Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hodge PTO Hosts Fox C-6 Board of Education Candidate Meeting

The April 7, 2015 School Board Election is only one week away!

It's very important that you learn as much as you can about the candidates who are running for the Fox C-6 school board so you can make an informed decision.

This past year has definitely been a pivotal year for our school district. This past year will easily overshadow all of the previous problems that have occurred in the history of our district.

I don't remember any time in the history of the district where almost every single Central Office administrator left the district or was demoted/moved out of the Central Office.

The election of the next two school board members for the Fox C-6 School District is a very important decision and one that needs to be well researched. You need to talk to your neighbors and make sure that they get out and vote and are well informed.

It's important that we elect two new board members who will represent the taxpayers and not special interest groups or family members. We need school board members who are going to represent the community.

We need board members who are approachable and willing to listen to the concerns of parents and the community and stand up for those concerns.

There is only one long time incumbent left on the Fox's Board of Education. That is Mr. David. He is up for re-election. I certainly hope the community is educated enough by now to know that David Palmer sat silently for years and was willfully blind to the problems being brought to his attention. Enough said!

Meet the Candidates
Last night Hodge Elementary's PTO hosted a meeting with the Fox C-6 Board of Education candidates at 6:30PM at Hodge Elementary School. Hodge is located on off of Prairie Hollow Road.

There was a fairly light turnout of parents and concerned citizens. Less than 25 people in attended the meeting. I believe the meeting was only announced on Facebook and Twitter. I didn't know about the meeting until this past weekend.

It would have been much better if there had been a meet the candidates meeting at the Service Center or at Rickman Auditorium. When Rockwood went through their big scandal a couple of years ago, they hosted large meetings for their candidates to meet the public.

Four of the six Fox C-6 BOE Candidates attended

  • Dr. Robin Hanson
  • Christ Hastings
  • Mark Jones
  • Sherry "Chellew" Poppen

Drew Kriese could not attend the meeting because he was out of town. Mr. Kriese had a handout available for those who attended the meeting.

Fox C-6 Board of Education BOE incumbent David Palmer did not attend attend the event. No reason was given as to why he did not attend.

Each of the four school board candidates that attended gave a short introduction explaining why they were running for the board.

A Current and Former Board Member Attended
Fox C-6 board member Dan Kroupa attended most of the meeting. Mr. Kroupa left a little early so the focus of the discussion could get back to the candidates rather than answering questions from parents and patrons about the recent decisions that were made at the March 2015 BOE meeting and some of the other decisions over the past year. Early questions from some of the parents wanted to know how the candidates would have handled the recent decisions which led to discussion with Mr. Kroupa. I would say that there was some anger and frustration over some of the decisions made by the board over the past year.

I mostly sat and listened. I did provide some information as to administrator salary schedules from the past and the recent 1% raise given to the administrators.

I asked the board candidates if they would support hosting listening posts prior to board meetings where the community can speak openly with the school board rather than the limited 3 minutes for Public Comments.

The Rockwood School District hosts listening posts with their community. I brought this to the Fox C-6 school board in September or October 2013. I was told in an email from former superintendent Dianne Critchlow that the district was going to start hosting them at the November 2013 board meeting. However hosting open discussions with the school board was shot down at the November 5, 2013 school board workshop. You can read more about that by clicking on the link below when I wrote about it back in November 2013:


Former Fox C-6 school board member Linda Tramel also attended the meeting. Mrs. Tramel was asked to serve on the school board after board member Don Earl passed away. Mrs. Tramel was on the board after Bourisaw was fired by the district. This was also during the 2001/2002 audit of the school district by Claire McCaskill. My father also served on the school board during that time replacing Ron Clark.

Linda Tramel talked about the board training that all new board candidates have to attend by state law. She talked about how the board is responsible for hiring the superintendent and developing/approving school board policies.

Overall, there was some really good and healthy discussion that went on about some of the recent decisions with the board candidates. I don't have time to get into all of those points this morning but plan to write more and post an update to this article or write a more in depth article.

Several people thanked me for helping provide information to the community so they can be more informed. I also had a parent thank me for helping their child get a Section 504 plan which had been previously denied by the school district. I will continue to work on holding the district accountable and working towards getting them to do the right thing and follow board policies.

Here are a few of the items that were discussed:

  • Board member responsibilities and who they represent.
  • Transparency or lack thereof
  • The hiring of Dan Baker and Todd Scott as principals in the district.
  • Administrative Salaries and the 1% pay raise for the 2015-2016 school year
  • Teacher raises for the 2015-2016 school year which ranged from 2% for new teachers to a small amount for long term teachers as explained by Mr. Kroupa.
  • The Voluntary Incentive Separation Plan payouts which was responded to by Mr. Kroupa.
  • Board Members visiting schools and talking to parents and teachers so they are more in touch with what's going on in the school district.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wow! Dan Baker Chosen as Seckman Elementary Principal Over 58 Other Applicants

I do believe that Fox made some good decisions in the hiring of the new Fox Senor High School Principal, our new assistant superintendent in charge of Human Resources as well as Fox's new Food Nutrition Director.

However, it's quite obvious that Dr. Wipke, Fox's BOE and the selection committees never read the May 2009 Resolution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) that Dan Baker signed on May 1, 2009.

Dan Baker was Fox's Section 504 Coordinator when he agreed to make corrections to bring Fox into compliance with federal law. It's now been nearly 6 years since Dan Baker signed the Resolution Agreement and it's still open.

It also appears that Dr. Wipke, Fox's BOE and the selection committee never read the USDA OCR's August 2011 Final Agency Decision that found Fox C-6 Non-Compliant with Section 504 and the ADA AA. That agreement told the district to immediately reinstate a Section 504 that was removed in September 2008. It took until August 2014 and the removal of Dan Baker as the Section 504 coordinator before the district complied with that decision.

Did Fox's board of education not take the district's Non-Compliance issues into consideration when the they voted 6-0 to hire Dan Baker as the next principal of Seckman Elementary School?

As Dan Baker and Dianne Brown-Critchlow told me many times at board meetings, they kept the BOE informed about what was going on with the Resolution Agreement, the District Wide Compliance Review and the USDA's Final Agency Decision. However, the district never publicly acknowledged the problems. David Palmer is the only person that is still serving on the board when the Resolution Agreement and District Wide Compliance Review was initiated and he is running for school board again.

Did David Palmer ever ask why the district still hasn't complied with the May 2009 Resolution Agreement?

David Palmer's wife Gee Palmer also played a huge part in the Non-Compliance issues as the Director of Nursing. She participated in 504 Team meetings and was deposed during the Due Process Hearing.

