Lufkin ISD board approves paid leave until retirement for Superintendent Torres
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The outgoing Lufkin ISD superintendent will receive 10 months of pay as she takes an extended leave of absence before her term ends.
Lufkin ISD Board President, Kristi Gay said, “we knew that we needed to do something and do it quickly and set the tone for the year going forward.”
It was revealed last week that Superintendent Lynn Torres altered her original retirement plan. In May, Torres had announced her intention to retire after her 47 years in education.
Torres asked to be placed on administrative leave with full pay and benefits through the end of the 2023-24 school year. On Tuesday, the Lufkin ISD Board of Trustees unanimously granted Torres a 10-month contract that also includes full benefits, effective immediately.
“We believe that it is in the best interest of the district, teachers and students to grant this leave of absence,” said board member Scott Skelton.
Based on a statement released by the board, it appears that confidence was lost in Torres’ ability to reduce the district’s budget deficits, despite Torres’ assurances she would do so. The preliminary budget presented during a Tuesday, Aug. 1 budget workshop had a deficit of $5.7 million, and included increased expenses of $2.1 million over the previous year.
The statement also said that Lufkin ISD Deputy Superintendent Kurt Stephens will serve as Torres’ interim replacement until a new superintendent is selected.
“The Board will work closely with Mr. Stephens and the administrative team on a plan of action to improve the district’s future financial position,” the statement said.
According to Lufkin ISD School Board Attorney Wayne Haglund, “we’ll still have her available to help with curriculum and instructions matter and operational matters, and her knowledge of the completion of the bond issue.”
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