RICHARDSON, Texas — The Richardson Independent School District board has accepted the resignation of embattled superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. The decision was made during a school board meeting Monday evening.
The decision didn't come without frustration from those who supported the superintendent.
Dozens of teachers and staff gathered outside the district's headquarters Monday to rally in support of Stone, hours before the board meeting.
Once inside the meeting, more than 40 people took to the microphone during the public comment segment to sing her praises.
"So we have to not accept her resignation and let her continue her good work in our district for our families and for our children," one speaker said.
Stone was Texas Superintendent of the Year just two years ago.
But during the pandemic, members of the school board and public fought her COVID-19 precautions and mask-wearing rules and railed against equity and inclusion programs.
"Loud angry voices have made the job of being a school administrator untenable. And it has cost RISD valued leadership. And that group is small. And they have awakened a sleeping giant and we will vote," another speaker said at the meeting.
“If you did not stand up and say what was right, what was good, what needed to be done, then I hope you are haunted to the end of your days because that is how long it will last in this school district," another speaker said.
But in the end, a statement that both Stone and the board agreed on in advance was read, and the vote was unanimous to accept her resignation.
"We have to come together as a district to accept this resignation. It is what Dr. Stone has asked us to do," school board president Regina Harris said.
Stone was not at the meeting. Her chair was empty during the entire process.
In a joint statement with the board, Stone said she "thanks the present and past board of trustees for providing her with the opportunity to serve in the Richardson Independent School District and… her heartfelt appreciation to the staff and community for their support of the district’s programs and services during her term as superintendent."
Shortly after the board's decision, Stone was removed from the Richardson ISD website and replaced with information on the interim superintendent, Tabitha Branum.