Dianne Brown-Critchlow and Dan Baker have made comments about the Resolution Agreement and the District Wide Compliance Review during Public Sessions at board meetings but I don't believe any of their comments were documented in board meeting minutes. This all occurred before the district began audio recording school board meetings. Luckily, I've been recording meetings ever since I began attending them.

It would certainly be interesting to see if any of the other 58 applicants denied Section 504 protections to students for 6 years like Dan Baker did while he was the Section 504 Coordinator for the district.

It's interesting to note that after Dan Baker was removed as the district's Section 504 Coordinator in June 2014, students that had been previously denied Section 504 plans under his watch are now being found eligible for Section 504 and are being provided 504 plans in the district.

That fact alone should certainly be cause concern for the Fox C-6 community when being told that Dan Baker was the best candidate for the job.

Yes, Dan Bakers home was linked to derogatory comments that were posted online. But Dan has never admitted to actually making any comments online. However, he did apologize that his home was linked to those comments.

Fox's CFO John Brazeal told me that he asked Dan Baker directly if he had posted comments online and he said that Dan Baker did not answer.

So if Dr. Wipke did not read the USDA OCR's August 2011 Final Agency Decision that found Fox Non-Compliant with federal law, it would appear that he didn't have all of the facts that he should have taken into consideration when he made his decision to recommend Dan Baker to the Fox C-6 Board of Education as the best candidate for the job.

Reading the article in this week's Arnold-Imperial Leader about the hiring of Dan Baker and Todd Scott demonstrates that the "rigorous process" wasn't rigorous enough in it's screening of candidates.

Was Todd Scott still the assistant superintendent of Human Resources while he was going through the "rigorous process" when he applied for the principal position at Seckman Senior High School?

Fox C-6 board member Dan Kroupa told the Arnold-Imperial Leader that Todd Scott was selected after a "thorough and unbiased screening process." You can take that comment for what it's worth!

Acting superintendent Tim Crutchley, incoming superintendent Dr. Jim Wipke and the Fox C-6 Board of Education must be hoping that the community won't be able to see through all of the "smoke and mirrors" that they are feeding the public in the media.

Perhaps they're hoping that the community will eventually forget about all of the wrong doings and that everyone will just give up on trying to making changes in our district so they can get back to doing what they've been doing for years.

Should Fox's BOE publicly acknowledge the May 2009 Resolution Agreement with ED OCR that Mr. Baker agreed to uphold. It's very entertaining to read the years of "monitoring letters" that were sent to the district informing them that they still hadn't complied with the Resolution Agreement. ED OCR just kept giving the district new deadlines to meet which they never did.

How many years does it take a school district to comply with federal law?

Should the district publicly acknowledge the District Wide Compliance Review investigation that was initiated by ED OCR in March 2010 that is still an open investigation?

Since Dan Baker was responsible for all of the OCR Non-Compliance issues along with Dianne Brown-Critchlow that are still hanging over the district after more than 5 years, one would think that Fox's Board of Education would have taken that into consideration before they voted 6-0 to hire Dan Baker as Seckman Elementary School principal.

Did Dan Baker not know or understand Section 504 law when he was the district's Section 504 coordinator from 2008 to 2014?

Is that why the district spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees between 2008 and 2014?

Did Fox's Board of Education ever review any of the invoices for legal services between 2008 and 2014 while Dan Baker was the district's Section 504 Coordinator to see why the district was spending so much money in legal fees?

It's certainly hard to believe that the other 58 candidates that applied for the principal position at Seckman Elementary School were given a fair chance considering who was on the screening committees and final interviews. It was stated that the Seckman Elementary School teachers heavily influenced the decision to hire Dan Baker as the new principal at Seckman Elementary. Are the teachers responsible for hiring their own boss?

You can read Tim Crutchley's response as to who participated in the hiring process in my previous article:


Is moving an educator who denied services and protection to students for 6 years what's really best for our students and parents at Seckman Elementary School?

Read the Arnold-Imperial Leader article to learn more about what some of our school board members had to say about the recent hiring of Dan Baker and Todd Scott by using the link below.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fox's Rigorous Process That You Should Trust for the Latest New Hires!

Nikki McClain, a parent in the Fox C-6 School District and the administrator of the Facebook page NO MORE MONEY OR RESOURCES For the Fox C-6 Superintendent recently received a Sunshine Request response from acting superintendent Tim Crutchley regarding the hiring of administrators that were recently announced at the March 17, 2015 Fox C-6 Board of Education meeting.

Thank you to Nikki McClain for sharing with me the response she received from the district.

I had emailed all of the current Fox C-6 school board members early Tuesday morning March 17, 2015 asking for the same information but never received a response from a single board member.

I had also emailed incoming superintendent Dr. Jim Wipke and Fox C-6 board president John Laughlin on Monday March 16, 2015 asking how Dan Baker was even considered as a candidate for the Seckman Elementary School principal position.

I did not receive an email response from Dr. Wipke or Mr. Laughlin. I did receive a Read Receipt message from Mr. Laughlin's email software at 12:18AM on Monday March 16, 2015. I did not receive a Read Receipt message from Dr. Wipke. However, Dr. Wipke told me he received my email when I spoke to him immediately following the March 17 BOE meeting.

Mrs. McClain submitted a Sunshine Request for the list of candidates for the recent new hires for the Seckman Elementary School, Fox Senior High School and Seckman Senior High School principal positions as well as the new Food Nutrition Director. I believe the district did an excellent job in choosing the new Fox Senior High School principal and the new Food Nutrition Director. I haven't dealt with Todd Scott on any school matters other than the time he stood up for Dan Baker and Dianne Critchlow when I asked Dan Baker about the USDA's August 2011 Final Agency Decision that found the Fox C-6 School District Non-Compliant with Section 504 law and the ADA AA. That conversation occurred after the December 2011 Fox C-6 BOE meeting.

I would think that a rigorous hiring process would do a much better job at filtering out potential candidates who have been linked to online bullying of parents in our district as well as not being able to bring our district into compliance with federal law after more than 5 years. Dan Baker signed a Resolution Agreement to do so with ED OCR on May 1, 2009.

After you read Tim Crutchley's response as to who screened the applications and who served on the committees, you may understand why those concerns were overlooked.

Is the Ms. Kriese that is listed on the Seckman Elementary School principal selection committee related to 2015 board candidate Drew Kriese?

A friend of mine told me that the Kriese's attend Oak Bridge Community Church with Tim Crutchley and Kristen Pelster. This person told me that Drew Kriese was speaking with Tim Crutchley at church the Sunday before the announcement of the new hires. Did that perhaps have any influence on the candidate screening as well? I was told that they are also all friends on Facebook as well. Interesting!

