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Judson ISD board approves $140K severance for superintendent after her sudden resignation

A woman in a jean jacket gestures to a buzzer outside the front entrance of an elementary school. It has an intercom but no camera.
Camille Phillips
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TPR
Jeanette Ball

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Judson ISD’s Superintendent Jeanette Ball suddenly tenured her resignation this week. The school board accepted that resignation on Monday during a special meeting.

The board also approved a $140,000 severance package for Bell for "agreeing" to resign. The board did not go into details about why Ball resigned. Ball had been with Judson since 2018 when she joined as superintendent. She was previously superintendent of the Uvalde school district from 2013 to 2018.

The 7-member board met in closed session for nearly four hours before voting unanimously on the severance agreement.

“Dr. Ball has agreed to resign effective immediately in exchange for a total amount of $140,000,” Board President Jennifer Rodriguez said before the vote. She added that the payment would come from the district’s general fund.

Ball was under contract with the district until 2025. Her salary was $250,000.

Speaking to members of the press after the vote, Rodriguez declined to comment about why Ball was leaving the district.

Judson board.JPG
Joey Palacios
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TPR
The Judson ISD board.

“There’s really not much I can say about it. This is a personnel matter, and we will be releasing the resignation agreement when all of the signatures are final. We hope that the statement that comes with that will provide more clarity to the public,” she said.

Bill Atkins, Judson’s assistant superintendent of finance, shared with the board what appeared to be a message of support for Ball.

“I have worked for many superintendents, but I don’t think I have ever worked for one that has a bigger heart for kids and staff than Dr. Jeanette Ball,” he said, "and, unfortunately, that was her biggest asset and her biggest liability because people take advantage of that.”

He added, however, that he understood the decision the board made. "I respect the positions y’all hold, and I don’t know all the information you had to make that decision,” he said.

Adkins immediately left the board meeting after making his comments and declined to answer further questions from TPR about what his statements meant.

A spokeswoman for the district sent out a statement on Monday night that explained that further comment would come at a later time.

“Until the agreement is finalized, we respectfully decline comment. We will follow up with a statement when there is more information to share,” said spokeswoman Nicole Taguinod.

The district will outline the process for a replacement at a future board meeting. In the meantime, Robert Fields, the district’s deputy superintendent of administration and operations, will lead the district until a replacement is named.

Chris Pryor, a resident who has lived in Judson ISD for 56 years, attended the first part of the board meeting Monday. He said he had heard of Ball’s resignation via Facebook from other parents and did not know why she resigned but was supportive of her leadership.

“This is a loss to Judson ISD, believe me … this is someone who has done a great job,” he said. “All I can tell you, if you love my kid and you love every kid in Judson ISD, you’ve got my vote,” he said.

Judson ISD is the fourth largest school district in Bexar County with more than 23,000 students.

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Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules