FORT WORTH -- School trustees Tuesday night accepted the resignation of Superintendent Melody Johnson, effective Sept. 19.
Last week, Johnson, 61, announced her intent to resign after nearly six years.
School board President Ray Dickerson said that he voted to accept the resignation but that he is disappointed she is leaving.
"I think she's done a good job," Dickerson said. "I think she's made excellent progress."
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Nearly two dozen speakers addressed the trustees about what comes next. Some urged them to make a national search for a superintendent, and some advocated promoting Deputy Superintendent Walter Dansby.
Dansby declined to comment when asked whether he wants the job. He said only that he agrees with others that an interim superintendent should be appointed and a state or national search be conducted next year, possibly after elections so trustees who will work with the next leader will have a say.
"That is the fair and ethical way to do it," he said.
Trustees have called a special meeting for Friday for discussion and possibly to name an interim superintendent. Four trustees asked for the meeting.
Noting that Johnson is not leaving until September, Dickerson said he thought an interim leader is unnecessary because he hopes to have a new superintendent by the time she leaves.
But Trustee Carlos Vasquez said someone is needed to ensure a smooth transition. Vasquez also supported appointing Dansby in the interim so trustees can decide whether to promote him.
Doug Black, a parent, thanked Johnson for her service and said the board now must make a national search for the best possible new leader.
"I want nothing but the best superintendent you can find," he said. "You owe it to yourselves; you owe it to the students of Fort Worth; you owe it to me and my children to look high and low."
Representatives of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce read a joint statement urging a national search.
But a number of speakers, including a former student, said a national search would be too costly when an "exceptional motivator" who is "world-class" is already positioned to take helm, indicating Dansby.
Dansby, who has been in the district 37 years, has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and central administrator. As deputy superintendent, much of his responsibility has been overseeing the 2007 bond program.
"He knows how to build a reputation. He knows how to build teams," said Kris McIntosh, a retired educator who works part time for the district.