Someone stop the moving trucks: Waxahachie ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn is staying "home."
Glenn announced the change of heart in an emotional, prepared speech to the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees just after 10 a.m. Monday. His decision led to the trustees to adjourn the special session with no action.
Last Thursday, Gleen was announced as the lone finalist to serve as the superintendent of Lumberton ISD and was set to sign a five-year contract following the 21-day waiting period.
As Glenn opened his journal to read from hand-scribed notes, he began with an apology to the trustees and community.
He stated that it had been a "difficult 72 hours" for his family and admitted he never intended to "put any additional emotional stress on anybody."
"And, for that, I am sorry," he added.
Glenn further stated he received a devotional over the weekend that spoke about "maybe not being the smartest, most faithful or even the most talented person" but sometimes "you just have to trust God. You have to have faith. Even when it doesn't make sense."
Glenn then told the trustees that he received a call from his pastor last night who asked if he intended to leave Waxahachie because it was a difficult situation or if it was because Lumberton ISD was "everything he had ever wanted in a district."
"The truth is, the last couple of years have been a struggle," Glenn admitted. "They have been a struggle for me as a husband, as a father and as a superintendent in a lot of those areas. When I made the announcement, I thought it would just bring peace to everybody because of that struggle."
Glenn said his family has been humbled by an outpouring of support from friends and family over the last three days.
"I don't think I view my path as a traditional path as a superintendent. I really feel that it has a mission feel and that it is a calling," Glenn said. "Sometimes I know that creates controversy with some people in the community because they struggle when my views are different than theirs or when I fall short in those areas."
"But, a few minutes ago, I called Lumberton ISD, and I told them that I would be withdrawing my name as the lone finalist to stay in Waxahachie ISD," said Glenn to a round of applause from the three-quarters full boardroom.
"I know that I have to be a better communicator. I know that I have to do a better job of building relationships with the community and with the board," he continued. "I have to develop some trust. I have to be a better husband and father first of all."
Glenn added that he is "blessed and honored" to serve as the superintendent of Waxahachie ISD. He also noted a "renewed passion and purpose."
In a WISD press release issued shortly after the announcement, Glenn stated, "Waxahachie is our home. We love this community, and we want to continue serving here as long as possible.”
Waxahachie ISD Board President James Villarreal told the trustees that the board needs to begin regularly self-evaluating its members.
"This doesn't have anything to do with Dr. Glenn, it has to do with the [superintendent's] seat," Villarreal said. "If we are not operating properly, it frustrates whoever is sitting in the seat."
Glenn signed a new, four-year contract Jan. 17.
The contract — set to expire July 31, 2022 — provides Glenn with an annual salary not less than $205,000 and includes a one-time $25,000 stipend for longevity if he is still with WISD July 31, 2021. If Glenn leaves the district beforehand, he will not receive the stipend.
The contract was agreed upon following the board's Jan. 8 approval, 6-1, of Glenn's evaluation. Board members later stated the raise is a reflection of the successes the district has had under Glenn’s leadership during a time of significant growth.
On Jan. 23, 2017, the board approved a contract extension for Glenn through July 2022 in a 5-to-2 vote. The length of that contract remains in place.
Initially hired Jan. 6, 2014, Glenn’s original contract was scheduled to end July 31, 2017. In Aug. 2016, he was offered and accepted a pay raise that boosted his annual salary roughly $10,000 — from $175,000 to $185,000 but not to exceed $190,000. The contract signed last year also stipulated Glenn’s salary was to increase by $5,000 on July 31 of each year from 2018-2021.
Glenn declined a 2.9 percent raise in 2015.
Glenn joined Waxahachie ISD in December 2013 after previously serving in the same role as superintendent of Nacogdoches-Central Heights ISD.
According to a Waxahachie ISD press release, Glenn was recently named the 2018 Sam Houston State University Distinguished Educator of the Year. In 2017 he was listed in the Waxahachie Daily Light’s 40-under-40 as one of the top young leaders in Ellis County. In 2015 he was recognized by the Woodmen Life as their Community Leader of the Year.
Glenn has served on the Waxahachie Economic Development Council, Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and Lions Club.
The WISD release also notes the district earned 23 Academic Distinctions from the Texas Education Agency, the most in the history of the district, and is currently No. 9 in the UIL Lone Star Cup standings.
The Lone Star Cup recognizes school districts for outstanding accomplishments in athletic, academic, and fine arts programs.