Superintendent Wendell Sollis speaks out about his removal

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

Now that Ector County Superintendent Wendell Sollis is out.

The school board is faced with finding a replacement.

While he's disappointed at leaving.

Sollis says he hopes the district finds someone who can strengthen the excellent educational programs already in place.

"Also with our career and technology center, working with the Permian Basin, working with the Chamber of Commerce, articulation agreements with Odessa College and U.T.P.B," says Sollis.

Superintendent Wendell Sollis will be the first to tell you, it's all about our kids education.

The goal, get them into college, or at least a good job out of high school..

He's just disappointed he won't get to finish what he started.

''There's still a lot of things that are left unfinished for next year.  I really wanted to focus on continuing the curriculum instruction department," says Sollis.  ''You've got to have that curriculum instructional department and staff development to be successful."

But the district and that department have many challenges ahead. First, they must fill the Deputy Superintendent's position, recently vacated by Joe Gallegos, who's threatening to sue the district.  Then, board members have to find an interim director, and finally a new Superintendent who can take on these new challenges for the upcoming school year that's about six weeks away.

Some parents we spoke with today had their own opinions of Sollis' departure; some even question the timing of it.

"I think it's a little late in the year. Its going to take them time to find one to replace him, I think it's a little too late the school year starts in August," says one parent.

"Well, I agree with what they did he wasn't doing as good a job as what they thought he was doing or supposed to do so I agree with their decision," Says one viewer.

"I didn't agree with it." Says another parent. "I think there's something else going on there that eventually should come out. I don't agree, I think he was doing the job he was supposed to do, he's hired to run it, let him run it."

So far, board members haven't released names of potential candidates, but Sollis says he believes the transition the best candidate should be an easy one.

"I think someone could come in here and pick up where we are and don't drop the ball and let's keep going," says Sollis. "Odessa is a phenomenal place."

Sollis and his attorney will negotiate a buyout of his existing contract which is estimated at 175 thousand dollars.