Love­joy schools chief out amid con­duct al­le­ga­tions

2 days af­ter re­tire­ment email, board ap­points as­sis­tant to in­terim role

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - By CHARLES SCUDDER Staff Writer cscud­[email protected]­las­news.com

Love­joy ISD re­places its su­per­in­ten­dent af­ter Ted Moore re­signed amid al­le­ga­tions of “in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.”

Love­joy ISD re­placed its su­per­in­ten­dent Wednes­day night af­ter Ted Moore sud­denly re­signed amid al­le­ga­tions of “in­ ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct” with “adult vic­tims,” the school board said.

The small school district — which in­cludes the cities of Lu­cas, Fairview and part of Allen — no­ti­fied par­ents and staff

mem­bers late Wednes­day that As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Den­nis Wo­mack would step into the top job af­ter Moore sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion.

“To pro­tect the con­fi­den­tial­ity of adult vic­tims we can­not, and will not, share the rea­sons we find our­selves in this po­si­tion to­day,” Chad Collins, the school board pres­i­dent, said in a let­ter. “We are con­fi­dent that our ad­min­is­tra­tion, cam­pus lead­er­ship, and this Board will main­tain our ex­em­plary ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture and val­ues in Love­joy in spite of the in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct by our former su­per­in­ten­dent.”

Moore, 64, could not be reached for com­ment Thurs­day, but in an email sent Mon­day to district staff, he said he planned to re­tire.

“Peo­ple have al­ways told me that I would know when it was time to re­tire and now is that time,” Moore wrote. “I con­tinue to have health is­sues and be­

lieve now is the time for me to re­tire with 42 years of ser­vice to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.”

The district re­leased a brief state­ment Thurs­day af­ter­noon re­cap­ping what Collins said in his let­ter.

“We are very dis­ap­pointed to hear about the al­leged mis­con­duct with staff by the former su­per­in­ten­dent,” the state­ment said. “Within hours of learn­ing of the al­le­ga­tions, swift ac­tion was taken by our board to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter, and a board meet­ing was called. We moved quickly to ap­point Dr. Den­nis Wo­mack as the In­terim Su­per­in­ten­dent of Love­joy In­de­pen­dent School District, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately. We do not con­done any mis­ con­duct, and are com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing and pro­vid­ing an ex­em­plary ed­u­ca­tion and cul­ture for all stu­dents and staff.”

The former su­per­in­ten­dent has a rep­u­ta­tion within the district as a fighter who pushes back ag­gres­sively against his crit­ics and any hint of con­tro­versy.

In 2010, he de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion ti­tled “Un­der Siege: Re­spond­ing to Cy­ber Ter­ror­ists.” The “cy­ber ter­ror­ist” in ques­tion was a web­site cri­tiquing Moore and the district, op­er­ated by Lu­cas res­i­dent Brenda Ri­zos.

“He’s a very abu­sive guy. He’s a bully,” Ri­zos said. “I do not be­lieve you re­tire for no good rea­son . ... I’ve been telling any­body who would lis­ten be­cause I think that he was a cred­i­ble threat.”

Moore made head­lines in 2008 when he promised to lose 100 pounds in a year to live a health­ier life­style and lead his stu­dents and staff by ex­am­ple.

“Of all the things we do to teach, the most im­por­tant thing we do is model,” Moore said at the time. “If we want it for our chil­dren, we should model it in our own lives.”

Ac­cord­ing to The Red Ledger, Love­joy High School’s stu­dent news­pa­per, the emer­gency board meet­ing Wednes­day night was con­ducted pri­mar­ily in a twohour closed ses­sion. The district’s state­ment was then read aloud in open ses­sion and later dis­trib­uted by email. Moore was not present at that meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to The Red Ledger.

Wo­mack, the new su­per­in­ten­dent, has been with the district 14 years and had served as as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of op­er­a­tions.

“Our Board is con­fi­dent Dr. Wo­mack will suc­cess­fully lead Love­joy through this tran­si­tion, and we all look for­ward to sup­port­ing him,” Collins’ let­ter said.

The board promised fur­ther up­dates dur­ing the tran­si­tion to new lead­er­ship.

“Your school board will con­tinue to make de­ci­sions in the best in­ter­est of ev­ery child, fam­ily, and em­ployee in the Love­joy School District,” the let­ter con­cluded.

TED MOORE

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