March 2015 BOE Meeting Audio
Some of the Fox C-6 BOE members talked about the new rigorous process that was used to hire our new administrators at the March 2015 BOE meeting. Click on the names to listen to the comments from BOE members Dan Kroupa, Dawn Mullins and John Laughlin about the new process from Fox's YouTube recording of the 2015 BOE meeting.

It was stated during the BOE meeting that the Seckman Elementary School teachers heavily influenced the board's decision to hire Dan Baker as the principal at Seckman Elementary. Mr. Baker was surrounded by his cheering teachers at the March 2015 BOE meeting as you can hear in the audio of the meeting.

Yesterday, I posted some tweets linking to the comments from the March 2015 BOE meeting but they appear to have been deleted by Twitter at someone's request.

I also received another Copyright Infringement notice this morning for the same public records report of the 2004-2010 legal bills paid that was paid with taxpayer money to the district's former law firm.

It's difficult to understand how a printed report from your school district for legal fee payments is a violation of copyright infringement. It just gives the impression that someone doesn't want you to know what Fox has been paying in legal fees.

Mr. Baker may have skills and credentials to be a principal in our district. However, it doesn't negate the black cloud that has been hanging and will be hanging over our school district since his "home" (and cell phone) was linked to online posts.

According to the district's response, the district is also keeping the list of candidates for the positions from the public since Missouri Sunshine Law ALLOWS them to do so but does not require them to do so. You can read about Missouri Sunshine Law that is referenced in Tim Crutchley's email response by using the links below.




The following email was sent to Nikki McClain by acting superintendent Tim Crutchley in response to her Sunshine Request regarding the recent administrative hires that were announced at the March 17, 2015 Fox C-6 BOE meeting:

From: Crutchley, Tim - CO Admin.
Date: March 24, 2015 at 2:44:13 PM CDT
To: Nikki McClain
Subject: response to request 
We are in receipt of your March 19, 2015 email request for records. 
Please be advised the identity of candidates considered for employment is a closed record pursuant to Section 610.021(13) R.S.Mo.  As a result, we are unable to provide names of job applicants. 
The District does not have a list of committee members used in the hiring process for the Assistant Superintendent HR, the SHS, FHS or SES principals or the Director of Nutrition Services to provide in response to your request. Although the District is not obligated to do so, it will provide the following narrative in response to your request. 
The screening of applications for the principals and human resources position were done by a committee of district administrators, specifically Dr. Wipke, Mr. Crutchley, Dr. Rizzi and Mr. Brazeal.  The same committee interviewed first round candidates.  Screening and the first round of interviews for the Dir of Nutrition Services was performed by Mr. Scott and Mr. Brazeal. 
Second round interviews  were conducted by the following committees: Fox High School: Ms. Wucher, Mr. Williams, Ms. Schwalbe, Ms. Seliga, Ms. Greene, Ms. Hoeltzer, Mr. Reese, Mr. Sansoucie, Mr. Meadows, Ms. Weisemann, Ms. Rissi plus two students; Seckman High School:  Ms. Adkins, Mr. Prezzavento, Ms. Scott, Ms. Montegomery, Ms. Hildebrand, Ms. Kraus, Ms. Fritz, Ms. Thompson, Ms. Labelle, Ms. Hill, Ms. Rissi plus two students; Seckman Elementary School consisted of Ms. Randolph, Mr. Werner, Ms. Fisher, Ms. Callahan, Ms. McFerran and Ms. Kriese. 
Second round interviews for the human resources position were conducted by Ms. Werkmeister, Ms. Ferranto, Ms. Bambini, Ms. Fritz, Ms. Waller, Ms. Missey, Mr. Wilken and Ms. Mijangos.
Second and final round interviews for the food service director were conducted by a committee that included Mr. Scott, Mr. Brazeal, Dr. Cardona, Dr. Reese, Dr. Schwalbe and Ms. West plus one student. 
Third and final round interviews of high school principal finalists were interviewed by the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education (Dr. Rizzi) and incoming Superintendent (Dr. Wipke). 
Third and final round interviews of elementary school principal finalists were interviewed by the Interim Superintendent (Mr. Crutchley) and incoming Superintendent (Dr. Wipke). 
Third and final round interviews of the human resources finalists were interviewed by Interim Superintendent (Mr. Crutchley), incoming Superintendent (Dr. Wipke), Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education (Dr. Rizzi) and the Chief Financial Officer (Mr. Brazeal).

Tim Crutchley 
Acting Superintendent 
745 Jeffco Blvd 
Arnold, Mo 63010 
636-296-8000 
636-282-5170 fax

Achievement - Character - Excellence
National District of Character

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Invoices for Legal Services at Fox C-6 Still Difficult to Obtain!

This past Wednesday I testified in front of the Senate Education Committee in Jefferson City in support of a Senate Bill related to the amount of money that school districts are doling out in legal fees in our state.

I was invited to come and speak in front of the Senate Education Committee because of all the information that I've documented on this blog over the past several years including the amount of money spent in legal fees by the district. I still don't know exactly what the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees were spent on because the District still hasn't provided copies of the invoices for legal fees in more than 5 years of requests.

I was also asked to share our experience about having Fox's former law firm file for Due Process against us. The district filed for Due Process against us because the attorneys wanted to make sure that things were settled once and for all. There was no reason to file for Due Process against us. The district had already made their decision. We had to file Due Process in order to challenge the district's decision.

This practice of filing Due Process against parents by law firms has been occurring across our state for quite some time.

The school district of the parents that were responsible for sponsoring the senate bill had their district file for Due Process against their child AFTER they had withdrawn their child from the school district. The district wanted to document that their decision not to provide special services to the child was correct. That should certainly raised some red flags!

The school district filed an insurance claim for $30,000 with Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC) in to pay for the Due Process that was filed against their child. The district's legal counsel were the ones benefiting from the Due Process. The parents have spent more than $10,000 in legal fees related to their case. You should note who sits on MUSIC's Board of Directors.

This was the same tactic that Fox's former legal counsel used when they filed for Due Process against us when they learned from ED OCR that we were we were considering dropping our request for Due Process. We decided to drop our request for Due Process after learning that the hearing office chosen to hear our case was a former law associate of the district's legal counsel. There was no way that we were going to get a "fair and impartial" hearing. There was the appearance of a fair and impartial hearing. It was a very nicely played "smoke and mirrors" of a Due Process Hearing.

Traveling to Jefferson City also gave me the opportunity to see invoices for legal services that were billed to another school district by the same law firm that represent Fox C-6 until last year after the internet scandal became public.

