TORNILLO, TX — The Tornillo School Board voted during Wednesday night's school board meeting to officially accept Superintendent Paul Vranish's resignation. The decision makes Tornillo the third school district in the area that is without a superintendent.
According to Interim Superintendent and Tornillo High School Principal Margaret Ruybe, Vranish submitted his resignation in January, but the Tornillo School Board was later notified that his resignation would not be official until the board voted on it.
Ruybe said Vranish's resignation was voluntary, but comes amid an audit by the Texas Education Agency which found that Vranish, along with others, was reimbursed at least $2,500 that he may not have been owed. Vranish was placed on paid administrative leave in November.
In light of the TEA's findings, the Tornillo ISD School Board decided to hire a forensic auditor that will look into expenditures during the last three to five years.
Tornillo District employee Jaime Solorza believes Vranish's resignation is a step in the right direction for the district.
"There's a lot of things that were questioned, and I agree that a forensic auditor, or someone, or an agency that has the expertise to go through all this," said Solorza.
Solorza said there was no longer any unity within the Tornillo ISD, and board meetings often turned into screaming matches.
"At a point when him (Vranish) and the board started to have disagreements, I think they lost focus on what was important, and we all suffered from that," said Solorza.
Tornillo is now the third area school district that is searching for a new superintendent, along with the El Paso ISD and Canutillo ISD.
Ruybe said Vranish is still working to clear his name, but in the meantime she has stepped in to lead the district.
"Right now I'm just making sure that we keep business going as usual. I am working at central office and of course still taking care of the high school," said Ruybe.
Ruybe seems to be a welcomed change to the troubled district.
"She's made some changes, she's made some moves that seem to be positive. I can tell you right now, the atmosphere is much more friendly attitude here," said Solorza.
Vranish's resignation will be effective in June, 2013. Until then, he will remain on paid administrative leave.
Ruybe said the Tornillo ISD hopes to hire a forensic auditor in January of 2013, but doesn't know how long the audit will take.