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Katy ISD Board Members Disagree on Superintendent Search


December 11, 2018

Written by Natalie Cook Clark

Passions flared at Monday's Katy ISD Board of Trustees meeting when it came to naming the next superintendent. The board was clearly divided on the process used to search for and name the next superintendent.

According to a public social media statement by Rebecca Fox, four board members (the majority) are in favor of naming Ken Gregorski as the new superintendent next week, while the other three board members would like the search to be expanded outside the district, as the Katy ISD board has done in past superintendent searches.

If Gregorski is named the sole finalist for Katy ISD superintendent at the December 17 board meeting, the 21-day waiting period required by Texas law before a superintendent can be hired will go into effect. Gregorski is Katy ISD's deputy superintendent, and was named interim superintendent in November.

Board Member Raises Concerns

Rebecca Fox, a board member since 2004, raised concerns about the hiring process and wants additional candidates to be considered as well. Fox claims that four of the seven board members want to name Gregorski as superintendent at next Monday's board meeting without considering other candidates.

Fox says Gregorski has never been interviewed by the board of trustees or asked about his visions or goals for Katy ISD. She is also concerned that community stakeholders have not been included in the superintendent selection process.

Fox, who has worked with the past three superintendents, says the board usually brings in recruitment experts to find top candidates. "These experienced search firms assist school boards in gathering feedback from teachers, community people, staff, business leaders, volunteers and students to build a portrait of a superintendent," wrote Fox. "The school board works for YOU. We should include you in this process!"

Fox's Statement is Below

Mixed Reactions

Several speakers during Monday's open forum meeting voiced opinions for or against having only an internal search.

Former board member Joe Kimmel served on the board when they hired past superintendent Leonard Merrell, who was selected by an external search. "I encourage the board to select by a national search so we can find the best candidate for the best district in Texas," said Kimmel.

"Leadership is important to any district in an academic and common sense aspect. A national search is admirable but I feel we have qualified people here in our district," said former Katy Mayor Don Elder.

"There are times to go out and times to stay in for a search. This is precisely the time to stay in for a search," stated board member George Scott.

Any Action Taken Will be at the Board's Discretion

Board of Trustee president Courtney Doyle says three board members requested an item be placed on the agenda to discuss and consider an internal candidate for superintendent. "With that request, by law, we must post the job opening for 10 days. The other board members were made aware of the request for the agenda item immediately upon my receiving it December 7," states Doyle who says they will not know who or how many applicants have applied until the closing of the job posting on December 14. "Once that process is complete, all applicants will be presented to the board for review and possible interviews. Any action taken will be at the discretion of the board.

"There are many that believe we could have the best superintendent candidate right here among our current leadership, says Doyle. "It is time we get back to the business of educating students and not playing social media games with the 80,000 student school district we have been trusted to govern and oversee."

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