The parent from another school district had been provided with 88 pages of invoices for FREE after making a Sunshine Request for the invoices which spanned roughly a two year period. None of the pages in invoices for legal services were redacted. They were public records!

The really interesting thing about the invoices was the amount of detail that they contained. The invoices contained time on task billed in tenths of an hour as well as the hourly rates that each of the attorneys and law clerks charged the school district. Those rates varied between $130 and $285 per hour.

I was told that the detail contained in the invoices for legal services is what led to the resignation ("early retirement") of the superintendent and CFO in their school district.

Could having all of that detail in the invoices for legal fees be why it's been so difficult to obtain copies of the invoices for legal fees from the Fox C-6 School District?

I've made numerous Sunshine Requests to Fox over the past 5+ years for the invoices for legal fees and I still haven't been provided with a single copy of an invoice in all of that time.

I most recently made request for copies of the invoices for legal fees on September 12, 2014 along with a request for other documents. I received a response letter on September 18, 2014 from Fox's former custodian of records Deborah Davis telling me that my Sunshine Request would take more then 3 days to fill.

It's now been more than 6 months and I still haven't received any copies of the invoices for legal fees. I received several other documents from my request and even documents from other requests sent since then. However, those invoices for legal fees have yet to be provided. Why is that?


Here is the list of documents that I requested via Sunshine Law on September 12, 2014:

Documents Requested:
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 DISCOVER credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2012-2013 school years to present.
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 AMERICAN EXPRESS credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2012-2013 school years.
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 VISA credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2008-2009 school years to present.
  • Electronic copies of all receipts that were purchased using Petty Cash since the 2005-2006 school year to present for personal related items for Dianne Brown-Critchlow.
  • Electronic copies of all invoices from the Mickes Goldman O'Toole law firm for the 2007-2008 school years to present. When redacting the invoices from the law firm please ensure that only names are redacted and that the descriptions or purpose of the legal fees incurred remain on the invoices. I previously made a similar request years ago and was informed that the district did not receive detailed billing.
  • Electronic copies of any and all receipts associated with purchases made by former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow using ANY district credit card since it has been determined that she borrowed or used credit cards assigned to other people within the district.
  • Electronic list of all items recovered to date from former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow.
After not receiving copies of the invoices for legal fees for more than 3 months, I sent a follow up on January 7, 2015 asking about the invoices for legal fees.

Fox's CFO John Brazeal responded to my request the very same day. Below is an excerpt of Mr. Brazeal's response to my request for copies of the invoices:

Record Request: 
The data to supply your request for “legal fees paid by year” was compiled by taking information from the ASBR reports filed with DESE. These annual reports are available online. Minimal time was required to compile that information for you. 
A request for copies of MGO legal invoices back to 2008 creates a time consuming task. As evidenced by the passage of time, we have been unable to fill your request. This is due to several factors, which include being able to locate old invoices (if they even exist) while simultaneously tending to the document production demands of the state audit and many other Sunshine requests, let alone the daily workload of an organization under stress. 
Which brings me to my point: As you know, there is law and policy regarding Sunshine requests. Policy (in conformance with law) provides that we respond appropriately to record requests in a timely manner, allows for charges related to copying and research time, and allows for charges to be waived when requests are in the public interest. I believe I have provided you many records in a timely manner and up until now, all were provided without charge. The “legal fees paid by year” was provided without charge because it was already available online, but still I spent the time to collect the data. Whether you realize this fact or not, your many requests absorb a significant amount of staff time to fulfill. 
Believe it or not, not all your requests rise to the level of public interest, in my opinion. Some requests appear to have more of a personal interest, which is the purpose of the charge for production when such requests become voluminous. At the moment, I am not seeing the public interest in compiling “legal fees paid by month” for three years in the distant past when “legal fees paid by year” is readily accessible. And to some extent, I am not seeing the public interest in legal invoices from years distant past. Please share your thoughts on the basis of public interest for your request. After I have had an opportunity to consider you input, I will respond with a determination on whether charges will apply. 
I have previously written to you my view of transparency in the public interest. I retain that viewpoint.

Transparency is something that is still a work in progress at Fox. I think it's reasonable for the public to know why the district spent more than $659,000 in legal fees between 2007 and 2013.

I also think it's reasonable for copies of those invoices to be provided to the public because they explain why the district spent so much money in legal fees. They are public records and if they can provide them to parents/patrons in other school districts, it seems reasonable that they would be able to provide them to the public in our school district.

Below is a compilation of the amount of money paid to Fox's former law firm between 2004 and 2013. The information was compiled from data sent to me by CFO John Brazeal for the 2004-2010 school years. The totals for legal fees from 2010 to 2013 was obtained from board packets and the bill payments posted in the board packets.

Fox C-6 Legal Bills 2004-2013
2004-2005 -   $21,906.50
2005-2006 -   $39,218.86
2006-2007 -   $45,929.39
2007-2008 -   $74,560.41
2008-2009 - $109,116.49
2009-2010 -   $71,083.37
2010-2011 - $100,342.74
2011-2012 -   $81,029.43
2012-2013 - $148,903.30

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dan Baker Probably Doesn't Want the Fox C-6 Community to See the Invoices for Legal Fees!

It was announced that Dan Baker was selected as the new principal at Seckman Elementary at the March 17, 2015 Fox C-6 Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

I voiced my concerns about Dan Baker being selected as a finalist for the Seckman Elementary School principal position to Fox C-6 board president John Laughlin and Dr. Wipke in an email early Monday morning March 16, 2015. Then after not receiving a response I sent another email to all of the Fox C-6 board members at 6:30am Tuesday March 17, 2015.

I also voiced my concerns to the Fox C-6 BOE meeting during Public Comments. Click on the link below to listen to my Public Comments. There were a total of 7 Public Comments made at the BOE meeting. There were two public comments in support of hiring Dan Baker for the principal position at Seckman Elementary which was made by teachers from Seckman Elementary. I wonder if Mr. Baker will give them any special treatment now that he's been selected principal?


Dan Baker's selection reminds me very much of when the community was told that Kelly Nash was the best candidate for Fox's Food Nutrition Director in December 2012 by Todd Scott even though she didn't possess the certification and schooling required for the job as required by board policy.

Dan Baker, possesses the proper certification for the principal job. He was a principal at Hodge Elementary School prior to being promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent and Section 504 Coordinator for the Fox C-6 School District in the Central Office.

Unlike Kelly Nash, Dan Baker has to face scrutiny from the public for his involvement in the internet scandal that made national headlines at Fox C-6 in 2014 after it was discovered that derogatory posts were linked to the home and cell phone of Dan and Angie Baker as well as to the home of former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow and her husband Jamie Critchlow who was fired by the district in June 2014.

