CFO latest high-profile departure from DISD administration



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Posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 7:24 PM

DALLAS -- The revolving door for high-level administrators at Dallas Independent School District kept spinning Wednesday.

After just three months on the job, Chief Financial Officer Dr. Rene Barajas announced his resignation.

“It’s a great opportunity for him, and we wish him well,” said DISD spokesperson Jon Dahlander.

Barajas is the latest DISD official to leave since DISD Superintendent Mike Miles took over in July 2012.

In October of last year, Miles’ chief of staff, Alan King, resigned. That same month, former assistant superintendent Shirley Ison-Newsome at first announced her resignation, and then later decided to retire. In January, Communications Chief Jennifer Sprague stepped down.

DISD watchdog Allen Gwinn said the lack of continuity in the district is alarming, especially since Miles came in with high hopes of changing the culture within the district.

“When you see the core staff that someone brings to the table to try and change the culture of the organization, and these guys are saying, ‘Hey, I’ve had enough. I’m out of here,' it doesn’t really bode well,” he said.

DISD Board of Trustees President Lew Blackburn said in a statement sent to News 8 that he was surprised to hear of Barajas’ resignation, but that “his work has been commendable in the short time he has been with us.”

Dahlander said people shouldn’t read anything into Barajas’ decision to leave. He said the district is in sound financial condition and departures are not unusual.

“We have people coming and going all the time in the school district," he said. "Where you’ve got 20,000 people, you’re going to have people who leave for various reasons.”

A search for Barajas’ replacement is underway. Executive Director of Budget Services James Terry will be named Interim Chief Financial Officer.