New Super takes over: Roane vows to take Raymondville schools to ‘next level’

RAYMONDVILLE — In his first week on the job, Superintendent Stetson Roane vowed to work to take the school district “to the next level.”

Roane took office on Monday, less than a week after school board members voted 5-2 to hire him for the district’s top job.

“I am ready to work hard for our students to ensure they have the best educational opportunities available,” Roane said yesterday in a statement.

“With the help of the board of trustees and the community we will take Raymondville ISD to the next level!”

Board President John Solis, who along with trustee Judy Gutierrez voted against hiring Roane, said he wants to work with the new superintendent.

“He wants to work together and work with the board to move on,” Solis said yesterday in an interview. “He is our new superintendent and now we’ve got to start working together to get our school district moving in the right direction.”

The board signed Roane to a three-year contract expiring in June 2020.

The contract will pay him an annual salary of $147,000 plus a monthly $400 car allowance and an annual “professional fee” of as much as $500.

The agreement, which requires the board evaluate Roane’s job performance “at least once each year,” states the board and Roane could terminate the contract “by mutual agreement … upon such terms and conditions as (may) be mutually agreed upon.”

The contract states the board could terminate Roane “for good cause.”

“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been selected as superintendent of schools of the Raymondville Independent School District,” Roane said in his statement.

“I want to thank the board of trustees for their faith in me. I also want to thank the staff and community as well for the outpour of support I have received since I have been here.”

At a June 6 school board meeting, two residents expressed concern Roane faced a sexual harassment claim during his last job as superintendent for the Seguin school district.

Another resident, who supported Roane, read from a letter from Roane’s attorney which stated the district “made no adverse finding” against Roane.

At that meeting, residents called for a public forum to discuss with board members their selection of Roane as the finalist for the job.

At the June 22 meeting, which only Solis and Gutierrez attended, residents expressed concern about Roane while his attorney Tony Conners spoke up to support him.

Roane served as superintendent of the Seguin school district from mid-2015 until early this year.

Last February, Roane signed a resignation agreement about a month after a female employee filed a sexual harassment complaint stemming from their attendance at a conference.

“The district investigated and they did not make a finding against him,” Conners said in an earlier interview.

In late April, Roane filed a lawsuit in Travis County against the Seguin school district and state Attorney General Ken Paxton after Paxton’s office ruled the district release more details regarding the sexual harassment case against Roane.

Meanwhile, Roane’s resignation agreement, which released him of any claims regarding acts or events prior to its signing, paid him $94,500, or half his annual salary of $189,000.

As part of the settlement, the district agreed to provide “neutral” job references while agreeing not to report Roane’s resignation to the Texas Education Agency.

The agreement also led the district to place Roane’s wife Denise, whom he had hired, on paid administrative leave from March 6 to June 30, when she would resign.

Roane faced some controversy while serving as Seguin’s superintendent.

During his 18-month tenure, the district purchased a $1.3 million video scoreboard for its Matador Stadium.

Under Roane, the district attempted to lease the local radio station KWED 1580 AM and the newspaper the Seguin Daily News.

Meanwhile, critics launched a Facebook page titled Lose the Hat Seguin to push to remove Roane from office.

Bio Box

– Former assistant superintendent for the Aransas Pass school district

– Former superintendent for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district

– Former superintendent for the Seguin school district