NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Sandra Dowdy has confirmed she is leaving her post to take a position at Hays Consolidated.
Board President James Ervin said in a text message Tuesday that the board will meet Thursday to negotiate the release date of her contract.
"Our decision will be made based upon the best interests of the students of the Nacogdoches Independent School District," Ervin said.
Dowdy said she will become chief academic officer at Hays Consolidated.
KTRE learned of Dowdy's impending resignation when the school board agenda was released Monday afternoon.
"I was pretty surprised last night. My phone started blowing up with people saying, 'did you know, did you know?'" said Heather Olson Beal.
A lot of people, including school board members, were caught off guard. Few knew about Dowdy's intentions to resign, let alone why.
"I think it puts the district in obviously a bind to have this kind of short of timeline for us right now," Beal said.
Yet it was in late January when Beal and hundreds petitioned not to renew Dowdy's contract. The board still extended the contract until a second review this summer. Dowdy has weathered the harsh criticism. As late as last week she's held to her original public response.
A TEA takeover is extremely possible if ratings don't improve. An administrator of a social media site called Supporters of Nacogdoches ISD believes Dowdy was bullied out of town.
"There's been a lot of just community bullying going on with the district," Amber Teal said. "So I am she is surprised she did that after the whole issue of the contracting."
Beal was surprised, but understands why Dowdy is moving on.
"I think this was probably a difficult place for her to be," Beal said. "She came in at a difficult spot. The last superintendent didn't have his contract renewed, but once again that's where I come back to the board. It's ultimately the board's responsibility."
Suddenly a new issue has been thrown into every candidate's campaign. Dowdy's concern will focus on another school district.
Dowdy took over the position on an interim basis in June after Fred Hayes resigned. She received the job on a permanent basis on April 18.