Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pam Schau - The Making of a Victim

It’s amazing to see PIAien’s come to the defense of “outsider” Pamela Schau. Schau, the former Treasurer/Comptroller of District 150 was let go this past Monday in executive session immediately following a regularly scheduled BOE meeting.

Today, the pjstar has actually done a background story on Schau being let go, as if to imply that the District did something wrong in cutting Schau.

Even though Schau was hired by the former administration, she has supporters in Peoria who are coming out of the woodwork. Would there have been any controversy if former interim Superintendent Durflinger had let Schau go? I doubt it.

The controversy is because Dr. Granita Lathan (a black woman) cut Schau with the swiftness of a professional/executive/administrator who knows when an employee is not up to par.


Let’s look at a little bit of what Schau was up to while in Peoria...

From the May 24th Board Meeting minutes (hat tip to Jon):

“Ms. Schau reported that when the budget was adopted in September it was based on the prior year and had some flaws and now we have documented all needed changes. An amended budget has been prepared that shows our best estimate of how the district will end the year. Administration is recommending that the amended budget be put on display for 30 days and a hearing be held on June 29, 2010.”

When comparing the revised budget presented at that June 29 meeting with the original budget dated the prior September, one of the prime differences was that “Purch Serv” (an expense) from the operating budget was $4MM higher than budgeted, with no real change in operating revenues (thus the operating budget as a whole was $4MM worse than previously expected). The natural question is how much of that difference was an admitted error and how much was due to overspending, presumably by others in authority?" [*under Schau's watch]
Additionally, there were at least two occasions that Schau gave the Superintendent erroneous information regarding spending for summer school and adult education. Oh, and let us not forget when ten (10) clerical workers were given raises, even though Durflinger said he knew of and approved "three to four people" but no others [*under Schau's watch] .

But for some reason the Journal Star didn’t raise any of those issues. They chose to phrase the article in a light that invites commenters to make this a black and white issue.

Pandering to their audience has paid off, because the commenters on pjstar.com are rising to the occasion and the fear of the black lady from North Carolina, who is bringing all of her “friends” to take all of the District’s money and brainwash the children of Peoria continues.

Today, Pam Schau is an unwitting, hard working victim, who was “fired for reasons unknown”. Karen McDonald et al, has done such a great job of painting Schau as a victim, one would think they were hired to do her pr.
*[under Schau's watch] = my words.
UPDATE @ 3:00 p.m.: Interesting, do my eyes deceive me? What happened to the usual race baiters in the pjstar speaking on the Schau issue. Take a look - not one racist comment is appearing today. HOW RARE IS THAT? Great moderation.
UPDATE II, August 14, 2010:
speakmymind1, 1 day ago, Report AbuseReport Abuse
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Geeze... did Schau get the axe for another african american female from North Carolina? And how did that Lathan asskisser/cheerleader Debbie Wolfmeyer ever get on the school board in the first place?
Guess I spoke to soon.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Emerge but I think you are the first one to bring up race in this situation. Why is that?

Emerge Peoria said...

Don't be sorry Anonymous. I may be the first person who has articulated it this way, but I am hardly the first person to consider race in regards to this issue.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am naive. I have been following this situation closely and race never entered my mind. It wouldn't have mattered to me who fired Schau. Hinton, Durflinger or Lathan. My questions were regarding the apparent out of the blue firing for "no cause"

On the other hand Cahill's firing didn't surprise me because there were many red flags before it took place.

Emerge Peoria said...

I find it interesting that you say you have been "following this situation closely", yet you see this as an "out of the blue firing for "no cause".

Anonymous said...

Closely since Tuesday morning. Sorry for the poor choice of words.

Jon said...

This might sound like a minor point, but I don't agree with the (under Schau's watch) aspect (your words, not mine). If someone had the authority to spend money, it is her job to honor that authority. She can raise issues (and may have) but she doesn't control the spending - she reports it. She implements and monitors internal controls - but those controls are decided at the top.

I do have some sympathy for her - I think she walked into a real mess - but as I also said, I think she apparently didn't make enuff improvements to satisfy the superintendent and board.

Emerge Peoria said...

