Investigation: Questions abound after sudden resignation of Manor ISD superintendent

Investigations

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — A KXAN Investigation into the sudden resignation of Manor Independent School District continues.

As of now, Dr. Royce Avery is finishing out his contract, which ends in June. But on the day he announced he was leaving, his wife tweeted: “He’s not really retiring, he’s being forced out by the MISD school board.They are not a team of eight, but instead a team of hate.”

This got KXAN’s investigative team asking more questions and filing more open records requests with the district and the Texas Education Agency.

Here’s what was found:

There were at least two grievances filed by two different employees.

The first was in March, the Manor Executive Director of School Improvement and Accountability claimed Avery forced him to change numbers on a budget presentation to the school board so they were “more in line with everyone’s expectations.”

The administrator said he did it due to pressure and aggressive behavior from the superintendent. An audit ultimately found variations in the data and recommended procedures to make sure accurate values are being presented to the board.

The second grievance against the superintendent was filed in April by the fine arts director who accused him of harassment and retaliation.

Manor ISD hired outside attorneys to investigate both complaints.

The two human resources directors with Manor ISD also wrote letters to TEA saying they feel this was a “thought-out effort to disparage the superintendent” and that the board president was involved with trying to bring him down.

They also say the district did not follow its own policy — and these complaints did not rise to the level of getting the board and legal involved.

KXAN also learned that the TEA is investigating allegations that the school board violated the Open Meetings Act and that the board president “unilaterally approved expenses.”

Manor ISD Board President Elmer Fisher, Jr. has not responded to KXAN’s request for comment.

In a school board meeting on Wednesday, a motion passed 4-3 to allow Avery to finish out his contract through the end of 2020.

“I’m very pleased to continue working for the students and families of Manor ISD. We moved the district from a D to a B, closed a $10 million deficit, and implemented programs across the board,” said Avery in a statement. “As long as I have this job I’m going to continue working on our strong academic gains and serving the community.”

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