Round Rock Independent School District Trustee Danielle Weston is drawing attention to the school board’s financial reward for Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez.
“They justified this bonus by saying he met 50% of academic goals for students,” posted Weston. “To the delight of the board majority, hardly anyone was watching this happen. Today there was no RRISD press release/email or media article from any outlet informing the public of this bonus award to the superintendent who makes $350,000/yr with an $8,000+ annual car allowance and many other generous benefits.”
“The bonus is part of the superintendent’s contract, and it’s based on performance,” a Round Rock ISD spokesperson told Texas Scorecard. “The goals and constraints set out for him were not fully met, but they were halfway met. This is how we arrived at the $20,000, half of what is within our discretion to give to him.”
Trustees voted in September to extend Azaiez’s contract by a year—through June 2026.
A District Surrounded By Controversy
The district has been a center of controversy ever since trustees hired Azaiez as superintendent in 2021.
Local citizens accused RRISD school board members of forgoing a public forum and rushing the hiring process for Azaiez. Trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone later revealed that their fellow school board trustees had been alerted to accusations of domestic violence against Azaiez by his mistress, but ignored the information. Azaiez agreed to a permanent restraining order with his former mistress.
Five trustees—Amy Weir, Jun Xiao, Amber Feller, Cory Vessa, and Tiffanie Harrison—voted to hire Azaiez despite the objections of Weston and Bone, as well as local parents in 2021. Citizens in the district dubbed the five trustees who voted to install Azaiez the “Bad Faith Five.”
At a school board meeting, two fathers, Jeremy Story and Dustin Clark, protested Azaiez’s continued employment and a proposed tax increase in September of 2021. However, the district coordinated with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to arrest Story and Clark on charges of “hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct.” Both men were released the next day.
“This is the same board that regularly asserts that the school district is fiscally broke and that it has high expectations of all students,” commented Weston. “Obviously, I voted ‘no’ on this absurdity. I said in part, ‘I will be voting ‘no’ on this and no amount of bonus money thrown at this contract will erase the permanent restraining order that exists against this superintendent.’”
The school board then voted 5-2 on another incentive bonus that would allow Azaiez to do outside contract work and still be paid his daily rate from the school district for five days. Board President Amber Feller said this should cost the district no more than $7,500.
Weston and Bone were the only trustees to vote “no.”
“Children are not the center of the time and energy of this school board majority,” said Weston. “And they don’t want the public to know that their actions are inconsistent with their words. These are some of the reasons more and more families are losing confidence in our school district, enrollment is declining and many students cannot perform even on grade level.”
“Dr. Azaiez is not afraid to go out and tackle hard problems,” the RRISD spokesperson told Texas Scorecard. “He is open and honest about the areas where we need to improve, and he is setting goals that are really going to benefit all the students in Round Rock ISD. I know that we’re going to continue to do better, and our teachers and our students are going to benefit. We are looking to the future with Dr. Azaiez as our district leader, and we are so excited and energized by the changes we’ve seen—every student is included and every student has a focus.”