Durham Public Schools Superintendent Eric Becoats resigns effective Dec. 31

Embattled Durham Public Schools Superintendent Eric Becoats is calling it quits.
December 20, 2013 5:05:52 AM PST
Embattled Durham Public Schools Superintendent Eric Becoats is calling it quits.

His resignation comes after accusations he misused a work credit card and school resources.

Becoats' contract was set to end in June 2016, but a resignation agreement shows his employment will now end in a week and half - on Dec. 31.

Soon after the start of a school board meeting Thursday night, Becoats and board members went into a closed meeting for an hour, and came out with the announcement.

"The board accepts the superintendent's resignation," said DPS Board Chairwoman Heidi Carter.

So ends Becoats' journey as he would put it in his good-bye speech.

"Journey is defined as the act or instance of traveling," said Becoats, who leaves the post with a one-time severance of more than $298,000.

It had been a tough few months for Eric Becoats.

First, he apologized for using a district school bus for personal use, and then he landed himself in hot water for charging up to $20,000 on his county issued work credit card.

Most recently, Becoats somehow overlooked an extra $15 million in the school system's budget, and then finding that money after board members begged county leaders for financial help to fill the hole.

Still, he left on a chipper note by highlighting his accomplishments:

"In 2011-12, we had no low-performing schools under the state's accountability model for the first time," said Becoats.

He also gave a gracious goodbye to the school board.

"Durham Public Schools, I say thank you for the opportunity to serve -- one vision, one Durham. Good night."

Becoats is not expected to do any interviews, but he did say he plans to stay in Durham and be an active community member and work with elected officials when it comes to educating our youth.

Late Thursday night, the board named Hugh Osteen as acting superintendent. He is currently the assistant superintendent of operational services.

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