Edgewood Trustee Resigns from Board Less than 4 Months After His Addition

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The Edgewood ISD school board.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Edgewood ISD's governing board meets in February 2018.

Trustee Edward Romero resigned from his post on the Edgewood Independent School District board less than four months after being added by the State’s education chief. Members of the board voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept Romero’s resignation, effective immediately.

The board will consult with legal counsel on how to replace Romero, Board President Roy Soto said.

Edgewood is governed by a hybrid board, comprising five State-appointed managers and two elected trustees.

In May 2016, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath appointed the board of five managers to replace the board of elected trustees because of governance issues. Trustees retained their positions, but had no governing powers.

In July 2018, Morath signaled progress in Edgewood when he told the governing board of managers the State was ready to begin transitioning district leadership from appointed back to elected. Morath named Martha Castilla and Edward Romero, both of whom were elected in 2016, as the first two trustees to be added back to the board.

The plan was for Morath to designate elected trustees to replace managers until the appointment of the board of managers eventually expired.

Romero did not respond to multiple requests for comment. His resignation letter, sent via e-mail earlier in October, did not contain any reason for the resignation, Soto said.

“It’s been a great pleasure serving the Edgewood School District and I will always treasure my time on the Board,” Romero wrote. “I wish the District continued growth and success in the future.”

Edward Romero

Board policy mandates the vacancy be effective on the date the board accepts the resignation, or on the eighth day after the board receives notice, whichever comes first. Until the vacancy is filled, the resigning board member continues to serve and hold the duties and powers of office.

Board policy dictates that remaining board members either fill a vacancy by appointment until the next election or order a special election. If more than one year is left in the term of the vacated position, which is the case for Romero, the vacancy cannot be left open for more than 180 days after it occurs.

After the board decides how they will replace Romero and who will fill the position, Morath will review the decision and consider next steps, TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson said. It is unclear if Romero’s replacement would remain on the governing board.

Early in Tuesday night’s meeting, Soto reported on each board member’s progress on continuing education credits that are required by the State Board of Education. Romero was the only board member who had not met the requirements. Castilla met the requirement, and each of the five managers exceeded the requirement.

Soto told reporters after the meeting that personal circumstances had prevented Romero from attending all the continuing education sessions.

Romero is the director of purchasing and risk management in Southside ISD and is an alumnus of Kennedy High School. Romero’s father worked as an Edgewood custodian, and his wife is a teacher in the district.

Prior to his addition to the board, Romero told the Rivard Report he was excited to take on the job of a trustee and “looked forward to adding to the progress already achieved by the board of managers in improving student outcomes.” He attended many school board meetings, including town halls, and ones where managers made official district decisions.

Elections are set to take place Nov. 6 to fill four additional trustee positions that will eventually be added onto the governing board.

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