Dan Baker was the Section 504 Coordinator for the district at the time the posts linked to his home were made in 2013. Mr. Baker was also involved in our Section 504 case and had been since May of 2008. Having derogatory comments linked to his home that were made against me could be considered retaliation by the Office for Civil Rights because we had filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) and the USDA's Office for Civil Rights (USDA OCR) back in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Section 504 law prohibits retaliating against any individual who files a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights or advocates for someone's civil rights. Therefore, it's very important that everyone understands what the law says on Section 504. It's also very important to know that it was Mr. Baker's job as the district's 504 Coordinator to ensure that Fox C-6 complied with Section 504 law and the ADA AA.

Had the public been properly informed of the district's run in with ED OCR and USDA OCR six years ago, Dan Baker may not have been considered for the principal position at Seckman Elementary School.

Dan Baker, Dianne Brown-Critchlow and Todd Scott have been working hard for years to keep the district's non-compliance issues out of the news and hidden from the public. Board meeting minutes didn't document my questions or letters about the OCR issues. In fact, the district's former law firm sent me letters telling me that the public had no need to know about the Resolution Agreement that Dan Baker signed on May 1, 2009 with ED OCR or the 2010 District Wide Compliance Review investigation until ED OCR released their findings.

The Resolution Agreement signed by Dan Baker has been open now for nearly 6 years and the District Wide Compliance Review has been open for 5 years. 

How long does it take ED OCR to complete an investigation and report their findings?

That means that for nearly 6 years, Dan Baker and the district were unable to meet the terms of the agreement that Dan Baker agreed to in order for the district to be compliant with Section 504 law and the ADA AA. It certainly doesn't seem that Dan Baker was doing his job as Section 504 Coordinator.

I would think that not being able to meet the terms of an agreement with a federal agency for nearly 6 years would weigh heavily on Mr. Baker's job performance reviews over the years. But, since Dianne Brown-Critchlow and the former law firm kept ED OCR at bay for years as well as the USDA OCR, no one knew that Fox was non-compliant with federal law. The Resolution Agreement and District Wide Compliance Review and Monitoring Letters were never documented in the board meeting minutes or board packets.

I don't believe that Dr. Jim Wipke has been fully informed of all of the non-compliance issues with ED OCR and USDA OCR. I spoke with Dr. Wipke this evening after the board meeting about my concerns of hiring Dan Baker as the principal at Seckman Elementary School and Todd Scott as the new principal at Seckman High School. Dr, Wipke offered to get together and discuss my concerns further regarding this issue and that he would like to work with me on this issue.

I think it's time for the public to get involved and make a Sunshine Law Request and demand that the invoices from the district's former law firm be released to the public. Your taxpayer dollars were used to pay legal fees to keep ED OCR and USDA OCR at bay for years. In fact, one of the training sessions by the district's former law firm was titled, "OCR Is Gaining On You! How to Run Faster!".

It's seems quite obvious that someone in the district doesn't want the legal fee invoices to be made public. I've asked for copies of them for years via Sunshine Law Requests and the district still hasn't provided me a single copy of an invoice. 

As a Fox C-6 taxpayer, wouldn't you want to know why the school board approved paying more than $103,000 in legal fees between the August 2012 and September 2012 board meetings?

By the way, the $103,000 in legal fees corresponds time wise with emails we received from USDA OCR informing us that they were in discussions with the district and their legal counsel regarding the USDA's August 2011 Final Agency Decision that found the district non-compliant with Section 504 law and the ADA AA. It also corresponds with the time I was sent a cease and desist letter by the district to keep me from speaking with the public and school employees and former employees about my concerns with the district.

If Dan Baker and Dianne Brown-Critchlow were responsible for being found non-compliant with Section 504 law and the ADA AA in the USDA's August 2011 Final Agency Decision, shouldn't the public have been told about that?

Spending $103,000 in legal fees in just two months in 2012 was two times more than what the district paid the same law firm for legal fees for the entire year in 2005 from information recently provided to me by Fox's CFO John Brazeal.

It seems to me that paying out that much in legal fees in just two months in 2012 would have raised red flags for our school board members. In fact, we sent a letter to Dave Palmer and other board members back then asking them about the amount of money that the district was spending in legal fees because it appeared that the district wasn't following board policy on legal fees. We never received a response from our letter. You may want to make note of that since Dave Palmer is running for school board again this year.

I've made numerous Sunshine Requests for actual copies of the invoices for legal fees but I've only been given the dollar amounts for the invoices. Why is that?

Transparency is what keeps your school district and school board accountable. If there's a lack of transparency then there will be a lack of trust and lack of accountability in both the district and and the people in charge of running and overseeing the district.

Back in August 2010, the Post Dispatch wrote an article in which Dan Baker was quoted as saying, "the district had spent a lot in legal fees during the dispute, but he did not know an exact amount." What Mr. Baker didn't tell the newspaper was that the district decided to bring their legal counsel to a 504 meeting in August 2008. We asked why an attorney was need for a 504 meeting. The explanation given by the attorney was to ensure that the district was doing things properly. Well, it took from September 2008 when Dan Baker removed a 504 plan until August 2014 to get the 504 plan properly restored by the district. Restoring the 504 would not have occurred if the the district hadn't changed law firms.

Between 2008 and 2014 my wife and I worked to get the district to properly follow Section 504 law and restore what was improperly removed in 2008. However, some of our administrators decided to resort to bullying tactics using the internet as well the media in an attempt to halt our efforts to expose what was going on in the district.

So now, nearly a year after it was discovered that derogatory comments were traced to the home and cell phone of Dan and Angie Baker, Mr. Baker was selected as the principal of Seckman Elementary School despite his being linked to the internet scandal and to large sums of money being spent defying ED OCR and USDA OCR.

What do you think motivated the Bakers to post derogatory comments online?

In order for the community to believe that Dan Baker was the right person for the job, the district needs to release the invoices from the former law firm dating back to 2008 since he worked closely with the former law firm to get around the law.

Who Were the Other Job Candidates?
The district also needs to provide the public with the list of other candidates that applied for the job as well as the members of the selection committee that narrowed down the field of candidates. Without full disclosure of that information, the public is never going to believe that Dan Baker was the best candidate for the job!

Please contact you school board members and request that they release the invoices for legal fees from the Mickes Goldman O'Toole law firm.

Also ask the school board to publish the list of candidates that applied for the Seckman Elementary School principal position and the names of the selection committee members for the job.

