Page 2January 10, 2012
Report by January 10, 2012. This Response addresses the findings of each section of Part II andincludes enclosed exhibits as supporting documentation.
Among the Report’s primary concerns is the School’s employment and business relationshipswith family members of one of the founders and former CEO/Superintendent, Melody Chalkley.Prior to its formation and during the early years of WACS, Melody Chalkley was married toDick Gibbs, the School’s first Superintendent. Her married name at that time was “MelodyGibbs.” In 2004, Dick Gibbs resigned as Superintendent and shortly thereafter, MelodyChalkley, who was serving as CEO and President of the School’s Board of Directors, wasappointed by the Board to the position of Superintendent (pursuant to a charter amendment).Melody Chalkley remained the President of the WACS Board and CEO/Superintendent until her retirement from her role as CEO/Superintendent and her resignation as Board President in 2011.To avoid confusion, throughout this Introduction we refer to Dick Gibbs as “Gibbs” and MelodyGibbs/Chalkley as “Melody.” Throughout the remainder of WACS response to Part II of theReport, we refer to Melody Chalkley as the CEO/Superintendent (her position at the times inquestion) despite her having retired from that position.
In 1996, five high school students enrolled in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, all mentored by Melody, died violently. In the wake of the district’s failure to adopt program changes she hadrecommended and the devastation she felt by the death of these children, Melody was drawn tothe potential of structuring her own at-risk program through the possibilities offered by a newform of public education in Texas, open-enrollment charter schools. Melody left a successful 16year career in traditional public education to serve as a staff and social studies programdeveloper with Renaissance, a first generation charter school. The Renaissance program wasintended to serve at-risk youth, but within a short time Melody became aware that her vision for service to these students would require that she do this on her own.