WOISD superintendent takes indefinite leave

White Oak ISD Superintendent Dr. William Paul has taken leave from the district as of late last week – trustees discussed the school’s chief Thursday evening but took no action following an extended closed session and consultation with their attorney.
On Friday morning, WOISD School Board President Lance Noll emphasized the fact is “Dr. Paul has taken leave” and lamented the churning of the local rumor mill.
“There’s multiple things I cannot talk about,” Noll allowed, but he had liberty to quash gossip: “The rumor mill can ruin people’s reputations. He’s done nothing illegal. He’s done nothing immoral, nothing like that. He’s just taken leave for a while.”
A May 21 message to Paul has not been answered. He has been with the school district more than a year after being named the lone finalist for the superintendent’s post in a special session March 23, 2023.
On the advice of the district’s attorney, trustees can confirm Paul’s leave, Noll added, but other details won’t be immediately forthcoming, likely not until the board’s regularly-scheduled meeting June 10.
“He’s taken leave, and I hope he’s enjoying his time off,” Noll said. “We don’t know when he’ll be back. That’s all we know… Everything else is coming straight from the rumor mill.”
Currently, WOISD Assistant Supt. Jack Parker is acting in Paul’s stead.
“He is overseeing the day-to-day running (of the district). He is the active superintendent,” Noll confirmed. “He is not the interim because Dr. Paul is still employed with the school district.”
For Parker, it’s the end of the school year – students heading out for their break, graduation Saturday morning at LeTourneau’s Belcher Center, teachers in and out.
He can’t speak to other issues before the school’s elected officials: “They’re trying to do the school’s business, and we’re trying to adhere to the law, of course.”
A special session agenda posted May 20 noted the trustees would be meeting May 23, predominantly behind closed doors – first with their attorney then to “Deliberate the Appointment, Employment, Evaluation, Reassignment, Duties, Discipline, or Dismissal of a Public Officer or Employee; or to Hear a Complaint or Charge Against an Officer or Employee.”
The group opened their meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, immediately entered executive session and returned to the open meeting at 7:41 p.m. Their final agenda item regarding “employment matters” of key professional personnel allowed for action but none was taken.
“We immediately adjourned,” Noll said. “There were three different news crews there. They weren’t happy that we couldn’t tell them anything, but unfortunately that’s just the way it is right now.
“More information should come out at the June 10 board meeting.”
Noll reiterated his caution about the local rumor mill.
“As the school board president, our number one concern is letting these kiddoes finish up their year,” he concluded. “We’re trying to minimize distraction and let these kiddoes get ready for a long summer and come back next year.”

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