Perhaps a community of requests for how your taxpayer dollars were spent on legal fees will finally encourage the district to release the invoice information. Other school districts publish that information, why can't Fox?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Open Letter to the Fox C-6 BOE Regarding the Hiring of School District Leadership

I emailed the Fox C-6 School Board the following letter this morning regarding the hiring of future leaders in our school district.

I emailed board president John Laughlin and Dr. Wipke very early Monday morning in which I expressed my concerns about the hiring of the next Seckman Elementary School principal. I never received a response to my email.

I decided to send this email after I noticed last night that Angie Burns Baker, the wife of assistant superintendent Dan Baker, was listed as the 2015-2016 Director of Federal Programs in the March 2015 board meeting packet that was posted online Friday March 13, 2015.

The link below contains a copy of the Employment of Certified Employees Report from the March 2015 Fox C-6 school board meeting packet.


The Fox C-6 Board of Education (BOE) will be meeting tonight in Closed Session at 5:30PM prior to Public Comments. Therefore the board will most likely be making hiring decisions prior to hearing any Public Comments from the community.

Fox's BOE is expected to be making hiring decisions for the Fox High School, Seckman High School and Seckman Elementary School principal positions as well as the Fox C-6 Food Nutrition Director.


Below is the letter I emailed to the Fox C-6 BOE Tuesday morning March 17, 2015.

It is critical that the Fox C-6 school board be completely transparent in the hiring of future leaders of the Fox C-6 School District. This includes the Fox and Seckman High School and Seckman Elementary principals as well as the next Food Nutrition Director.
 The school board failed miserably in December 2012 when it approved the hiring of Kelly Nash as Fox’s Food Nutrition Director over individuals who already possessed the credentials required for the job. That one decision was the straw that broke the camel’s back and the one that led to the public disgrace of our school district and the embarrassment and humiliation of the Fox C-6 community.
 School board policy requires that the superintendent only recommends individuals to the board for hire who already possess the proper certification and education. School board policy was not followed when the board hired Kelly Nash in 2012. It was obvious then and now that she was chosen because she was the daughter in law of former Fox C-6 board member Linda Nash who was the board president at the time of her hiring. The taxpayers paid the price for that decision as well as members of the community who spoke out about that decision.
 Kelly Nash’s hire was very similar to the hiring of Gee Palmer, the wife of current school board member and incumbent school board candidate David Palmer as the Director of Nursing in June 2006.
 David Palmer was the president of the Fox C-6 school board in 2006 when his wife was promoted to Director of Nursing position and given a 75% pay increase ahead of other nurses who were more qualified and who had many more years of service with the district.
 You are now faced with another decision that will forever shape the legacy of the Fox C-6 School District and the Fox C-6 board when you select new leaders for Seckman Elementary, Seckman High School and Fox High School.
 The individuals you choose to lead our teachers and our students should not bring with them any immoral or unethical baggage from the past.
 You are practicing Willful Blindness by even allowing Dan Baker to be a finalist for the position as Seckman Elementary School principal given his past misdeeds and inability to ensure that Fox C-6 was compliant with federal law as assistant superintendent for more than 6 years.
 You will forever be judged by the community by the decisions in choosing new district leadership.
 I am extremely disappointed to learn that you have already given notice in the March 2015 board packet that Angela Burns Baker will be the 2015-2016 Director of Federal Programs.
 Since you are elected officials and represent the taxpayers and patrons of the Fox C-6 School District you are entrusted to make the best choices for our school district.
 How did Mr. Baker become one of 3 finalist for the Seckman Elementary principal position given the fact that derogatory comments were traced to his home and a cell phone owned by the Bakers? Were any Fox school board members part of the screening process for the principal position? Please provide a list to the Public of the candidates for the principal positions in the school district and the members of the committee panels that interviewed the candidates and made recommendations to the selections. It’s imperative that the Fox C-6 school board be transparent and represent the community in an honest and open manner and that all decisions are made aboveboard according to school district policy.
 I am requesting that you please email me a list of all persons that served on the interview/hiring committees and all candidates for the recent job openings in the school district for the Fox and Seckman High school principal positions,  the Seckman Elementary principal position and the Food Nutrition Director position. It’s imperative that this information be published on the school district website in order to rebuild the trust of the community. There are rumblings that individuals that participated on the selection committees were chosen in order to narrow the selection to favor our disgraced assistant superintendents.
 It’s hard to believe that anyone in our community would have considered Dan Baker as a potential candidate for the Seckman Elementary School principal position. Very few people are going to believe that Mr. Baker was ranked above other candidates in terms of integrity and honesty given his past indiscretions. His selection as one of the best candidates gives the impression that our district is still not operating aboveboard.
 In order to maintain any trust with the community everything done by the board needs to be done with full disclosure to the community. If not, all hires will be extremely scrutinized by the public!
 I certainly hope that you can face the public and be proud of your decision after approving the hiring of new leadership in our school district.
  Thank you,
 Rich Simpson

Saturday, March 14, 2015

KMOV News 4 Covers Fox C-6 Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan Payout

Robin Smith of KMOV News 4 covered the Fox school district Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan (VSIP) payout on Friday March 13, 2015 at 5PM.

I posted an article about the most recent VSIP payot totals to date on Wednesday March 11. That article has already had more than 1,000 page views.

News 4 reporter Robin Smith interviewed Fox's Chief Financial Officer John Brazeal. John Brazeal is a fellow Fox graduate. Mr. Brazeal's father taught in the district years ago when my father was principal at Fox High School.

Mr. Brazeal told News 4 that current projections are that between 140 and 150 people will be taking advantage of the incentive payout which will cost the district about $4 Million dollars.

The March 17, 2015 board meeting packet was posted Friday evening March 13, 2015 but did not contain an updated list of employees that are taking advantage of the VSIP payout. The most recent VSIP report listing found in the February 24, 2015 board packet had less than 100 people listed at a cost of $2.72 Million dollars.

The cutoff to apply for the VSIP program was January 16, 2015. Employees then had 45 days to decide whether or not they would be taking advantage of the VSIP after reviewing the documents and having the opportunity to consult with their tax advisors. So, the list of employees taking advantage of the VSIP should be known by now but that information was not included in the March 17, 2015 board packet.

Fox is losing some very good employees who are taking advantage of the VSIP because they are tired of all of the disgraceful things that have gone on in our district over the past decade.

Fewer Fox employees would have been eligible for the VSIP program prior to last year, Prior to February 2014, Fox C-6 employees were required to work in the district for a minimum of 10 years before being eligible for the Early Retirement Incentive Plan which was changed to the Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan in the summer of 2014.

In February 2014, changes were made to remove the cap on the maximum number of years of service that kept some people from qualifying for the VSIP. It was considered discriminatory by the district's former legal counsel. However, when the upper cap was removed from the Employment Retirement Incentive Plan, the 10 year minimum requirement was also removed and approved by the board.

