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SISD responds to concern over principal reassignment

This article originally ran in the March 10 issue of the Progress Times. 

After weeks of parents speaking out against Sharyland ISD reassigning Shimotsu’s long-time principal to another campus, the district responded to allegations made against them.  

Sharyland ISD removed Adrian Limon from his role as principal of Shimotsu Elementary on Feb. 2 and transferred him to B.L. Gray Jr. High, where he now serves as the dean of instruction. SISD’s Director of Public Relations Nancy Barboza said Limon now assists the principal in his new role. SISD considers it to be in the same professional capacity as his prior position. Administration also named Elizabeth Gongora the interim principal on Feb. 2.  

Limon had been at Shimotsu for almost 16 years and developed a reputation for being a present leader, someone children and parents could count on seeing every morning at the front entrance. So when Sharyland parents learned administration reassigned the principal, community members became upset. 

Parents have spent the last month organizing, protesting and demanding answers. At the Feb. 27 Sharyland ISD board of trustees meeting, several spoke on the issue, making allegations about the district, the school board and Superintendent Dr. Maria Vidaurri. 

Shimotsu parent Amanda Caballero recalled an alleged private conversation with Vidaurri where she claims the superintendent said B.L. Gray “urgently needed a male leader.” Caballero said, “Ms. Vidaurri stated Mr. Limon was urgently being transferred to B.L. Gray Jr. High due to the unstable administration run by only women.” The district public information officer responded to the allegation. 

“Sharyland ISD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate or make decisions based on gender,” Barboza said. 

Parent Carol Salgado said she was concerned about the safety of her two daughters at Shimotsu because of how SISD treats students with special needs. She also alleged that administration set Limon up for failure.   

“We have evidence that suggests these students are in need of a behavioral unit and are being refused service due to Sharyland not having one,” Salgado said. “The district director has made it her goal to keep kids in a least restrictive environment. However, in doing so, she has placed, not only the teachers but also our kids in an unsafe environment. I am greatly concerned for my girls’ safety.” 

Barboza responded to the allegations on behalf of SISD. 

“The district would never knowingly place any student in an unsafe environment,” she said. “Furthermore, the district would never set up a staff member for failure, as is evident by the training that is provided to all of our employees on a continuous basis.” 

William “Bill” Sullivan, ex-husband of school board trustee candidate Meagan Sullivan, claimed the trustees are paid for their positions on the board, which they are not. Per the Texas Education Code, trustees serve without compensation. 

Several parents expressed they were under the impression the school board members were unaware of why administration reassigned Limon. When asked if the trustees are part of the decision-making process, Barboza provided clarification. 

“Generally, there is dialogue between the administration and board at monthly board meetings regarding personnel issues,” she said. 

The board and superintendent discuss personnel issues in closed session unless the employee who is the subject of deliberation requests a public hearing. 

Although vocal community members oppose Sharyland administration’s decision, the director of public relations said SISD Shimotsu is in good hands. 

“The district understands that some are not pleased with the reassignment,” Barboza said. “Unfortunately, the district cannot delve into particulars regarding the reassignment due to privacy concerns and Texas law related to personnel. The district will continue to support the campus with a strong staff devoted to student excellence in all aspects.”

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