The Fort Worth school district announced today that board president Ray Dickerson resigned his position effective tomorrow, December 8. Dickerson reported his decision by letter today to board Secretary T. A. Sims, citing health reasons. “While I am grateful to all who have offered their support and encouragement,” he wrote, “I have concluded that it is imperative that I resign after consultation with my family, medical team, close friends and advisors.” There was no further explanation concerning his medical condition.
Trustee Ann Sutherland was surprised. “I had no idea he was going to resign,” she said. But now that he has, she said she will be supporting board Vice President Juan Rangel to be elevated to the post of president, following board policy. That policy stipulates that if a member resigns with more than a year left on his tenure, the post may be filled by the trustees with one of their own to serve out the resigning member’s term.
“Juan is more than qualified to fill the position,” she said, having been on the board for 11 years and having served as its vice president. He is a consultant who specializes in private and public problem solving, according to his web page. Rangel is married to Dr. Patricia Rangel, director of the Fort Worth district’s early childhood department and they have one son, Juan Rangel III, an anthropology major at North Texas University.
Dickerson was first elected to the presidency in June of 2008. He has a little more than a year left on his term. However, the president’s at-large post was eliminated by the board this year, adding a ninth district to the eight single member districts instead. After the new elections, the board will choose a president from its members.
Dickerson, originally from Arizona, is a retired Fort Worth bank executive. He and his wife, Courtney, have five grown children and six grandchildren. His term was marked by controversy, especially the last couple of years as the tenure of Superintendent Melody Johnson went into meltdown following scandals at several schools involving attandance fraud and manipulation of test scores and a dramatic drop in academic accountability that found 22 or more schools failing to meet the state’s minimum test standards. Dickerson, however, stood by Johnson until her resignation early this year. Other board members could not be reached for comment. Dickerson requested no interviews.