Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nepotism Policy Changes Needed at Fox C-6!

I saw a poster today that reminded me of the nepotism problems we are having at Fox with the hiring and promoting of relatives of our school board members. The caption on the poster from says it all. Perhaps the poster should be hung in the Service Center. The hiring of school board director Linda Nash's daughter-in-law to to the position of Food Nutrition Service Director without having the credentials that the district was looking for in their job posting woke up our community. For our superintendent and assistant superintendent to defend the hiring of Linda Nash's daughter-in-law demonstrates their lack of respect for the community. It is also the reason that we have two new school board members.

Our administrators and their few but vocal supporters believed that Pete Nicholas and Ruth Ann Newman would be re-elected based upon the misinformation they supply to the public about how great the district is doing and what a great job our school board has been doing. First, I want to say that our district does have a lot of great teachers and some great principals. However, the nepotism and egregious hiring and promoting of non-qualified central office administrator's family members and spouses has destroyed the morale of district employees. It also makes it impossible to have any respect for our administrators and school board members.

Board members and administrators keep informing the public that Fox is in the Top 10 in our state. Can someone from our school district tell us what Top 10 that is? Missouri DESE has so many Top 10 lists that nearly every school in the state can claim to be in the Top 10 for something.

Fox hasn't been awarded a Gold Star School or National Blue Ribbon School award in more than 10 years. The only school to win the award in the district was Lone Dell Elementary. Rockwood has received the same award more than 30 times in the last 10 years. Northwest has received the award 6 times or more. Drive around the district and look at the award walls to see how long it has been since there was a posting of an academic award. Most of the awards I have seen occurred prior to 2005.

Fox's school board is responsible for nearly doubling the salary of our superintendent over the last 7 years despite the economic downturn. Our school administrators and school board members may believe that our superintendent should be making almost $250,000 per year. However, if the community was in charge of our superintendent's raises, I don't believe they would have made the same increases that our school board has given her. It simply proves that our school board has not been representing our community very well and is out of touch with our community.

We have two new school board members. I hope they can bring about a positive change to our school district. However, at the moment, our school board does not appear to be reading emails from their new accounts. I thought they were elected to serve and represent our community. If they don't read their emails, it will be difficult for them to represent our community. I suggest that you contact your board members and ask them why they aren't reading or responding to emails. Let me know if you get a response. I haven't emailed our two new school board members using their school email addresses but have used their personal email addresses without receiving a response.

I recommend reading the 2007 St. Louis Post Dispatch Suburban Journals article when Fox C-6 district officials told the newspaper that the community's concerns about nepotism were unfounded. In June 2006, David Palmer was the Fox C-6 School Board President. While he was board president, his wife Gee Palmer was promoted to the district head nurse position. It was voted on and approved by the school board. She also received a 75% pay increase. Her salary was increased from roughly $40,000 to nearly $70,000. It seems highly improbable that she was the most qualified person for the job given the fact that there were 10 nurses with more work experience in the district. Several of those nurses had more than twice the number of years of experience in the district and a few had nearly 3 times as many years of experience working for the district. Her promotion and the hiring of David's kids while he was on the school board most likely kept him from getting re-elected in 2008.

It was strange that Mr. Palmer couldn't be reached for comment for the article in 2007. If the article had mentioned the promotion of Mr. Palmer's wife, the public would have been better informed as to how school district officials were better at representing their families than the community. Fox's school district policy has specific rules regarding the hiring or promotion of a school board member's spouse. I'm sure they followed the rule or at least we were told that they did. But, it certainly didn't reflect well on our school board and that must be why people were complaining on Town Talk. Here we are in 2013 and history is repeating itself with the recent hiring of Linda Nash's daughter-in-law to a position paying $65,000 and she only has a high school diploma. She also has enthusiasm. The hiring of Linda Nash's daughter-in-law really stood out due to her lack of credentials. It is time for some of our Fox school board members to step down and for the family members to resign as well. The 2007 article can be found on STLTODAY.COM. It was written by Kevin Carbery who now writes for the Arnold-Imperial Leader.

There was another poster that reminded me of our school district as well. Mostly because of the photo rather than the caption. Because in this case, our district went the other way and took a person who was working in fast food and hired her as a Director of Food Service. Of course, it's not the same as being an astronaut. But, you get the point. At least the district was willing to give her 2 years to get her degree or credentials which has already been shown to require 4 years to achieve. Maybe they will give her an extension in 2 years to keep working on those credentials. In the meantime, everyone working for her will continue to do their job as they always have with the same enthusiasm as they had before.