Neches superintendent chooses not to remove elementary principal — his wife — after she’s indicted on felony

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NECHES, Texas (KETK) – Kimberlyn Snider will retain her post as principal of Neches ISD Elementary School, although she was indicted last week on charges of interfering with a criminal investigation

The school board met Monday night in a special session to take up the issue of Snider’s status in the district

After meeting in executive session for over two hours, Van Brown, president of the school board, read a statement that said the decision on whether to keep Snider on the job belonged to the superintendent — her husband, Randy Snider.

“Thus far, Mr. Sinder has elected to retain Mrs. Snider in her position of campus principal because he believes it is in the best interest of Neches ISD.”

Van Brown, Neches ISD school board president

When Brown read this, some attending the meeting abruptly left and one woman called out in protest that she disagreed with what was happening.

“We oversee Mr. Snider’s decision making and can affirm that we (the board) join Mr. Snider in his assessment,” Brown continued.

Brown’s statement said: “The board acts primarily as a policy-making body. We supervise only one employee and that is the superintendent of schools. As such, we have no authority to place the principal on administrative leave. This decision was not made in haste but after significant deliberation and consideration of the totality of the circumstances and a commitment to make the specific needs of the Neches students and staff top priority.”

Ten people spoke in the public comment portion of the meeting before the board went into executive session.

Some speakers praised Snider’s dedication to staff and students and others asked the board to at least temporarily remove her from duty.

School employee Michael Owens said he had seen Snider’s compassion with children. Snider works to make the school “a great place,” he said.

Owens’ wife, Kimberly Owens, a third-grade teacher, also spoke. “She (Snider) has the children’s best interest at heart.”

Kaitlin Scroggins, a parent of a Neches student, told the board she believes Snider should be put on administrative leave “immediately.”

“Why should she be allowed to be around our children?” asked Scroggins, who is affiliated with Change for Neches, a group that says its goal is to create a better school.

She said putting Snider on administrative leave is the right things to do and asked why are citizens having to “come and plead” with the board to do this.

“We are watching you closely as you vote this evening,” she said.

Katy Preston told the board she said she felt it was “justified” to put Snider on administrative leave and that she believes the board has the power to do so.

Many of the almost 60 people who were at the start of the meeting remained to hear what the board would do.

Kimberlyn Snider

“I will not call for a motion but instead would like to make a statement on behalf of the board,” began Brown, when the board reconvened in regular session.

After reading the statement, KETK asked Brown to speak about the decision.

“I can’t comment,” he said and provided a copy of his statement.

Scroggins said before the meeting that if the board did not take action against Snider, some parents are prepared to pull their children from Neches ISD.

Last week, Snider turned herself in to sheriff’s deputies and was booked into the Anderson County Jail on charges of tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, which is a felony, and five counts of official oppression, each count is a misdemeanor.

If she is convicted on all counts and receives the maximum sentence for each, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

Anderson County Sheriff Rudy Flores has said that Snider is accused of interfering with an investigation by his department of a sexual assault of a minor.

The investigation into the sexual assault is ongoing, Flores said.

A grand jury returned the indictments against Snider, who posted bail and was released from jail. She continued working as principal.

Kelli Karczewski, the attorney who represents Neches ISD, previously said, “The administration, including Mrs. Snider, is cooperating with law enforcement and feel optimistic that with clarification the matter will be resolved expeditiously and without disruption to the educational environment of NISD students.”

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