Linares named interim Fort Worth school superintendent

06/09/2014 8:43 PM

06/09/2014 9:14 PM

A retired Fort Worth school administrator was named interim superintendent Monday night until a permanent replacement can be found for Walter Dansby, who resigned abruptly last week.

The vote to hire former Deputy Superintendent Pat Linares was 8-0. Trustee Cinto Ramos was absent.

“I am very honored and proud to serve as interim superintendent,’’ Linares said in a phone interview Monday night. “My goal is to continue to bring stability to the district, to build on the successes of today.”

Linares retired in August 2010. She is not eligible for consideration for the permanent post.

Board members spent less than two hours in closed session deliberating their selection of an interim.

“I’m very excited about this decision,’’ Trustee Ashley Paz said after the vote. “I believe Dr. Linares will be an excellent leader.”

Board member Tobi Jackson made the motion to offer Linares the short-term contract. The board is still working out the details of Linares’ interim agreement, Jackson said.

“It’s a really good choice for the district,’’ said Steven Poole, executive director of United Educators Association. “She’ll be a good stabilizing force. Her history with the district will be beneficial.

“She’ll be able to walk in from Day One and know exactly what needs to be done in Fort Worth.”

Dansby’s last day

Dansby’s last day was Monday.

In an interview in the Star-Telegram newsroom on Monday, hours before his resignation took effect, Dansby said: “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for the last 40 years. As I go look back, I don’t think I’d change anything that has been done.”

The district’s first African-American superintendent, he resigned during an emotional and heated board meeting on June 2. Board members voted 6-3 to accept the resignation. Trustees voting no were board president Christene Moss, Jacinto Ramos and Norman Robbins. Trustees voting to accept the resignation were Ashley Paz, T.A. Sims, Ann Sutherland, Tobi Jackson, Matthew Avila and Judy Needham.

Dansby’s contract with the district was to expire Aug. 31. 2016.

Starting Monday, he is on school-related leave with pay and benefits and will serve as an ambassador for public relations for the school district, according to the retirement agreement and release.

“I want to move forward and I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had,” he said Monday.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board voted 8-0 to ratify Dansby’s retirement and separation agreement.

Dansby was expected to receive $306,000 in benefit pay on or by June 9, when the resignation took effect. In addition, he is expected to receive $356,398.63 on Jan. 31 when he retires from the school district, the document states. The latter sum represents one year’s salary and benefits. All told, the buyout package is worth as much as $892,899 when owed benefits and fringes are counted, figures calculated by the district show.

Now that the board has an interim in place, the next step is to embark on selection of a permanent superintendent. In the past, the board has used a national search firm.

About Linares

Linares is originally from San Antonio. She attended Southwest Texas State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a specialization in bilingual education. She received a master’s degree in bilingual education from SMU and a doctorate in education administration and her superintendent certification from the University of Texas at Austin.

Linares’ teaching career began in Dallas where she taught in dual languages and transitional bilingual program for grades one through five. Later she became an assistant principal and principal.

From 1991 to 1996, Linares worked at the Texas Education Agency as an educational specalist, state director for centers for professional development and technology, and assistant to the commissioner for governmental relations.

She came to Fort Worth in 1996 and until she retired in 2010, she was executive director of the central instructional support team, assistant superintendent for personnel, associate superintendent for school operations, deputy superintendent for school management curriculum and instruction, and deputy superintendent of school leadership and support services.

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