You are correct Jon, in both instances "[under Shau's watch]" is my statement not yours. And you have expressed sympathy for Schau before, which is warranted.

I have sympathy for Schau as well.
However, I don't like the way the pjstar is painting her as "fired for reasons unknown." and Shcau saying she is "baffled as to the reasons for her dismissal."

For Schau to play into the victim role and say "...I never felt there was a problem," is interesting.

From what I have been told about Lathan, if she has a problem with you - you know it.

Emerge Peoria said...

Additionally Jon, you raise a good point here:

"she doesn't control the spending - she reports it. She implements and monitors internal controls - but those controls are decided at the top."

However, Schau's statement in the pjstar that "One of the bigger issues with the district is lack of continuity of leadership and administrators," leads ME to believe that Administrators prior to Lathan that had little to no experience running a school district relied heavily on Schau to make decisions.

Frustrated said...

It sounds as if Dr. Lanthan is demanding and exacting and expects a high level of performance from the administrators she employs. LOVE IT! Refreshing, after so many years of leadership in which mediocre (at best) administrative job skills, effort, and performance were tolerated.

Ms. Schau made a big gaffe when she raised clerical salaries (whether the raises were justified or not) without consultation with the union. As someone who had worked in Illinois public education for decades, it is inexcusable.

IMO, it appears with Dr. Lanthan, you know where you stand and I think that is an excellent building block to regain parent and community trust and a solid platform from which to build a cooperative relationship with the host of union groups within the District.

Jon said...

Frustrated - I totally disagree on the "raising salaries" assertion. You may recall that Durflinger (and maybe the Board, too) stated that it was within their contractual rights to make those adjustments - those people were re-classified. It is not Schau's responsibility to consult with the union. If you think that decision was wrong, you address those making it - those who are in charge of Schau - not her.

And, of course, I don't think people should blindly follow orders, but this was certainly a gray enough area for Schau to do what she was told (and may have reasonably expected that the person in authority had, in fact, discussed it with the union).

You may also recall that Schau said that, despite her name on the approval form, she did not sign it. IF that was determined by the board not to be true, THEN maybe that is why she was let go. But IF someone (Durflinger, Dimke, etc.) had that authority and Schau followed it, then I don't think that would be a fair reason to fire her (though a fair reason is not required - it would just be honorable)

Sharon Crews said...

Jon, hold onto your hat--I believe I agree with you, especially about the secretaries' raises. None of us know the truth in the firing of Pam Schau. Emerge has brought up the situation about the summer school Title I money (I believe I was the person who FOIAd that information and presented it at a board meeting). Dr. Lathan had stated that high school summer school money had been requested from Title I funds and returned for the last several years. That turned out to be wrong information as high school summer school had never been funded through Title I until this year. I didn't know that it was Schau who provided the incorrect info (still don't know that although it might seem logical to assume that). Also, Dr. Lathan, I believe, was led to believe that 150 funds paid for Adult Ed--which was a large error. I attributed both errors to an unfortunate situation where almost no one in administration or on the board knows much about 150 history. I was surprised that someone on the board didn't question either of these "bits" of information when they were presented. Certainly, some of us in the audience were shaking our heads in disbelief when both erroneous pieces of info were stated as fact. Those two instances didn't cost the district any money--clarification was provided. I would hope that there are other more serious faults that have led to Schau's dismissal. If any of those errors in judgement resulted in a loss of money to the district, then the public should be informed--but we still don't know the specifics of why Cahill was let go (but there had been red flags).
Emerge,there are posters on the PJS blog that make everything about race (and are extremely hateful and frightening). However, I don't believe those who post on your blog or on C.J.'s use race as a basis for their opinions (except maybe one).

Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, maybe someone from the PJS reads Peoria Pundit as he (and I agreed) that someone at the PJS should start hitting the delete button to get rid of the extremely hate-ridden racial comments.

Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, sorry--I hadn't been to the Chronicle when I posted above--I think that might be the opinions of just one person with a few name changes. No,Emerge, wasn't the first person to bring up race.

jim stowell said...

Sharon - I am not the one making snide comments. Some of the assertions here are outright ridiculous. As I have said before, refuting all the wrong information on most of the threads would be a very frustrating full-time volunteer job. No thx. I will say I look forward to the comparative analysis of administrative cost structure Dr. Lathan is preparing. It will be made public.

