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Terrier leaving Pilot Point

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Superintendent started work with district a year ago

PILOT POINT — Just a year into his superintendent contract, Byron Terrier and the Pilot Point school district are parting ways.

In a 7-0 vote Wednesday the school board approved a voluntary superintendent resignation agreement with Terrier and announced his resignation, effective June 30. According to terms of the agreement, obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle through an open-records request, the board has granted Terrier a leave of absence that began Thursday and continues through June 30. Terrier has agreed to be available for any phone or electronic consultation on district matters deemed necessary by the board president through June 30.

In two other unanimous votes, the district named Assistant Superintendent Dan Gist acting superintendent effective immediately and selected Arrow Educational Services Inc. to oversee its next superintendent search. The Henderson-based company led the superintendent search that ended in the district hiring Terrier last year and one in 2007 that led to the hiring of former Superintendent Glenn Barber.

School board President Pat Burns said there was no specified reason for Terrier’s resignation.

“On a personal note, I know he wanted to get back to the Houston area,” he said. “I think he did a great job of getting us on track going forward in several different facets. He really had us going in the right direction.”

The district has an enrollment of nearly 1,400 students.

The Pilot Point school board hired Terrier in May 2013 on a three-year contract to succeed Barber, who retired. In January, the school board gave Terrier a one-year contract extension and amended his annual salary to $145,000, a pay increase that was set to take effect July 1. When Terrier — who left Goose Creek Consolidated School District in Baytown to join Pilot Point — was hired in 2013, the district offered him an annual salary of $138,000.

According to the agreement approved by the board Wednesday, Terrier will be paid his monthly salary and receive all benefits under his superintendent contract through June 30. As terms of the agreement, on or before July 31, the district must pay Terrier nearly $74,000, representative of his contract salary and benefit value through Dec. 31. As part of the agreement, Burns provided Terrier a signed recommendation letter.

A statement jointly released by the school board and Terrier on Wednesday noted that the agreement was in the best interest of both parties.

In the statement, the board expressed appreciation for Terrier’s efforts, achievements and accomplishments during his tenure as superintendent, and Terrier thanked trustees for the opportunity to serve as leader of Pilot Point schools and conveyed appreciation to staff and the community for their support of district programs and services.

Terrier, who did not attend the school board meeting, tendered his resignation to trustees on Wednesday. An attempt to reach him for comment was unsuccessful.

Gist said Wednesday that he hated the circumstances that led to him being named acting superintendent. Summer is one of the district’s busiest times, Gist said, and there’s “a lot of work to do.”

He said the school board wants to continue initiatives started by the district and get them completed.

“That’s what we’re going to end up doing,” Gist said.

Burns said Gist is currently “the No. 2 man” and his knowledge of the district’s intricacies made him “the logical choice” for serving as acting superintendent.

School board members want to fill the superintendent position as soon as possible, Burns said. He said he intends to speak with Arrow Educational Services officials soon to discuss a timeline for selecting Pilot Point’s next superintendent.

In other action Wednesday, the school board adopted its 2014-15 fiscal budget. According to district documents, trustees adopted a balanced budget of $12.6 million for its general fund that supports day-to-day operations and salaries; a balanced child nutrition fund budget totaling about $720,000 and a debt service fund with expenses totaling $1.3 million. The debt service fund shows a deficit of $196,000, which district officials say they will look to absorb with reserves.

The adopted budget takes effect July 1, and in August the district will set its tax rate for the new fiscal year.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.