We touched yesterday on what has been a bit of a rough start to the school year for Dallas ISD, and today's news won't help: Alan King, who led the district in the aftermath of former Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's departure last year, has resigned from the district.
King served as CFO from January to June of 2011, when he was elevated to interim superintendent. He was widely considered a success in both of those jobs, and in ways he was the perfect fit for an interim boss role: pragmatic, straight-forward, no-nonsense.
King interviewed for the superintendent job, but was not likely high on the board's list. (It's also not known whether he ever really wanted the job). He's quiet, sort of a behind-the-scenes budget-assassin type, not the obviously Dynamic Leader school boards and their consultants look for, for better or worse. One of the hallmarks of his tenure was his creation of a citizens budget task force, which helps the board shape the district's finances. It's already started work on next year's budget, district spokesman Jon Dahlander says.
When Mike Miles got the job, King slid into the chief of staff job, which also doesn't seem like a great fit. Once you've been the boss, interpreting and selling someone else's vision, which is what most chiefs of staff do, can't be comfortable. That job also "included some of the duties" of the CFO, Dahlander says. That's a lot of work. (Dahlander says it's too early to know how the CFO and chief of staff jobs will be filled or divided up going forward.)
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"Alan King has served the district ably and with integrity in every capacity and I wish him well," Miles said in a press release. "During our discussion today, Alan told me that when he accepted the position of Chief of Staff, he felt it would be temporary until our new administrative team was in place. Now that the first 100 days has been completed and a new administrative team is solidly in place, he felt as if he had accomplished his goal of shepherding the transition."
Added King: "It has been an honor for me to serve this school district and I wish all of the best to the elected trustees, Superintendent Miles, the new administration as well as the staff of the Dallas Independent School District."
If there's more to the story, it's unclear for now. What is clear is that there's one fewer steady hand on deck.