Sharon Crews said...

Thanks, Jim--I am always willing to overlook your remarks. I hope that calling me a liar is one of the ridiculous assertions to which you refer. (Smiley face inserted) Admittedly, I don't recall your ever calling me a liar, so I did think the comments were over the top for you. I am glad to hear that there will be a comparative analysis--it would probably be easier if we were given the information up front. I think right now everyone is just fearful of the unknown--and there are so many right now (not all of Dr. Lathan's making). I hope you understand that District 150 has been on several roller coaster rides in the past 10 years; it is difficult not to react based on all those experiences. I truly hope and will support anything Dr. Lathan does to right the wrongs of the past. I know that it is difficult for board members to hear so much skepticism and/or fears about someone in whom they have confidence. We will need help in the confidence department--it just hasn't worked for us in the past. Also, I believe most want to believe that board members while being enthusiastic can, also, be cautious. Thanks for responding to my speculation--I assumed you would.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the updates. Sorry to be a dinosaur, but what does the acronym "OBKB" stand for? I'm still kinda new at this blog lingo. Also, I post "anon" because I once signed up with a Google blogger acct and the second time I tried to use my name and password, it didn't work. It's just a lot easier to hit the "anon" button. I think that's OK for people who aren't being abusive.

Dennis in Peoria said...

from Sharon:
"We will need help in the confidence department--"

That gave me this idea:
"Restoring the public's confidence
in Dist 150"...that would be a refreshing idea and a good challenge.

What will it take to do that? Who should lead the charge? A public/private agency? Dist. 150 BOE and Admin. staff? Parent/Teacher organizations?
How about all of the above?

That topic alone could make for another blog by itself, so I'll leave it at that.

average teacher said...

I think that blog would be an interesting read and should be started by Sharon Crews. We could dicuss education principles and how to restore the confidence.

jim stowell said...

Sharon - While Dr. Lathan is already working hard to improve the District (and publics confidence), Dennis shares a very good idea. We could even do a running segment on public access highlighting students and teachers. Spearhead the blog effort and I'll contribute $15/mo towards monthly hosting fee.

Emerge Peoria said...

OBKB...

It comes from Bill Cosby, and was used in his stand up routine when he talked about going to the dentist. After having the injection his mouth has gone numb and his lips are hanging loosely. The dentist asks him how is the family and he says "ObKb", because he can't move his mouth normally. There may also be other references to OBKB in Fat Albert and the Cosby Show.

General Parker said...

Emerge, where was all the public outcry when Valda Shipp was let go (put on admin. leave)? I don't think we know why she was disciplined do we? I guess the public could care less about that but they keep crying that it's about transparency with the board in Schau's case though. Hmmm. I wonder why that is?

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis and Anonymous, There probably is no way that I will be starting my own blog. I don't have the technological knowledge to do so--and I don't want to devote that much time to it (although I do devote considerable time to these blog conversations). The information for which I search will not, unfortunately, bring about public trust. My purpose is to prove that these issues are problems. The trust will come when District 150 truly offers parents a safe, calm learning environment for children, when standards are raised, when course offerings at the high schol level are increased to include vocational courses, etc., when parents and students are made to believe that students really have to go to school every day to be educated, etc.
Jim, you already have an avenue for the kind of "restoration of public trust" that you advocate. It's called District 150's public relations department--costs more than $15 a month.
I will stop FOIAing and attempting to spread my discoveries as soon as I find out that Dr. Lathan is focusing on the issues that I consider to be problems.
General, I do beieve that Valda had much more warning than did Schau. All the grievances filed against Valda over several years should have given her a hint. However, the previous administration erred in not addressing those grievances and, thus, giving Valda a chance to change some of her alleged practices. The I-74 incident brought things to the public's attention. That said, Valda's firing was a surprise because Dr. Lathan moved as swiftly as she did with Schau. There is, however, something to be said for letting people have fair warning when the ax is about to fall. All that said, there is no doubt that race plays a role in the opinions of some (especially anonymous bloggers). However, there are those of us for whom race is not the basis for our opinions.

