Fort Worth principal arrested at Dallas nightclub is fired

FORT WORTH -- School trustees voted Tuesday night to fire a middle school principal who was arrested in Dallas last month.

Carla Westbrook-Spaniel, who became principal of Elder Middle School in fall 2006, was accused of leaving her two children, ages 3 and 4, at the Adolphus hotel to go to a nightclub. She then punched a bouncer and scuffled with police in the early hours of May 8 as they tried to arrest her on suspicion of public intoxication, authorities have said.

Superintendent Melody Johnson did not say why Westbrook-Spaniel was fired, calling it a personnel issue. Westbrook-Spaniel did not return a message seeking comment late Tuesday.

The board promoted Assistant Principal James Garcia to the top spot. Garcia was among 18 principals announced during the school board meeting.

Cherie Washington was named principal at Eastern Hills High School, which has been struggling to meet state academic standards and could face closure if poor performance continues. While she was principal of Meadowbrook Middle, the school met federal standards last year after facing sanctions for missing the mark for several years.

Neta Alexander, who has been principal of Arlington Heights High School for a decade, will move to Paschal to replace Sharon Meng, who was promoted last week to assistant superintendent of advanced and accelerated learning. Jason Oliver, principal at Kirkpatrick Middle, will take over at Arlington Heights.

Antonio Martinez, principal at George C. Clarke Elementary, will lead North Side High School, where the current principal resigned for personal reasons.

Bond funds released

In other business, trustees voted to issue the remaining $465 million in the 2007 bond program that includes building five new schools.

About $28 million will be done through stimulus money in the Qualified School Construction Bonds that allows schools to issue low-interest or no-interest bonds for sale. Chief Financial Officer Hank Johnson said the district would use the money to help build a middle school in east Fort Worth.

That school was to be named Forest Middle School, but trustees voted Tuesday to rename it after former longtime Trustee Jean McClung.

Trustees also accepted a $357,480 lease with Chesapeake Exploration for 182 acres that includes 14 schools.

EVA-MARIE AYALA, 817-390-7700