AUSTIN -- The Eanes School District has hired a new assistant principal for Westlake High School who had been under investigation by police last year for sending inappropriate text messages to a student in a Chicago-area school where he was dean.
Paul Weil, who starts his new job next month, resigned from his position at Stevenson High School about 30 miles north of Chicago last year. He was not criminally charged.
Eanes school officials said they were aware of Weil's history, but that he was the best candidate to help lead the school.
“Mr. Paul Weil was clearly the superior candidate. The committee thoroughly vetted the reports and questioned Weil during the interview process, then determined there was nothing that would prevent him from being considered for the position," Eanes School District spokeswoman Claudia McWhorter said in a statement to KVUE's partners at the Austin American-Statesman.
KVUE News, in collaboration with the Statesman, obtained a copy of a police report Tuesday from the Lincolnshire, Illinois Police Department which investigated the case.
Police records show the text exchanges began in September of 2011 and included messages like, “Pizza delivery boy? Hot."
Referring to a trip the student was taking, Weil wrote, “Don’t come home with a venereal disease.”
Central Texas school district texting policies:
Letter sent to parents:
Please join me in welcoming two additions to our staff, as Ms. Jaime Clark and Mr. Paul Weil have been hired as assistant principals.
Jaime Clark joined the Westlake faculty in August as an instructional partner and mathematics teacher. Jaime came to us from Odessa Permian High School where she had served as Instructional Services Director and Campus Curriculum Facilitator. She has also worked in Midland, Midlothian, Rockdale, Burnet, Alvarado, and Sherman. Jaime has extensive experience with Professional Learning Communities, student-centered instruction, formative assessment, and athletic coaching. Jaime will move into her new role as soon as we hire a mathematics teacher to take her position.
Ms. Clark’s broad experiences with curriculum, instruction, and assessment and outstanding references are indicative of her expertise in education. Her work in each of her previous schools has been noted as excellent or better. She models our commitment to life-long learning and has presented at state and local conferences on her work in this area.
Paul Weil will be moving to Westlake and Austin from the Chicago High School for the Arts in the Chicago Public Schools system. Paul is a French teacher with experience as a Dean of Students having worked closely with safety & security, parking, substance abuse prevention, and curriculum-related domestic and international travel as well as student discipline. Paul and I have work together before at Adlai E. Stevenson High School; he also brings extensive experience with PLCs, formative assessment, and student-centered instruction. Paul is scheduled to begin at Westlake on October 10.
Mr. Weil is an outstanding educator, as evidenced in his interview and through the testimonials of those who know him including former students, colleagues, and supervisors. He is an innovative, creative, and student-centered educator. Whether in his teaching or in his role as disciplinarian, he sought creative ways to teach students. There are many students who had a positive high school experience because of the work that Mr. Weil did on their behalf.
In response to questions about Mr. Weil’s background, he has authorized this release so that parents will know information from him and not media reports.
During his interview for assistant principal at Westlake High School, Mr. Weil was very open and forthcoming about an experience he had while serving as Dean of Students for a high school in the Chicago area. Mr. Weil disclosed that he sent two text messages that were intended as jokes to a student. He stated that his decision to send the texts was regrettable and that it was a humbling experience in which he learned a valuable lesson.
When interviewed by the committee of nine teachers and administrators, the group was made aware of Mr. Weil’s background, as well as the fact that he was cleared of wrongdoing and no criminal charges were filed. The committee agreed that he had had a distinguished career before this event and was one of the top candidates worthy of moving forward in the hiring process.
I’d like to share the following quote from teacher Vicky Abney, who served on the interviewing committee. “From the outset, it was clear to me Paul Weil was a very strong candidate. The consensus of the committee was that while unfortunate, the issue was not career-ending and that based on Mr. Weil’s remorse, it would never happen again.”
Thank you for welcoming these outstanding individuals to our Westlake family!
John Carter, Ph.D.
Principal, Westlake High School