CONVERSE, Texas – A school district rocked by scandal last school year is beginning the fall semester with hope and change.
The Judson Independent School District superintendent said he implemented several changes in the district after alleged sex crimes involving teachers in 2015-2016.
He addressed the need for improvements on Tuesday, while continuing to build on the district's successes.
Superintendent Carl Montoya spoke to KSAT 12 at convocation held at Wagoner High School. The pep rally for teachers was themed, "Inspiring the super hero in us all."
The rally signified a new year and fresh start took new meaning.
In his first year as superintendent, Montoya dealt with four former educators being charged with sex crimes against minors, all in a five month span.
One of the most high-profile cases involved former English teacher Jared Anderson, 28. He allegedly had sex parties with young boys. He was also "Teacher of the Year."
"It is not easy. But one of the things we learned was that we want to have, and we actually started a week ago ethics training," Montoya said. "Obviously, we have to face the reality. There's somebody out there that does things no matter what but we have to assume that if we have the right professional development, the right training, and monitoring, I think if we put all of that together we should be all right."
He also encourages anyone who suspects inappropriate behavior to say something.
Montoya also said they will also vet new hires by checking references at past employers not listed by the applicant.
"People tend to list the real positive ones, so we want to check a few more," the superintendent said.
Montoya did says he wants to remind parents, “Overall Judson is a good district with a rigorous curriculum, high level computer and engineering courses, and early college.”
"We're going to have a great year. It's going to be very positive, and we have a lot of superheroes in the classroom in our staff," Montoya said.