On the way out?

Hitchcock Superintendent Barbara Derrick talks to high school students as they tour the new high school in 2013. The Hitchcock school board will consider Derrick’s resignation at its next board meeting Monday.

JENNIFER REYNOLDS/The Daily News file photo

HITCHCOCK — Just two years after she was hired as superintendent, Barbara Derrick apparently is set to resign.

Hitchcock school district trustees are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss Derrick’s resignation and a proposed voluntary separation agreement. The agenda also calls for the naming of an interim superintendent.

Neither Derrick nor school board President Monica Cantrell could be reached for comment Thursday. 

The school district referred The Daily News to its attorney Stephen Dubner, who said he could not comment, citing that the issue is a personnel matter.

“I expect that there will be some sort of joint statement after Monday’s meeting,” Dubner said. “It is up to the (school) board to make the final decision, and nothing has happened yet except that (Derrick’s resignation) is being presented to the board.”

Derrick, who grew up in Hitchcock and is a 1979 graduate of Hitchcock High School, once called the superintendent’s job in her hometown her dream job.

”I grew up on Second Street just down the way from the (school) administration building,” she said after she was named the lone finalist in May 2012. 

“Ever since ninth grade, that’s the job I wanted.”

So eager was she to get to work that she started on the job that June before she completed her contract.

She was in charge when the district opened its new high school, moved its administration offices and spearheaded new programs, including a partnership with College of the Mainland to increase the number of college-bound students.

But some rough waters marked her tenure.

The district has been under a state-ordered monitor since Derrick’s arrival.

In January, the Texas Education Agency placed three of the district’s campuses on the academically unacceptable list.

Last fall, soon after classes started, Derrick was forced to take more than a month off work because of exhaustion and anemia. She returned to a limited schedule in October and resumed a full work schedule in late November.

In that time, she faced grievances filed by four Hitchcock district employees who accused Derrick of locking them in her office during a meeting and berating them. The school board reviewed the complaints and found they had no merit.

In May, the school board elections saw former school board President Dianne James ousted. James was Derrick’s closest ally on the board.

In June, Derrick’s pick for the new high school principal was unanimously rejected by the school board. That prompted Cantrell to suggest that Derrick act as high school principal and superintendent until the right person could be hired for the job.

That was the topic of discussion during a special school board meeting July 8. The meeting was called while Derrick was on vacation, and she told The Daily News she was unaware what was to be discussed.

Most of that meeting was behind closed doors. Aside from Cantrell’s explanation about the high school principal’s position, there was no indication what trustees were talking about behind closed doors.

Using generic language on the agenda posting, the school board could have been talking about any number of employees, including Derrick. The Daily News contends the agenda posting did not meet the state’s requirements.

As it turns out, it appears Derrick’s tenure with the district was also up for discussion.

At one point Derrick came out and told staff members they could go home because the trustees were planning to come out and adjourn the meeting.

Derrick left before trustees wrapped up their private discussions. It would be about 30 minutes later before trustees emerged from the closed-door session.

When asked what was discussed, Cantrell referred The Daily News to the district’s attorney.

Daily News reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez contributed to this report.



WHAT: Hitchcock school board meeting

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday

WHERE: School board meeting room, 804 North Railroad in Hitchcock

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.


(13) comments

Carlos Ponce

Too bad Barbara Derrick is resigning. Hitchcock made great progress under her tenure. Hitchcock's loss will be another district's gain if she continues in the education field. Good luck Barbara Scrofne Derrick in all your future endeavors and may God Bless you and yours.


Sounds like she was treated poorly. That would be reason to leave.

Richard Worth

And now a consulting firm is hired at $500,000+ to find a replacement. It's like a million dollar version of musical chairs.

PD Hyatt

Had not thought of that and they will probably have to pay a fortune for Ms. Derrick to leave.... HISD can not really afford these types of expenses.... Our taxes are high enough and their performance is not what the state calls stellar....

PD Hyatt

It is starting to sound like Hitchcock is going down the same road that LMISD has gone down. The secrets that are going on behind closed doors is not what this school district really needs. HISD is under the gun almost to the point that LMISD is at and that is not a good thing.... When a secret closed door meeting that was not posted like it should have been happens and then the suprintendent resigns. Well something doesn't smell very good here in Hitchcock ISD....

Carlos Ponce

Barbara Scrofne grew up in Hitchcock and was Senior class President when she graduated from Hitchcock High School in 1979. She was very familiar with the town, its make-up, its history. As an educator she was aware of what worked in HISD, what did not work and what would work to improve the educational atmosphere in Hitchcock. She had a dynamic vision for the future of HISD. She expected professionalism from all employees, even those who worked in the central office. Some in the community didn't agree with her vision. I surmise they preferred the "status quo" and used gossip to discredit her and former board president Dianne James who supported her vision.

PD Hyatt

Mr. Ponce you just confirned what I had a feeling about, and that is what happened was not right. I do realize that there are 2 sides to a story, but when one side is hiding behind closed doors then it begins to make one wonder....
I for one am confused as to what it takes to get someone to take action against these closed door meetings that are posted so cryptically so that no one can understand them as even the Galveston Daily News pointed out.....

PD Hyatt

Gossip in Hitchcock can and does destroy people and is very deadly in this town.... Something tells me that a perceived jealousy over something that happened years ago that had nothing to do with her job performance was the actual problem.... How sad that is....

Walter Manuel

Your right Paul, it seems the HISD board of trustees are following in the same foot steps as the LMISD board of "NOT" so trustees and they too don't mind violating the Open Meetings Act because they know nothing will be done about it in Galveston County.

It appears HISD is about to cut off their nose to spite their face just like LMISD BOT did when they tried to illegally fire their superintendent and police chief that started their downward spiral?

HISD better be careful what they wish for because it very well may NOT be what they expect! [wink]

Mike Meador

This is off subject, but how come nobody in the county have told the public about their EOC state results? I have read many articles in various newspapers across the state with high school results, but we have not seen any, especially for LaMarque. TEA doesn't show these results, except in state summary. Got any ideas about getting these results?

Mike Meador

......have told the public? Losing brain matter with age.
"How come nobody in the county has heard about the EOC results......"

Patricia Tyler

Congratulation Hitchcock School Board.
Happy to see you headed in right direction.

Robert Buckner

I surely hope Hitchcock ISD continues their improvements, LMISD bound for the crapper is enough for this area. I wish Mrs. Derrick the best in her future.

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