Anonymous said...

General, you cannot be so naive as to believe Shipp was relieved of her job for NO reason. Here is probably the #1 reason. Insubordination 10 fold. Refuses to follow board policies and directives from her employer....that has been going on for years, but when the last supt. is your relative, things tend to slide... I bet you could find at least 100+ teachers/staffers/parents that would be happy to give REASON(S) why Shipp is no longer employed by D150. Paaaaalease.

average teacher said...

I think that sometimes we mistake the bloggers and pjstar commenters with a unified public. There is usually people on both sides of the issue on every article. They are hardly ever one voice and it is prolly different people saying different things. The PJstar almost ran an article about Valda that had the same ring to it, but for some reason, they decided not to run it.

General Parker said...

Anonymous, naivety seems to be your strong suit. You are doing like most here, hearing what you want.
I never said whether or not Valda's firing was justified. Sharon Crews acknowledges that Valda's and Pam's firing was done in the same fashion, quickly and with no prior knowledge. All I have been hearing about is how wrong the board and the supt. were by not giving Pam notice of what she supposedly had done or why. It was said Valda was done in the same fashion, even according to Ms. Crews on this posting alone.
Whether Valda's removal was justified or not, shouldn't she have been afforded the same courtesy you suggest Pam should have? I don't hear you guys asking why she was put on leave? No, I heard a lot of speculation and opinions, which everyone is entitled to. What you aren't entitled to though is your own set of facts.
When Dr. Lathan removed someone that you didn't like, for whatever reasons, that was alright to use this procedure. When it was someone you did like, well she is just wrong on so many levels and this procedure is now wrong, according to you. Justice and fairness has to apply in all cases, not just the ones you like.
You, Sharon and others will be a lot better off if you understand that running Dist. 150 is a business and should be run as such. Based on professionalism, skill and talent. It should also be understood that administrators have to be a good fit on the leader’s team. Who is your best friend and who you like and don’t like should play no part in these decisions. Are they the best person for the job?
My wife and I are good friends of Pam or at least were before this and hope that we still are. Dr. Lathan, I believe made a business decision, I'm not privy to the reasons why, but I do know that the board agreed to support Dr. Lathan in what changes she needed to make to straighten this district out when they agreed to hire her. That support needs to be total support to get the job done. That is what we all want isn't, to straighten this district out?
Another thing I hear lot of and people must not understand, is that the Board of Education has one and only one employee, The "Superintendent"! That's it. No one else. That’s who they hire and fire and evaluate. The rest of the employees of the district fall under the Superintendent’s supervision.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Jim, our CAPtions cable show has always had an open door to any BOE member, admin. staff, teachers, parents & students to come on & talk to us about what's going on in the District, good or bad.
Ken Hinton was on several times.
(We were never able to get Royster in our studio, oh well) But while not doing a total sugarcoating of issues, we would also talk about challenges going on that time.

Just have Stacey email me or call me to perhaps develop an on-going 20 min. segment 1x or 2x a quarter for Dist. 150 issues. I know Dist. 150 doesn't have staff or time to do their own regular show.

We've already secured Dr. Lathan to appear on CAPtions in September, along with Scott Moore from the City of Peoria.

Going back to my idea on the public confidence blog...I guess I should have clarifed that it would be a good blog TOPIC for someone already hosting a blog.

Sharon Crews said...

General, please allow me to play the Devil's advocate (not the devil, Ha!) for a minute. How do we know that Dr. Lathan hasn't chosen her best friends for these jobs? We have no way of knowing, do we? At least, when "insiders" became superintendent, we knew who their friends and enemies were--and praised and/or criticized accordingly, etc. Can you imagine what blogs would have been like if they had existed when Harry was superintendent? As to your point about the relationship between the board and employees--I am asking this question because I have an idea but no facts. It is my understanding that it was Dr. Lathan's decision to fire Valda Shipp. However, that didn't happen the first time the decision was on the agenda. I have assumed that the board didn't give Dr. Lathan the vote she was seeking--if that is the case, then the board does have the final say. Didn't Valda then agree to retire and hasn't she since decided she was forced into retirement. Wasn't there a vote taken last Monday--Valda hasn't been fired, has she? The board had the final say on firing Julie McArdle. Maybe the board can't initiate a firing or a hiring, but they can vote "No" to the superintendent's choice--so the board has more power than you have suggested.