Fox's school board planned to make the 2014-2015 school year, the last year that the Early Retirement Incentive Plan was offered to employees as it had been offered year after year for years and was no longer being used as intended.

The 10 year minimum requirement of working for the school district was replaced with the requirement of only having to be vested in Missouri's Public School Retirement System (PSRS) or Missouri's Public Education Employees Retirement System (PEERS). A minimum of 5 years of qualified service is all that is required to become vested in PSRS or PEERS. This means that anyone who has at least 5 years of qualified service under the PSRS or PEERS retirement system would be eligible to take advantage of Fox's incentive payout program.

So, thanks to the changes made to Fox's Early Retirement Incentive Plan in February 2014, Fox C-6 taxpayers will be footing the bill for incentive payments to employees who have worked for the Fox C-6 School District for as little as 1 or 2 years. Lack of thorough oversight and lack of transparency by our school board allowed for this blunder to occur when the changes were made to the Early Retirement Incentive Plan last year.

Changes to Fox's early retirement incentive plan were made prior to the public learning that derogatory comments had been posted about myself and others in online forums that were traced to the home of former disgraced superintendent Dianne Critchlow and her husband Jamie Critchlow the former Director of the Bridges program. Jamie Critchlow was fired in June 2014. Dianne Critchlow was allowed to walk away with an incentive payout of more than $130,000 in October 2014 even after the public learned about all of the things that had been going under her rule as superintendent.

Derogatory comments were also traced to the home of assistant superintendent Dan Baker and his wife Angie Burns Baker who is Fox's Director of Federal programs. Comments were also traced to the home of former Fox High Assistant Principal Bill Brengle.

Dan Baker was Fox's Section 504 Coordinator for the school district between June 2008 and June 2014. As Fox's 504 Coordinator, Dan Baker was responsible for Fox having to sign a Resolution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) on May 1, 2009 in which the district agreed to take corrective actions and update policies as well as conduct an evaluation in order to comply with Section 504 law and the ADA AA.

As of March 2015, the district still hasn't fully complied with the May 1, 2009 Resolution Agreement with ED OCR that Dan Baker signed and agreed to comply with despite OCR's "vigorous enforcement of Section 504" as they state they do in ED OCR's October 21, 2014 Dear Colleague Letter on Bullying that was sent to all school districts across the country reminding them about their responsibilities in following the law.

I'm being sarcastic when I say that ED OCR performed "vigorous enforcement of Section 504". It's been well documented by the Kansas City Office's "monitoring letters" starting in December 2009 to the Fox School District that ED OCR was anything but vigorous. In fact, ED OCR did nothing but extend deadline after deadline when the district failed to comply with the Resolution Agreement.


What's Happening With the Bakers?
Dan Baker and Angie Burns Baker are both still employed by the district at this time. In fact, Dan Baker has been the interim principal at Seckman Elementary School after the previous principal was moved to an assistant principal position earlier this school year.

Dan Baker was also recently selected as a finalist for the principal position at Seckman Elementary School despite having derogatory comments traced to his home that were made against me in 2013 while he was Fox's Section 504 Coordinator.

It was also discovered last year that Mr. Baker played golf instead of attending the Marzano Conference while in Florida on the first day of the conference. The golf game was paid for with taxpayer money using Todd Scott's school district credit card that was loaned to Jamie Critchlow for the trip. Dan Baker also used his school district credit card numerous times to pay for personal meals and other items which violated school district policy.

Dan Baker's ethical and moral decisions over the past 6+ years should have kept him from even being considered for the principal position at Seckman Elementary School. He was caught bullying parents anonymously in online forums. He cost the district easily close to $200,000 if not more in legal fees as he and Dianne Critchlow tried to get around Section 504 law and the ADA AA for 6 years while Dan Baker served as the district's 504 Coordinator.

There is plenty of documentation to back up Dan Baker's failure in ensuring that the Fox C-6 School District properly followed Section 504 law and the ADA AA.

Read the USDA's August 2011 Final Agency Decision when the district was found to be in violation of Section 504 and the ADA AA.

The Post Dispatch had been informed about the May 2009 Resolution Agreement and the March 2010 District Wide Compliance Review but did not mention either one of those facts in the August 2010 Post Dispatch article that asked us if we had considered moving out of the district. Intimidating parents seems to have been a pattern of practice in the district for the last decade. Comments were posted online about the article within minutes of it being published. Many of them were very derogatory in nature. I asked that some of them be removed but the Post Dispatch refused to remove them. The Post Dispatch eventually removed all of the comments when they switched over to their Facebook comment system. We did ask for the IP addresses of the comments but the paper did not retain those records.

The 2010 Post Dispatch article was very much like a "House of Cards" attempt at using the media to silence parents for attempting to get the school district to do the right thing and do what they were supposed to do as documented in the District Wide Compliance Review.

Read the documents from the ED OCR and USDA OCR to see if you think Dan Baker's comments from the 2010 Post Dispatch article hold true when he told the paper that he "strongly believes the district has handled the situation appropriately".
Baker said he could not discuss the Simpsons' case because of confidentiality rules but strongly believes the district has handled the situation appropriately. He said the district had spent a lot in legal fees during the dispute, but he did not know an exact amount.
Getting around Section 504 law was easy, all for Dan Baker had to do was say he felt the student didn't qualify for Section 504. Then he would inform the parent that they could file a complaint with OCR, file for a Due Process Hearing or sue the school district if they didn't believe his decision was correct.

As the District's 504 Coordinator, Dan Baker was the person who ultimately decided whether or not a student qualified for Section 504 as the district's attorney pointed out several times during 504 meetings over the years.

Since Mr. Baker publicly made the claim that the district spent a lot in legal fees, then the fees spent by the district should be made public. To date that has not happened despite numerous requests. The district was in dispute with USDA OCR and ED OCR between 2008 and 2014 because the district and their legal counsel weren't going to back down from their position after spending all that money.

Dan Baker also violated the public's trust and most likely school district policy in his use of his school district credit card.

The Fox C-6 school board's ethics should be called into question for even allowing Dan Baker to be interviewed for the principal's job at Seckman Elementary School in the first place. Dan and Angie Burns Baker should have been fired last summer after the internet scandal broke but fear of violating their contracts kept the board from doing so.

Dr. Wipke and the Fox C-6 School Board will have to answer to the public and the media if Dan Baker and Angie Baker are offered contracts for anything other than a teaching job in our district. They both are automatically eligible for a teaching job due to teacher tenure law. Administrators don't have tenure but have tenure as teachers if they taught for 5 or more years in the district.

