Lee County Schools’ new superintendent got what can only be described as a mixed welcome message from school board Chair Sherry Womack after his hiring was announced Tuesday night.

On the one hand, Womack praised his “passion, dedication and knowledge” and said Dossenbach is “so clearly focused on the success of Lee County Public Schools.”

“He has established a solid pattern of honesty, transparency and accountability, and has already proven that he can make tough decisions, enforce high standards and actively promote change and accountability,” she said. “We are blessed to have him in Lee County Schools and excited about working together — not only to improve academic performance and achievement, but also to unite our community in supporting our public schools.”

But in her closing remarks the same night, Womack went on a bizarre tangent in which she warned him “don’t ever frickin’ lie to me” and requested that he “please keep it in his pants.”

“We joke about this, but the reality is we know that (Dossenbach’s wife) would take care of that situation,” Womack said as Dossenbach stood in front of the board.

Womack may have been referring to a scandal from 2008, when former Lee County Schools Superintendent Jim McCormick resigned his position after allegations of an affair with a subordinate became public. It’s unclear what – if anything – that situation has to do with Dossenbach or anyone else currently involved in Lee County Schools.

Video of Womack’s remarks can be seen here, beginning just prior to the 2:35:00 mark.

-Gordon Anderson and Richard Sullins