Anonymous said...

General, Everybody in this district knows that Valda Shipp has been able to Bully the pants off of her teachers/staff/parents for MANY years. She has been told over and over and over to stop her behaviors. We ALL know that. For her to stop being a bully(her personality) would be like raising the Titanic, next to impossible. Also, Shipp's termination was on the agenda, Shau's was not. Shipp's boss came to Glen Oak and spoke with EVERY teacher and staff member in the building. It was after that when then went down hill for Shipp. If your boss came in to talk to all of your subordinates about you and your ability to lead, wouldn't that be a CLUE that there's a problem? In Shau's case, NOTHING, nothing, nothing.....fired...just a tad different. As for Julie McArdle, the board screwed her, well, it's her turn to return the favor.

Anonymous said...

General: I wouldn't hold out for any party invitations from Pam Shau. I think that bridge has been BURNED.

Anonymous said...

"The controversy is because Dr. Granita Lathan (a black woman) cut Schau with the swiftness of a professional/executive/administrator who knows when an employee is not up to par."
Emerge, I think you are confused. Schau's termination was not on the agenda, which, by law, is supposed to include board action, even as an addendum to the agenda. And, if Dr. Lathan is as good as you think she is, then why did she NEVER sit down with Pam Schau and discuss "her sub-par work"? She sends her home with a smile on her face, then calls her and hour and a half later and says, oh, by the way, you're fired.....yeah, the work of the TRUE professional.

Anonymous said...

just asking - but what if the swiftness of the action was tied to the unkown, that, if either got wind of impending action and "retired", that the district would be on the hook for many, many thousands more?

Anonymous said...

It's gonna cost them many, many thousands more BECAUSE they did not follow proticol.

General Parker said...

Sharon, that's the problem just as you said, "how do we know"? You don't know for sure so wouldn't it be better for you and the rest to let her make the decision or mistake before lambasting her? She was accused of only hiring African Americans and you see where that went. Then she was accused of hiring a person of color who isn't qualified to hold the chief security position. Proven wrong again. So your George Bush preemptive strike excuse doesn't hold water with me. Operate off of facts please and not assumptions which you have obviously done again in the Valda Shipp Case. Where was it printed or said that Dr. Lathan didn't have the votes? You should know better than to ass-u-me anything.

Anonymous, what galaxy are you operating out of? It was said at the meeting that they would be going into executive sessions to discuss personnel matters. Debbie Wolfmeyer said that they would go back into executive sessions to discuss item #16 that was on the agenda so what are you talking about? What is this clue thing you are talking about? My boss can talk to every one of my employees and their mother for all I care. You said that that they didn't talk to Schau and I guess you are admitting they didn't t to talk to Shipp either. I ask you again, what's the difference? Oh yeah, you stated it above "a black woman canned a white woman". So now we really get down to the crux of what this really is about and I thank you for finally having the courage to admit it.

When a black woman fires another black woman without giving her notice that's acceptable, but when that same black woman fires a white woman then she's over stepped her bounds. I Gotcha meaning on that. That's why you all are circling the wagons huh. How dare this black woman have the unmitigated gall to fire a white woman? Well, it appeared pretty easy to me.

Oh, and as far as a holding out for a party invitation, we were doing just fine before Pam Schau got to Peoria and we'll do just fine once she's gone.

One more thing anonymous, whichever one you are or the same one, what makes you think that no one ever sat down and discussed these matters with Schau? Just because she says so. Where's the proof? I don't deal in what ifs. I deal in the what is and what’s not. Your assumptions and speculations are the very problems that are making this entire city bad and not just 150.

Anonymous said...

the black woman firing a white woman was simply QUOTED from Emerge in the article....if you read it. so evidently you are calling Emerge the raCist. Even if something about going into closed session. you still must have the action on the agenda...even if by number. PS shipp was spoken to by her superiors over and over for YEARS..

Sharon Crews said...

