessary."
Whoever is selected as Johnson's permanent successor will face a $30 million budget gap that forced the district to lay off close to 200 workers.
At the same time, 22 Fort Worth schools are expected to be rated as "academically unacceptable." District officials blame changes in the way schools are scored by the state, but it will nonetheless require urgent action at the lowest rated campuses.