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Marlin school board hears about investigation, takes no action

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 15:35:55-04

MARLIN, TX — Members of the Marlin School Board of Managers met Wednesday night to hear from the law firm they hired to investigate suspended superintendent Dr. Michael Seabolt. The only item on Wednesday night's agenda: the future of the superintendent.

Marlin's new mayor has concerns about the school board drama and hopes the Board of Managers can restore stability and higher test scores.

Marlin Mayor Carolyn Lofton came to Wednesday's meeting of the Marlin school board because, “as the schools go, so goes the town." "I'm concerned. The school system vital to Marlin's moving forward," Lofton explained.

In the five or so weeks she’s had the job, Lofton has already made some visible progress in the city. However the schools, which are out of her jurisdiction, remain a problem.

The district remains mired in low, but slowly-improving test scores- a problem resulting in state conservatorship, and recently the suspension of Superintendent Michael Seabolt.

At Wednesday night's meeting, members of the law firm the board hired to investigate Dr. Seabolt, and the investigator, Ann Dixon, made presentations to the board in closed session.

In an interview with the Waco Tribune-Herald, Dr. Seabolt explained he'd already had a three-hour meeting with Dixon, who asked about the evaluation of school administrators and policies. Seabolt said he'd never heard of. At the end, Dr. Seabolt said he had "nothing interesting" for the investigator.

But it was apparently plenty interesting for the school board, who spent nearly two hours with the lawyers and investigator behind closed doors, without reaching a decision.

With that, school board members ran for the doors, but not the mayor. “I’m hoping the right decision is gonna come out of this and we’re gonna be stable and forward-looking and we’re gonna be right where we need to be in order to move forward where we need to go,” Lofton said, because she fears, without good schools, her town will go nowhere, fast.

If the investigation finds no wrongdoing, the board could terminate Seabolt for what's called "good" cause. For instance, a failure to improve test scores in a set time. The two sides could also mutually decide to part ways, likely giving Seabolt a hefty severance.