General, just for the record (because I don't wamt anyone misunderstanding my views) I never accused Dr. Lathan of hiring only African Americans; I certainly did not agree and, in fact, argued vehemently with the only person with the negative comments regarding the whole security chief argument about which I had absolutely no personal opinions; I was hoping you could enlighten me (joking--I know you ethically can't) about the votes for Dr. Lathan in the Shipp case and why the vote was tabled one or two times).
General, I never have and never will make any of this about race--that is your assumption. (And why would you associate me with a George Bush argument--an incorrect assumption perhaps?) (Smiley face inserted). Also, I believe I said this on one blog or the other--from the getgo I have never thought it was fair to flat out fire Valda. I probably didn't use the word "fair;" I probably said that I expected the board to offer her retirement. I feel the same way about Valda that I would feel about a teacher in the same position. It is wrong to allow an employee to go without reprimand and, therefore, a chance for remediation for their whole career and then fire them at the end of their career. I have always had mixed emotions about complaints about Valda and I have heard plenty. The reason I am conflicted is that I have not had any contact with Valda since our days of working together at Urban League in the 70s or early 80s. I loved Valda. My personal feelings have nothing to do with the situation.
All that said, I am still concerned that Dr. Lathan has been allowed by the board to hire so many people from North Carolina to fill "middle management" positions. This just hasn't been done before. The assumption that they are her friends is not a big leap--they are certainly colleagues with whom she had a good relationship. I can't say for sure if "insider" supers have filled that many new positions at the beginning of their tenure, but those appointments weren't strangers to us--we knew what we were getting. Dr. Royster did not hire new middle management positions either. Why shouldn't we be concerned about so many new out of town people with three-year contracts--and all beholden to only one person in the district (one whose educational philosophies so far are totally unknown to us)? Being concerned doesn't (for me, at least) mean total negativity. Anyway it's too late now, so I am now hoping for the best. I sincerely hope my misgivings aren't reality. Love you, General--and thanks for being up front and allowing me the same. Neither of us have ever been good at withholding our opinions.

General Parker said...

What does Shipp being spoken to by other superiors before this one has to do with anything? We are talking about this one. You claim the previous superiors never did anything. This one did do something.

Emerge's quote was the incarnation of what you all were truly feeling based on all unsupported comments, assumptions and accusations that were being posted not only here but the other blogs.

If you are upset at Dr. Lathan for firing one person, then you guys must be ready to lynch Norm Durflinger for getting rid of the entire district and making people reapply again? Oh, I didn't think so.

Again, I reiterate, this is a BUSINESS! It's not a social club.

Why aren't all you open meetings act experts worried about how Debbie Wolfmeyer and others didn't put it on the agenda to stop live broadcast? And if you are so worried about them getting rid of someone because they are afraid they were letting everyone know what was going on truly, why don't you ask Wolfmeyer why she asked to get rid of Beth Jensen?

Emerge Peoria said...

Sharon today you should spend some time Googling the people that Dr. Lathan brought to Peoria.

As a parent, why do you think I am so excited? It is because I did my research. I found out what each person she hired specializes in and I was able to develop an idea of what Dr. Lathan’s "educational philosophy" may be.

Knowing that Dr. Lathan is looking at advanced learning opportunities and the specific titles she created for the new hires, again I was able to develop an idea of what her "educational philosophy" may be.

I value your opinion. If you could step back from fearing the worst for a minute and research (background on new hires) exactly what you think Dr. Lathan's educational philosophy may be based upon some of the above info, I would love to hear what your findings are.

Anonymous said...

General - why don't you communicate with your spouse? She could have told you that the law firm acted on who would be the lead attorney. It was their call. I would expect the board to critically evaluate their legal and audit representation at some point in the coming year.

Sharon Crews said...

