Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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May 22, 2014

JISD trustees accept Wardell’s resignation

JACKSONVILLE — JISD trustees officially accepted the resignation of schools superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell after meeting in executive session prior to Tuesday night's board meeting.

They subsequently voted to hire TASB to help conduct an executive search for his replacement.

“TASB will give them a suggested timeline, a schedule” to follow in the search, Wardell said.

Earlier this month, he announced his retirement in an email to district employees.

In it, he said he would retire at the end of March 2015, after serving Jacksonville schools for six years, allowing enough time for the district to set up the process to hire his successor.

“By announcing this now it allows the Board time to work through a process to select the right person to experience this same great opportunity,”

he wrote.

During Tuesday's school board meeting, trustees voted to purchase two lots adjacent to the district administration building, located on the former Lon Morris College campus.

Situated at the corner of Brown and Devereaux Streets – “east of our current administration building,” Wardell said – the two vacant lots will be developed later, ideally for parking, he said.

“We were already having to negotiate with a portion of one of these lots because our building (overlaps it),” Wardell said.

The lots total $65,000 in costs, and will be “basically coming out of our general operating budget, so there's not any kind of bond issue here,” he added.

Trustees also hired the auditing firm Robinson and Payne to conduct JISD's 2013-2014 financial audit.

“We've worked with this same group the past five or six years, and they are great to work with,” the superintendent said. “We look forward to continuing a relationship with them.”

The firm will begin the audit once the district's fiscal year ends in late August, and have through December to complete their work. The results are turned over to the Texas Education Agency, Wardell said, adding that some of the results impact state funding.

“It's all interconnected, so it's awfully important to make sure we're doing things right,” he said.

At the beginning of the meeting, trustees canvassed votes from a May 10 school board election, with new board members Cassie DeVillier – the Place 4 trustee – and Al Chivira, the  Place 3 trustee, sworn into office immediately afterward.

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