The Texhoma School Board met in special session Monday night to discuss Superintendent Eric Smith’s contract. Rumors had been flying around that Smith, who has been Superintendent in Texhoma for eight years, was planning to resign. This just days after voters in Texhoma passed a $5-plus million bond for school improvements.
Ultimately, the Board voted to table the item until the next regularly-scheduled meeting on Sept. 10. But not after a 2-hour, 33-minute Executive Session.
Board member John Nye said the meeting was called on Labor Day to “Clear the Air” regarding the rumors about Mr. Smith’s intentions.
“I think this all kind of started prematurely,” Smith said. “I should have waited.”
Smith said the Superintendent’s job “Can be pretty trying.”
“You guys (the Board) know somewhat what I’m talking about, but you fully don’t understand it, the things you go through being a Superintendent,” Smith said. “Because sometimes when things go bad for Board members, you hear it for a little bit, I hear it all the time.”
Smith said it’s been taking a toll on his family.
“I think I told you guys when I came here, I never see myself leaving here,” Smith told the Board. “I really didn’t.
“But I tell you, the last three years have been pretty trying.”
Smith cited the girls basketball coach controversy of a couple years ago when the Board hired a coach from Hennessey who was ultimately charged with rape of a student in Hennessey, and two Bond elections — one which failed and the most recent one last week, which passed.
Smith said he didn’t want to overstay his welcome in Texhoma, and was considering other opportunities in another business. But he said he spent some time away with his family recently, and decided this is what he wants to do and where he wants to do it.
“There’s a lot of things that define a person, and it’s pretty clear to me that this job defines me,” Smith said. “It’s who I am.
“This is a special place.”
Smith said he felt like he was doing the right thing at the time, but “Instead I was starting a wildfire, and really never intended for it to start. So, I do apologize.”
Board President Jim Berry said he did not think the Board could “Afford to put somebody else in that chair. I’m not saying I want to, but we can’t afford to.”