RISD Board of Trustees Votes to Accept Resignation of Dr. Stone as Superintendent


RISD School Board President Regina Harris tearfully reads a statement from Jeannie Stone following the board’s vote to accept her resignation as superintendent of the school district. Photo credit: Savannah Armitage

At an emotion-filled school board meeting Monday night, the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to accept the resignation of RISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone. In a joint statement with Dr. Stone, the board said that the separation was in their mutual best interests and the best interest of the district.

“We have to come together as a district to accept this resignation,” board president Regina Harris said through tears.

Talia Richman and Corbett Smith of the Dallas Morning News first broke the story on December 10th, the same day Stone made a statement regarding her resignation.

“It’s All Means All. It’s trust and it’s empowering people. It’s believing We’ve Got This even in the hardest of times … and it’s the Power of Love that makes it all worth it,” Stone tweeted on Twitter.

Superintendent Jeannie Stone meets in the RHS Library in January of 2020 with junior Lucy Lavigne and senior Madeleine Jones along with other students and RHS community members to ask questions and discuss important issues as part of RISD Say Something. Talon Photo by Kaitlyn Medina

Stone had received both backlash and praise from members of the public for some of her actions, including her responses to the protests against racism in the summer of 2020 and to the COVID-19 pandemic. RISD was also sued by Attorney General Ken Paxton for requiring masks in schools in September after Governor Greg Abbot issued an executive order banning mask mandates.

More than 40 RISD teachers, staff members, students and parents spoke at the meeting during the public comment section and voiced their support for Stone. Among them was Erik Archilla, theater director at Richardson High School.

“When the national conversation turned to systemic racism, [Stone] was at the forefront of examining the heart of RISD and rooting out the cancer of racism,” Archilla said.

Representative Ana-Maria Ramos, who represents the district, spoke at the meeting on behalf of Stone.

“We have to not accept [Stone’s] resignation and let her continue her good work in our district for our families and for our children,” Ramos said.

Tabitha Branum will serve as interim superintendent for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year while the board searches for a permanent replacement.

“Now we have an opportunity to bring on someone new and even outside of the interim, and so we’re going to make sure that all of our diversity initiatives stay in place,” Harris said.