Pilot Point ISD athletic trainer, Javier Errisuriz arrested
By Abigail Allen
Todd Southard is no longer the superintendent of Pilot Point ISD.
The school board, at a special-called meeting Wednesday, approved a “voluntary severance package and release for Todd Southard,” “the interim superintendent contract as presented by the district’s legal counsel,” and “the resignation list as presented,” all motions made by Vice President Kevin Ware.
No further details were released regarding those motions.
School board President Renee Polk confirmed that the interim “has been named.”
“Can we give out who the interim is?” she asked other board members. “No, I can’t give that out. You’ll have to contact Abernathy, [Roeder, Boyd and Hullett].”
That is the district’s McKinney-based law firm.
When asked regarding the amount agreed to in the severance package, Polk said, “there will be a statement forthcoming.”
Polk said the names of the slate of resignations would not be released, citing that as confidential personnel information.
“We need to check with legal counsel first,” Ware said.
Regarding a future search for a new superintendent, Polk said, “when we determine it’s appropriate to begin a search, it will be made public.”
Southard also said he could not comment Wednesday evening by phone.
“No, I can’t say anything about that,” he said.
Southard had left the Nov. 8 board meeting partway through the final executive session.
That abbreviated meeting on Nov. 8 culminated in the resignation of two district employees and the termination of a third.
The meeting started with an executive session at 3 p.m. before moving to regular session at 5 p.m. without taking any action.
After making special recognition of the efforts of several teachers and students over the last month, including the PPHS girls’ cross country team for their recent trip to state, the board members voted unanimously to table the majority of remaining agenda items.
A second executive session then began, which lasted about 30 minutes.
Upon returning to open session, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Harold Colson presided over the meeting with Southard absent.
Ware moved to accept the resignations of J. Shannon Jones and Angela Martinez as well as to fire Javier Errisuriz, which the board unanimously approved.
When asked for more information regarding the resignations and termination after the Nov. 8 meeting, Colson declined to comment and referred all questions to Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd and Hullett.
On Nov. 10, the Pilot Point ISD Police Department issued a release announcing that Errisuriz, 35, was arrested on a charge of child grooming, a third-degree felony, by the department.
The Pilot Point Police Department assisted the district PD with the investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct by Errisuriz toward a 17-year-old student in September, according to the release.
“After an internal employment investigation and the ongoing criminal investigation into his alleged actions and gross misconduct, Errisuriz was terminated from his position with the district on Nov. 2.,” the release said. “Pilot Point ISD Police continued the criminal investigation with the assistance of the Pilot Point Police Department, which led to the arrest of Errisuriz on November 10.”
He had been placed on administrative leave on Oct. 30, and the school board voted Nov. 8 to terminate Errisuriz's employment, which began in July.
Both departments asked that further information be reported to them via phone—the Pilot Point ISD Police Department at 940-686-7380 or the Pilot Point Police Department at 940-686-2969.
“Investigation is still going on, so obviously we’re not going to comment on that,” PPISDPD Chief Brad Merritt said Wednesday. “We were very appreciative of Pilot Point’s help. It was a joint effort. There will be more later.”
Questions sent by email to Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd and Hullett on Nov. 10 went unanswered by press time.
The PPISD board’s next regularly scheduled meeting takes place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 13.
Staff Writer Joe Fragano contributed to this report.