General, to what policy are you referring with regard to making the entire district reapply (which you state was Durflinger's decision)? First of all, I don't think the whole district had to reapply. Woodruff teachers had to reapply as did all the Manual teachers two years ago because of restructuring at Manual. I haven't paid enough attention--did all the principals have to reapply for the new school year? Did Durflinger initiate that policy?
General, haven't you heard us complain at the podium about Wolfmeyer not putting the vote to shut down the televised comments on the agenda--I FOIAd all of that info--I believe I have mentioned on the blog the e-mail that Wolfmeyer wrote to board members telling them of the decision (after individual conversations with them)--and that she gave Jim Stowell the "credit" for the idea.
Who is Beth Jensen--enlighten me and maybe I will question Wolfmeyer's request.
I am not at all sure of where you are going with your new question about Valda. I do not know what prompted Dr. Lathan to want to fire Valda. I haven't expressed my opinion about the issue you just brought up--on a blog before but the following thought has crossed my mind. Did Dr. Lathan fire Valda because of "accumulative" complaints that she investigated or did she want to fire her because of some more recent event regarding their "encounters"? The rumor I heard (and I hesitate to bring up the rumors because they are just that) was that Dr. Lathan went to Glen Oak and Valda wasn't there--and she should have been "on duty." I am not one to believe that one negative (unless exceedingly serious) should result in an employee's firing--that would apply to Shipp and to Schau.
Emerge, someone else that I know did FOIA some North Carolina info and did find some negative "blog" comments--but I didn't pay much attention to that as I know that blogs aren't always reliable sources--but sometimes they do provide some insight otherwise you wouldn't be a blogger.
For one thing, if you know the educational philosophies of any of these new hires, I wish you would share your knowledge.
Yes, something in me agrees that I should wait and see before I express misgivings (and misgivings are not the same as "pure" negativity). More than I am quetioning Dr. Lathan, I am questioning the wisdom of the board members who have given Dr. Lathan the go ahead to hire so many new (and unknown) people. I don't know that any of the board members have a clear-cut educational philosophy, so I don't know what criteria they have used for hiring those in leadership positions. I'm sorry that I can't be excited--words alone do not mean much to me any more (I've heard too many 150 promises). I can't get on board a train until I know where it's going.

Dennis in Peoria said...

...and that train does not leave for a couple of weeks or so, so I recommend we ride the train patiently until 1st semester is over...let Lathan & company do their jobs...then take another look if there have been good changes...or not.

Sharon Crews said...

Dennis, that probably is the whole point--everything has to be in place in two weeks. I doubt that such a chaotic school year (with all of the ramifications of closing a high school, etc.) has ever started out with all new people (in key positions) who have barely had time to arrange their own desks and offices much less a whole school system (and found a place to live). Not to mention that the finances will be in the hands of yet another new person (interim, at that). Major changes just simply cannot take place once school has started--at least, they shouldn't, but this is District 150. I believe this latest flurry of misgivings started with the surprise ouster of the treasurer (of course, raising all kinds of questions about the state of 150 finances). I think things will calm down unless another surprise makes headlines--we have a tendency to react to surprises.
Just one other note from current history--does anyone remember that there were some negative headlines about Schau at her last place of employment? Nobody on Wisconsin mentioned those "tea leaves." What would their response have been if we had brought it up (someone on a blog probably did)?

Sharon Crews said...

Emerge, I took your advice and did some Googling about the new hires. I had time for mostly Michelle Ungurait and Revonda Johnson. Both are impressive. Ungurait has had a variety of experiences in a variety of places. I heard Ungurait say on the radio this morning something about special education services that parents would gladly drive across town to receive for their children. While I certainly am interested in her views on special education, I am not at all certain that I feel good about a city the size of Peoria having more magnet schools--which seem to be her specialty. However, she may have other ideas, not just magnet schools.
All I read about Johnson's success as a principal is, also, positive.
I didn't look long and hard but I couldn't find much about any of the new hires in the press--mostly, I read "in house" accounts, etc.
I was surprised to learn how high their salaries (and salaries in general) are in North Carolina--I didn't expect that. Ungurait was making $106,000 and I believe Johnson was at $92,000.
One negative--all of them have not shown much loyalty to North Carolina since they have left one school district scrambling for replacements--and I believe school may already have begun. Even so, it's the middle of August. That is one of the fears I have for Peoria--that people with no ties will get a better offer before they have time to see to fruition whatever innovations they will plan for District 150.
I can find no fault with the choices as individuals--it's the enmasse group that still bothers me a bit. However, they might just prove my misgivings to be unwarranted--that would be great.