Fort Worth school trustees approve new superintendent’s contract
Fort Worth school administrators on Tuesday finalized a contract for the district’s new superintendent, Angelica Ramsey.
Ramsey, who has headed Midland ISD since 2021, was one of six candidates interviewed for the job. She replaces outgoing Superintendent Kent Scribner, who left the post on September 1.
Ramsey said The news early Tuesday that she wants to spend her first 100 days at the helm to experience Fort Worth. Its priorities are to get “real and authentic feedback from stakeholders” by meeting with school leaders, teachers and community members and entering classrooms.
“From tomorrow, I spend the day in the schools,” she said. “I’m not even sure I’m going to see my office right now and that’s fine. Essentially, I ask everyone the same two questions: what are we doing right here at Fort Worth ISD and what do we need to change? »
She expects her focus in the coming months to be helping students make up for pandemic-related learning losses, tackling student and teacher mental health and morale issues, and to work on bond projects to improve facilities.
Ramsey’s three-year contract includes a base salary of $335,000, a monthly car allowance of $1,000, performance bonuses of up to $25,000 a year for hitting goals and a clause that allows consulting work to be performed outside of district hours with the approval of administrators.
Scott Blanco-Davis, a teacher with FWISD, spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting, emphasizing to Ramsey the need to examine what is succeeding in the district before looking outside for answers.
“Look at what works, talk to the people doing the work, find out what we need, and make Fort Worth the place it was,” he said.
Ramsey holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Liberty University.
Prior to her teaching career, she served in the military. She has held positions as associate superintendent, director of studies, high school principal, vice principal, academy coordinator, teacher, and athletic trainer.
Ramsey’s nomination has already faced criticism, both online and at the August 30 board meeting, where trustees picked her as the sole finalist.
Meredith Bowman, a parent and teacher in the district, questioned whether the board chose a superintendent with her constituents in mind and questioned Ramsey’s “record of achievement in closing achievement gaps.”
Some members of the conservative community questioned whether she viewed education through a lens of “critical Latina race theory”.
They cited his doctoral dissertation, “Nuestra Voz: A Critical Ethnographic Study of Latin American School Leaders.”
Ramsey, who is Latina, received her doctorate in education in 2013 from Liberty University, founded by Baptist pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell. She said her thesis focused on 10 Latin directors in two states, specifically studying their challenges and experiences.
Several community members have raised concerns saying that a “woke activist” is not wanted in Fort Worth schools. They criticized Scribner for his efforts to promote equity in schools.
But others, including several board members, said the new superintendent has the opportunity to focus on the success of all students, not just certain populations, and to build relationships with educators and families.
Pastor Michael Bell celebrated the board’s choice, telling trustees that his appointment reflects the diversity of the district. About 65% of its students are Latino and about 20% black.
“Ramsey has a reputation as an agent of change, someone who will keep student improvement and student success at the center of attention,” Bell said.
Administrator Quinton Phillips told Ramsey she had his trust because she cared about the students.
“I know you keep them first, and I’m excited to see what it looks like in action,” he said.
Trustee Anne Darr welcomed Ramsey and noted his impressive responses during her interviews.
“One of the very first things she said during this process is that Fort Worth ISD has all the pieces and now we have to put them all in the right place,” she said.
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