Superintendent Lance Hint’s last day is Jan. 1, and to prepare for his departure the Katy ISD board of trustees has named an acting superintendent.

The board unanimously approved Kenneth Gregorski as the acting superintendent at the Nov. 12 meeting. He is currently the district’s deputy superintendent, a position he has held since December 2016, and he will start his new role Dec. 1, according to a press release.

Hindt will work to prepare Gregorski for the role until Jan. 1. Hindt announced his resignation in May after at least four people accused him as a bully during his teenage years. Gregorski has been presiding over board meetings since July.

“I believe this is our strongest and best option,” board member Bill Lacy said at the meeting. “It allows Mr. Gregorski to show his strengths and skills to the community and to this board. It also allows our district to continue with our strategic design plans that were already in place.”

No time table has been released for selecting a permanent superintendent, per the press release. The board had hoped to name finalists by March, but this will likely be later, board member Rebecca Foxx said.

Heated discussion

During the Nov. 12 meeting the board held a discussion regarding the superintendent search.

Board members Foxx, Dawn Champaign and Susan Gesoff expressed a desire to use a national search firm to survey the community, find qualified candidates across the U.S., and advertise the school district and its top-performing students. A search firm has been used to find previous Katy ISD superintendents, including Hindt, board members said.

“I think this district deserves the best this country has to offer,” Gesoff said.

However, board member George Scott argued that using a national search firm “would send an insulting message” to current Katy ISD staff.

Board members Lacy, Vann and board President Courtney Doyle questioned whether the district would be able to attract qualified candidates based on recent controversies including Hindt’s departure, and other factors, such as starting the position mid-school year.

Doyle ended the discussion by thanking the board members for their comments and stating that she is “comfortable with the direction in which we’re going” for the superintendent search process.

“I think we need to step back for just a minute and let Mr. Gregorski lead, let the board heal, let the community heal,” she said. “And then we can move forward with our most important job, which is naming a superintendent.”

Other items approved:

In addition to appointing Gregorski as acting superintendent, the board also approved:

  • Adjusting elementary school attendance boundaries to accommodate the new elementary school opening next school year; the option selected relieves Bethke Elementary by sending students to Hutsell Elementary or elementary School No. 42 as well as pulling students zoned into 23C land zone into No. 42.

  • Budget amendments totaling about $2.1 million in general fund expenditures.

  • Naming the Student Support Annex after Jeanne Coleman, a longtime speech language pathologist for Katy ISD.

  • Adding two new courses to the high school course catalogue.

  • Giving a one-time 1 percent bonus to teachers and non-teacher pay groups.

  • Contracts totaling $1.2 million to replace domestic broilers at two high schools.

  • Design services to adjust driveways at four elementary schools and the Morton Ranch Complex to reduce traffic on public streets.

  • The total cost of $8.5 million for the Katy High School athletics facility renovations.

  • New assistant superintendent for human resources and new principals for Elementary School No. 42, McDonald Junior High and Junior High School No. 16.

The KISD board of trustees will meet for a work study meeting 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Education Support Complex in downtown Katy.