Replacement of Katy ISD superintendent proves a lengthy process

- The big news from Katy ISD Tuesday just made the spring school board elections even more important in one of the top school districts in the state.

Superintendent Alton Frailey announced he will retire as of August 31st, and the only way to get vote on his successor is to be a member of the school board.

"I do intend to run for school board," says Dr. Lisa Babin, a Katy ISD parent. Babin believes the district, lead by Superintendent Frailey, has been divisive. She would like the tone of the district to be less threatening.

"We have school board members who are bullies by allowing that culture to continue, by the way they address the parents and patrons in this district sometimes, and by the way they are unapproachable," Babin tells Fox 26.

Another person seriously considering running for Katy ISD school board is John Pendergraff.

"A lot of the focus, as it must be, is on expenditures and buildings and not as much on the curriculum itself," Pendergraff tells Fox 26 by phone. He believes the board needs to spend more time overseeing curriculum.
Pendergraff has run for Katy ISD before, unsuccessfully, but the retirement of the superintendent makes him more interested in running again.

"Yes it does," Pendergraff says, "Because that's a very important decision that's going to be on our school board, some time in the next year, to select the replacement."

According to the Katy ISD website, the official filing period for school board candidates runs from January 20th to February 19th. Board members have 3-year terms. The two seats up for election this year are currently held by Joe Adams, who's been on the school board for 27 years, and Rebecca Fox, who's serve 12 years. As for choosing a new superintendent, Katy ISD says the board has yet to discuss it, so there are no answers yet on the method, scope, or time frame of the search.

While it might seem logical to choose a superintendent after new board members are elected and sworn in, it may take public pressure to make that happen. Alton Frailey was named to his post in 2007, one week before school board elections were held. Outgoing superintendent Leonard Merryl wasn't retiring until the end of June.

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