After a marathon meeting, College Station's school board emerged from executive session and unanimously voted to place their superintendent on administrative leave.
It started just after 5:30pm Tuesday. It ended just under six hours later, College Station's school board leaving their closed door meeting and announcing they'd placed Superintendent Jimmy Creel on a temporary, paid administrative leave of absence.
"Difficult day, difficult day, one that we don't enjoy much at all," was the reaction of School Board President Tim Jones. "Certainly not anything that I believe any of us have worked through before, so it's fairly unique for us."
"I think I would be remiss and lying if I didn't say it surprises me," Creel said after the meeting. "It does surprise me somewhat, but the board has a right to judge a superintendent's performance, and whether I agree with that or not, it's their right and I respect it."
"It is a temporary leave of absence that we approved and the duration of that has not been decided at this point," Jones said. When asked when the decision will be made, he added, "In the coming days, I'm sure that we'll have some more discussions."
Though the evaluation conducted Tuesday night was done in executive session (it was approved unanimously in open session before the vote to place Creel on leave) and cannot be discussed by those in the meeting, Creel did say that he faced a steep learning curve when he started in September, after the school year had already started.
"Those kind of things sometimes cause priorities to be shifted from one place to another," Creel said.
And as to the question of if Creel wants to get back to work in College Station, "Certainly, that is my desire, and that's what I anticipate," he said. "That's one of those things that I don't control."
"It is identified as temporary, and it is open ended to that end," Jones reiterated. "Again, it will require some additional discussion on our part."
Creel came to College Station after being the assistant superintendent in Katy. He also served as superintendent in Port Neches Grove.