West Orange rejects former Beaumont superintendent

West Orange rejects former Beaumont superintendent

Former Beaumont Independent School District superintendent Timothy Chargois was considered and rejected as the interim superintendent for the West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District when the school district’s Board of Trustees met Monday, Dec. 8, to deliberate the topic.

The ousted Beaumont superintendent was relieved of his duties during the summer of 2014 at his immediate past employer once a state investigation uncovered gross mismanagement at BISD warranting Texas Education Agency intervention.

Monday, Dec. 1, the WO-C CISD Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to not hire a search firm and instead vet their own applicant pool. District insiders believed the reason for not hiring a search firm to scout for a permanent superintendent was due to the majority of the board wanting to secure Chargois’ services. Board members said they could not confirm or deny the insider assertions.

But on Dec. 8, the board let it be known that a majority did not support the new hire. School board trustees voted 4-3 to not secure Chargois’ services. Pete Amy, Hardy O’Neal, Ruth Hancock and Eric Mitchell voted against proposition, with trustees Nathaniel Colbert, Sarah Simon and Bryan Muhammad voting to hire Chargois.

Colbert recommended Chargois’ hiring at the Dec. 8 meeting. Houstonian Stan Cloude said hiring Chargois would have been beneficial to WO-C CISD, and that BISD lost a great leader when they let Chargois leave the neighboring school district.

“I think (BISD) lost a great guy; they lost a smart guy,” Cloude said. “I think Dr. Chargois is an excellent, understanding, faithful, Godly, Christian man …

“Once I realized he was in the running (for this position), I had to come down and show my support.

“I want to see him do well. I want to see him with a job. Everybody deserves the opportunity to make an honest living.”

Cloude would not say how he heard about Chargois’ WO-C CISD job prospect but did say he was not alone in his trip from Houston to Beaumont.

“There’s a lot of us who support him,” he said, adding that just because a TEA investigation faulted Chargois in BISD’s downfall doesn’t necessarily make it true. A packed boardroom was at the WO-C CISD Monday meeting to witness the superintendent selection vote including former mayor Essie Bellfield and Orange City Council member Theresa Beauchamp. Also at the meeting, the trustees were to re-address whether to obtain a search firm to assist in the superintendent search. That measure failed to get the trustees’ support once again.

WO-C CISD trustee Pete Amy said he felt the board should hire a search firm, but his cohorts did not support that idea. Amy said he had the matter placed before the trustees for a second time once the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce sent out word that strongly suggested the board reconsider its prior decision not to use outside assistance in performing a superintendent search. Amy said the board selected the last two superintendents without a search firm.

“Due to the community concern, I thought it was best to put it back on the agenda,” he said. “I prefer to use a search firm but the board decided to do the search themselves.”

Amy said the board currently has more than 10 applications to consider for the position and will try to select a new interim superintendent when the board meets again on Monday, Dec. 15.

 

Jennifer Johnson can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 231, or by e-mail at jennifer [at] theexaminer [dot] com.

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