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Navasota Trustees Take No Action on Rumbo

By: Steve Fullhart & Meredith Stancik Email
By: Steve Fullhart & Meredith Stancik Email

As of Monday night, Navasota High School Principal Brent Rumbo had not submitted a letter of resignation as the school district had asked from him.

Rumbo, just a principal for a year in the Grimes County community, did not appear at the district's school board meeting Monday. The only mention made of him by the trustees was for an item where salary schedules were approved. Rumbo's salary was pulled from the item.

Since late last week, Rumbo has been on paid adminstrative leave. Superintendent Jennings Teel says negative, questioning circumstances prompted the request. However, he would not comment on the nature of the circumstances.

Monday, Teel released the following statement:

"As Superintendent of Navasota ISD, I want to personally apologize to the citizens of Navasota for the negative impact this situation has had upon our community and schools. Navasota is a good community which does not deserve this kind of negative publicity. Navasota ISD deserves better from its administrative staff which also includes myself."

Rumbo would not return calls from News 3 Monday.

At the beginning of the last school year, Maggie Lira filed a complaint about Brent Rumbo's treatment of her child. She's become an even more concerned parent lately.

"I'm afraid it's going to get uglier, because Mr. Rumbo is not the type of person just to quietly go," Lira said. "He's the type that probably has dug his feet in really hard."

What may have increased the controversy is a report from the Tyler Police Department from December 2005. It says Rumbo, then the principal in Winona, was stopped with a prostitute that he had picked up at a drug house.

Rumbo was sighted for not signaling a turn, but the report says he may have been less than truthful when he said he was just looking for his ex-wife, who he thought was "turning tricks." Rumbo also told authorities he only knew of the drug house through students at the high school.

Members of the school board had no comment concerning Rumbo Monday since it's a personnel issue.

In building their case against Brent Rumbo, concerned residents in Navasota are also saying the district needs to look long and hard at the high school as a whole. For one, the TEA ratings that just came out ranking them academically unacceptable for 2007.

"I know kids who have never been in trouble before who have told me, I've had such a hard time concentrating this year, and I have to relate it to Mr. Rumbo because the previous year, it wasn't like that," Lira said. "That's the only change we had was a change in leadership."

NISD employee Mary Mable added, "I'm not talking about any particular person. I'm talking about the whole administration. It's time to clean up in Navasota, and there is good in Navasota."

For now, a district awaits an answer to its request, and a high school principal's tenure remains in limbo.


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