John Allen, superintendent of the Frankston Independent School District, declined to comment Friday about the school board's decision this week to place him on administrative leave. He stated only that he knew nothing about a pending investigation referenced by the Frankston School Board Tuesday night.
Allen, who has about two years left on his contract, continues to receive his annual salary of $122,500. Members of the school board made their decision during a closed executive session.
Allen, who turned around troubled urban schools in Houston, has had a rocky tenure at Frankston ISD, since the rural East Texas native returned home to lead a district of about 840 students and 118 employees. Allen grew up near Nacogdoches.
In previous interviews, Allen said he came back to improve academic achievement and raise the expectations of rural students.
“We have to give every child, regardless of background, the support they need to succeed at a high level and be the best they can be,” he said in a 2017 interview. “We've got to believe in every child. We can't just teach the kids with means or family advocacy.”
Allen called himself a “change agent” who was pushing to give rural kids some of the same advancements in education urban children have made. His critics, however, have called him arrogant, even tyrannical, and called repeatedly for his resignation.
Among other things, they have accused him of creating a hostile work environment and pushing out good teachers and coaches. They also blamed him for what they said was an increase in students leaving the district.