Navasota High School Principal Resigns

Navasota ISD's board of trustees have accepted the resignation of embattled high school principal, Brent Rumbo.

The decision was announced at a Navasota ISD school board meeting Monday evening. Rumbo was not present at the meeting.

Rumbo's resignation is effective Friday, August 31. He will remain on paid administrative leave until then.

Rumbo had 12 months remaining on his contract with the district. As part of a buy out of that contract, Rumbo will be paid six months salary, which totals just under $44,000.

His wife, Missy, an instructional assistant at the high school, also resigned, though she was not under contract with the district, and will not receive any compensation as a result. Her resignation is also effective August 31.

"The Board appreciates the cooperation of Mr. Rumbo in voluntarily vacating his position to allow the Board and the Superintendent, in the best interests of the District, to pursue other administrative leadership for the high school," read a statement released by the Navasota ISD trustees.

Earlier this month, the high school principal was asked to resign, and was placed on paid administrative leave. At the time, Superintendent Jennings Teel said negative, questioning circumstances prompted the request.

Since earlier this summer, a number of complaints against Rumbo have arisen. Within the school walls, some said Rumbo's discipline wasn't equal for all students, with the local NAACP chapter and parents bringing forward accusations.

Outside the school, Rumbo was accused of chasing students with an ax after they allegedly disrespected his wife. A Grimes County grand jury chose not to pursue charges, though authorities did say there was some sort of confrontation between the students and Rumbo.

Later, a police report from Tyler would surface showing Rumbo riding in a car with a prostitute leaving a drug house. He told police he was searching for his ex-wife.

"Most people might not understand why we voiced our decision the way that we did," said James Harris, the president of the Navasota chapter of the NAACP, "but we've just got that right, and that's right for you to think what you want to think and for us to think what we want to. It's not about us and it's not about them. It's about the community."

Cory Buckley, an assistant principal at the high school, will fill in as the interim principal. The school board has not determined how or when they will search for a permanent replacement.

No one spoke for or against Rumbo at the school board's meeting Monday.

Calls to Rumbo were not returned Monday night. He was not present at the meeting.

The following is the complete statement from the Navasota ISD Board of Trustees concerning the Rumbo resignation:

"Tonight the Navasota Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of high school principal Brent Rumbo and his wife effective Friday, August 31st. Both employees will receive their salaries through Friday, but they will be on administrative leave.

"The Board wishes to stress that neither Mr. Rumbo nor his wife have been fired, been nonrenewed, or had any adverse employment action taken against them. The Board appreciates the cooperation of Mr. Rumbo in voluntarily vacating his position to allow the Board and the Superintendent, in the best interests of the District, to pursue other administrative leadership for the high school.

"Mr. Rumbo had a two-year contract with the District. In return for his immediate voluntary resignation, the Board agreed to pay Mr. Rumbo a severance equal to six months salary as a partial buy-out of the 24 months in his contract. Specifically, the Board agreed to pay Mr. Rumbo a gross amount of $43,928.16, which will be paid in a lesser net amount with standard state and federal deductions. Mr. Rumbo’s wife did not have a contract, and the Board made no severance payment to her.

"The Board wishes Mr. Rumbo and his wife well in whatever future endeavors they undertake. The Board hopes that the District’s students, staff and community will join it in welcoming whoever replaces Mr. Rumbo as high school principal and in putting the differences of the past behind us. The Navasota ISD Board Members look forward to the start of the new school year, and we appreciate the good will and patience of the community as we attempt to continue to make improvements in the District’s educational programs and services."

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