Teresa Stroud said she is resigning effective Oct. 20 as superintendent of the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Facility in Brownwood and will go to work for Target Corp.
Stroud, 43, said she has been considering other options for the past three months and decided Monday to resign. She said she believes it is in the best interests of herself, her family and the state school, where she has worked since 1992.
“My primary concern is the well-being of the facility,” Stroud said. “ … The last 18 months have been a really challenging time in the agency.”
Stroud said she is taking a job as a supervisor at a Target distribution center in Tyler.
TYC spokesman Jim Hurley of Austin said in an email to the Bulletin that the TYC is losing a good employee. Assistant Superintendent Thomas Adamski “will continue to provide excellent leadership at the Ron Jackson facility” until a new superintendent is named, Hurley said.
“Ms. Stroud has been with TYC more than 11 years and been a valued employee and superintendent,” Hurley said in the email. “ We are sorry to see her leave and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”
State officials began scrutinizing the TYC in early 2007 as reports of alleged sexual abuse of students and coverup received massive attention.
Stroud said she is “not necessarily unhappy” with the agency but said because of her “recent history” with the TYC, her departure will help the Ron Jackson staff to “focus what needs to be focused on.”
When asked if she was referencing a grievance she filed in October 2007 against a TYC executive, Stroud said she was referring to that incident but also gave other examples.
She said she’d disagreed with TYC officials in the agency’s direction including “a failure to be consistent in how we deal with issues related to the use of force and serious mental health treatment issues.”
Stroud said she is one of only two superintendents at TYC facilities who were superintendents when reforms began in 2007. She said some of the superintendents have resigned or been promoted within the agency.
She said the Ron Jackson staff should be optimistic at the August hiring of Cherie Townsend as the TYC’s executive director. Stroud said Townsend will bring improvements to the agency.
The Brownwood school, which currently houses only female students, has 124 on the main campus and 12 in the intake unit, and a staff of more than 550, Stroud said.
She said TYC officials plan to bring male students back to the Ron Jackson campus.
Stroud, a 12-year veteran of the TYC, came to the Brownwood school in July 2002 as assistant superintendent at its Unit II complex. She was named superintended in 2006.
Stroud is a native of the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. She worked for Child Protective Services investigators and obtained her master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Before moving to Brownwood, she had been a youth rights specialist for the TYC in Beaumont.