SPRING, Texas – Spring ISD confirms that superintendent Dr. Ralph Draper has submitted his resignation after nearly nine years of service and after several months of parents calling for him to step down.
Draper announced his decision to resign at a Board of Trustees work session last Thursday. The Board has not taken action yet but his resignation is on the Board’s meeting agenda for Tuesday night.
Draper, who came to Spring after a career in Christian ministry and Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University, sought to transform public education “to better meet the needs of 21st century students” according to his Spring ISD bio.
He also commissioned a Spring ISD Design Team to produce a vision for the district that states: “By 2015, Spring Independent School District will be recognized nationally as a leader among learning organizations and known for exemplary student achievement.”
Instead, several Spring ISD teachers and administrators have been arrested and convicted of sexual improprieties with students during his tenure, and complaints about school security at various campuses reached the breaking point with some parents after the fatal stabbing of Spring High School student Joshua Broussard on campus in September.
The parents of more than 130 students withdrew their children from Spring ISD, and hundreds of parents joined an online petition at Change.org calling for Draper’s resignation.
“As soon as the ink is on the paper, I will throw a party for everyone in this district if that’s what it takes to show the relief and the hopes for us to be back as an exemplary district as I found it back in 1997,” Karen Fucile, Spring ISD parent, said is response to the news of Draper’s resignation.
“I think it’s a start. That’s a start. We have to start somewhere,” she said.
On a Facebook group page called “Spring ISD Must Change” other parents celebrated the announcement with comments like these:
“He should not have the right to retire. FIRE is but effective the day Joshua Broussard died.”
“Well thank goodness – we don’t have to worry as much about SISD leadership anymore. Draper has resigned and hopefully will be G-O-N-E soon,” wrote another parent.
A Spring ISD spokesperson said it could not elaborate on Dr. Draper’s reasons for offering his resignation or what his future plans might be.