NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Covering Katy News) – Nacogdoches Independent School District trustees named Alton Frailey as interim superintendent during a special school board meeting Thursday, March 8, 2018.
“We anticipate Mr. Frailey to being at work for the district effective March 19, with the goal of being onsite fulltime in Nacogdoches by April 1,” said NISD Board President Rev. James Ervin.
Frailey is a Nacogdoches County native and retired as Katy ISD Superintendent in 2016 after a 33-year career in public education. He led the Katy district for nine years. The controversial football stadium was perhaps Frailey’s undoing. The infamous project ripped the community apart and caused tension between Frailey and the school board. He retired as tensions mounted at the board table in the community.
After Frailey retired, current superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt revealed that funds were hidden in other budget line items which had the effect of concealing the full cost of the stadium from voters. Voters believed that they approved a $58 million stadium but when hidden line items and additional spending were added to the project the final price was more than $72 million dollars. By hiding the costs in a way that was unknowable to the public, Frailey and the school board were able to essentially build the same stadium voters had rejected one year earlier. The only major difference was that it has 2,000 fewer seats but nearly all of the other amenities were built.
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In a public meeting, Fraily also claimed that people who wanted the controversial stadium put on the ballot as its own item were attempting to “segregate” the football program. Critics said his comments were an attempt to claim that stadium opponents were racist.
In 2015, Frailey was named to the Stephen F. Austin State Board of Regents. It was at SFA that Frailey earned both his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in educational administration.
Frailey began his teaching career in Goose Creek CISD and later became an assistant principal there. For 13 years, Frailey worked at Spring Branch ISD in administration before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio in 2002 where he was named superintendent. He returned to Texas to be superintendent at DeSoto ISD near Dallas before being named superintendent in Katy in 2007.
Current Nacogdoches ISD superintendent Sandra Dowdy’s resignation takes effect March 16. Dowdy took over the position on an interim basis in June of 2016 after former superintendent Fred Hayes resigned. She received the job on a permanent basis on April 18 and shocked everyone when she resigned to take the lower position of the chief academic officer at Hays Consolidated ISD.
In late January, hundreds of parents petitioned the school district to not renew Dowdy’s contract. The contract was renewed on the condition that she face another review this summer. Apparently Dowdy did not want to risk losing her job this summer so moved on prior to the end of the 2017-18 school year.