By Chris Edwards
COLMESNEIL – The Colmesneil ISD Board of Trustees voted to accept the resignation of superintendent Angela Matterson, which ends her tenure with the district in June 2020, at its Monday night meeting.
Matterson’s status with CISD was on the regular agenda, in which the board went into closed session to discuss and decide whether to terminate her employment. Matterson is facing a driving under the influence charge from Colorado.
Following the arrest and allegation, she offered a resignation letter to the board, along with another letter addressed to all faculty and staff. The letter did not specify any one reason for her resignation but stated a necessity to “move forward in [her] educational pursuits,” and was submitted in time so the school board would have ample time to select a replacement.
The board’s agenda item to consider her termination was posted as “for conduct constituting good cause for her termination, as determined by the CISD Board of Trustees.”
A large crowd was present for the meeting, which was moved to the band hall. Several members of the crowd spoke during the open forum portion of the meeting, many of whom expressed support for Matterson and spoke to her capabilities as an educator and administrator. Longtime educator Roschelle Springfield urged the trustees to allow Matterson to “let her complete the year with dignity.”
Several others spoke of how Matterson had helped their children succeed in school. Matterson began her teaching career at Colmesneil and returned in 2014 to begin serving as superintendent, after working in administration in other districts.
In a previous story, one source said the Texas Education Agency was in the process of suspending Matterson’s educator credentials, however another source with the agency clarified the process used during educator investigations with pending legal matters.
If TEA receives a complaint against an educator, the agency’s investigations unit will determine if an investigation is necessary and the educator’s certificate will be flagged, however it is not suspended during the investigation. Certifications are only suspended at the conclusion of an investigation in which a determination of wrongdoing is reached, according to TEA policy. During the investigation, any employment decisions regarding the educator are made by the district.
After the board voted to accept Matterson’s resignation as written and not move forward with termination, the district’s attorney Tanner Hunt read a statement from the board expressing its disappointment with the incident in Colorado and with Matterson’s failure to report the incident in a timely matter.
Another topic addressed on Monday night’s agenda and given acknowledgement by citizens during the open forum concerned material that several parents have found objectionable.
The material, which was obtained from a website and allegedly used as homework assignments in a seventh-grade theater arts class, was also a topic addressed at the October board meeting. Another piece of prose-poetry, which was allegedly read by a high school student to the junior high students as an entry for UIL competition, was read, in part, at Monday night’s meeting by Raven Rogers, a parent whose child was in the class.
Two parents, Jason and Coty Squier, have filed a level three grievance with CISD. A complaint hearing was conducted Monday night in closed session regarding the matter. The board voted to defer any decision on the matter until its next meeting.
During Monday night’s meeting, new board member Bo Bendy was sworn in to begin his term, along with incumbents Luke Wilkinson and Kenneth Graham.
Outgoing Board President Curtis Pittman addressed the trustees and the crowd, and said he was proud to have served on the board with many great men and women for the past 15 years.
The board approved its restructuring with Kris Lindsey to serve as its new president, Twyla Darder as vice president and Kenneth Adaway as secretary.