SAN ANTONIO – The new state-appointed conservator, Sharon Doughty, was introduced to Edgewood ISD on Tuesday night. Board members and community members reacted well, agreeing change is necessary.
It's been a dramatic few months at Edgewood ISD. A battle between a split board caused three members to resign and then withdraw their resignations. After what community members say has been years of stagnant improvements, the Texas Education Agency stepped in.
The room was packed Tuesday with Edgewood community members ready to watch a meeting that never happened. After a tumultuous few months, only three board members showed up. Four are needed to make a quorum.
"I really thought that we would have a quorum simply because business has to continue," board member Mary Lou Mendoza said.
A current TEA investigation report cites a "systemic breakdown" within the school board, calling the board ineffective because it was consistently deadlocked 3-3.
In response, the state is putting together a board of managers that will temporarily replace the current board. The board of managers is currently being selected for Edgewood ISD. There will be five total members. The board is usually made up of four community members and one educator or former educator. Until all five are appointed, the current school board will continue meeting and upholding its duties.
"I'm OK with that because we actually told TEA, if you guys need to come do that, we're for it, because we need to move the school district forward," Mendoza said.
The TEA appointed Doughty to Edgewood to oversee those changes.
"We've got some work to do, but we'll be fine," Doughty said.
Doughty can approve or disapprove any action taken by school administrators or board members. She said it's a task that's close to her heart.
"Edgewood hired me in 1986 to be an assistant principal. Then I was a principal," she said.
She spent 17 years at Edgewood and said she's ready to get the district she loves back on its feet.
"The circumstances aren't ideal, but I feel I have a lot to offer for what the commissioner is asking. It's a great community and a great school district," Doughty said.
Doughty starting her intervention comes as good news to community members like Agapita Jaramillo, a former staff member whose children all went to Edgewood.
"To be honest with you, it's a godsend, because we have been having some problems for a few years already and it really escalated to this point. I now feel confident that our district is going to get back to where it should be," she said.
Jaramillo called this a chance to put students first again.