Doug Flowers in the St. Joseph School District (SJSD) was recently offered only a teaching contract after the recent release of the SJSD's state audit. Doug Flowers was the assistant superintendent of Human Resources at SJSD prior to being reassigned to other administrative duties until his contract expires June 30.

Please contact Dr. Wipke and your Fox C-6 school board members before Dan Baker is offered a contract for another administrative position in the Fox C-6 School District. The morale in the district cannot be seriously improved until the Bakers are no longer employed by the district.

Click on the link below to watch KMOV News 4's coverage of Fox's Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan payout.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fox C-6 Will be Paying More than $2.72 Million in Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan Payouts

According to the most recent revision of the February 24, 2015 Fox C-6 school board packet on the district website, the amount of Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan payout so far will be more than $2.72 Million dollars.

Three different versions of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan payout have been posted on the district website.

One of the notable names on the VSIP plan is Fox's Director of Curriculum Kristen Pelster. Her name was not on the original VSIP report that was available prior to the February 24, 2015 Fox C-6 BOE meeting.

The late materials that were added to the February 24, 2015 board meeting packet after the BOE meeting also includes an updated listing of the Employment of Classified Staff report. The updated list includes a new Superintendent Secretary / School Board Secretary with an annual salary of $59,991.00.

I assembled all 3 versions of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan listings into a single document along with the two versions of the Classified Employment for review.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Tax Increase Is Not "A Common Sense Approach to Leadership!"

Last month the Lone Dell Elementary parents club had a meet and greet with school board candidates Mark Jones and Sherry "Chellew" Poppen. About 12 parents were in attendance as well as a Lone Dell teacher and Lone Dell's assistant principal.

I attended the parents club meeting so I could find out more about Sherry "Chellew" Poppen and why she was running for the Fox C-6 school board. I was also curious as to why she was using the "Chellew" name on her campaign flyer.

Sherry "Chellew" Poppen handed out campaign flyers to everyone at the parents club meeting that night. The following text was at the bottom of the front cover:

"A Common Sense Approach to Leadership!"

The back cover of Sherry "Chellew" Poppen's campaign flyer had the following text:

Fox C-6 School Board
Sherry "Chellew"
POPPEN
Common Sense Leadership

Paid for by Committee to Elect Sherry Chellew Poppen, James Chellew, Treasurer

The inside of her campaign flyer noted some of her Personal and Professional background information as well as some of her Goals if elected to the Fox C-6 school board.

First impressions are important. The meeting was posted on the Lone Dell Parents Club Facebook page with a start time of 6:30pm. Sherry showed up to the meeting around 6:45pm.

There were a few things that stood out that evening as the candidates talked to the parents. But the number one thing that stood out was when Sherry Poppen responded to the teacher's question as to what the candidates would do if they were faced with having to make cuts in the district.

Sherry Poppen responded by saying that she would consider a tax increase.

Sherry Poppen's response was met with an immediate response from the parents telling her that a tax increase would not pass in our district for quite some time given what's been uncovered over the last year.

It was very apparent that her response didn't sit well with the parents at the meeting. A tax increase doesn't sound like, "A Common Sense Approach to Leadership!"

Sherry Poppen may want to reconsider her approach to solving potential cutbacks in our district.

Asking the Fox C-6 community for more money after all of the payouts that have been handed out over the past year to people who were rewarded for bad behavior or for not doing their job is NOT a good idea.


Other Campaign Concerns
Sherry Poppen's brother is Jim Chellew. Jim Chellew was the superintendent of the Fox C-6 School District prior to Dianne Brown-Critchlow. Mr. Chellew was responsible for getting Dianne Brown selected as the next Fox C-6 superintendent in November 2004. Dianne Brown was the only person that applied for the job according to the news article that was published on the Fox C-6 website as documented by the INTERNET ARCHIVE from 2004 (use the link below).


I hadn't formally met Sherry "Chellew" Poppen prior to attending the parents club meeting. I may have met her in the past and didn't realize or know that she was related to former Fox C-6 superintendent Jim Chellew. I've known Jim Chellew since I was in elementary or middle school when my father was an assistant superintendent in the district over secondary education.

Jim Chellew is listed as the treasurer for Sherry "Chellew" Poppen's campaign. His involvement concerns me because of some of the conversations that I had with Mr. Chellew several years ago about what was going on in our school district.

I haven't spoken with Mr. Chellew since it was publicly announced that derogatory comments that were posted online about me and others were traced back to the home of our former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow and her husband Jamie Critchlow who was the former director of the Bridges program at Fox.

Derogatory comments were also traced to the home of Dan and Angie Baker as well as former assistant principal Bill Brengle.

Dan Baker was an assistant superintendent in the district and is currently the principal at Seckman Elementary School after the previous principal was moved to an assistant principal position in the district. Dan Baker's wife Angela Burns Baker is the Director of Federal programs at Fox C-6.

If you remember, Dan Baker played golf on the first day of the MarzanoGate Conference that was paid for with Todd Scott's school district credit card that Jamie Critchlow "borrowed "for the trip to Florida. Dan Baker also paid for a $749 meal using his school district credit card at the MarzanoGate Conference as well.

In December 2011, I mentioned some of my concerns about Fox to Mr. Chellew when I saw him at the Arnold Target store. I told Mr. Chellew during that conversation that Dianne Brown and Dan Baker should be fired for making false statements to me and to the school board about various issues. Mr. Chellew told me he was the one that put Dianne in her position as superintendent and that he would fight to make sure that she didn't get fired.

Mr. Chellew also told me that he was sure that they weren't intentional lies and that sometimes people get confused about what they've said to people because they talk to so many different people. I told him that was not the case.

I told Mr. Chellew about other concerns I had about our district. Several times during our conversation he told me that I shouldn't let these school things eat at me and that things aren't perfect at Fox. He said Fox isn't a Camelot, but Fox is way ahead of most other schools out there.

It was certainly strange that Mr. Chellew was mentioned in the cease and desist letter that was sent to me by Fox's former law firm in August 2012. Mr. Chellew is the "former Superintendent of the District" that's referenced in my cease and desist letter. You can read the cease and desist letter using the link below:


It bothered me back then that Mr. Chellew was referenced in my cease and desist letter and the fact that he disregarded my concerns about Dianne Brown and Dan Baker. My conversation with Mr. Chellew took place prior to Dianne marrying Jamie Critchlow. It bothered me even more that our conversation made it back to Dianne and into the cease and desist letter that threatened me with legal action if I didn't stop speaking with people about my concerns in our school district.

I've written about the cease and desist letter before. My conversation with Jim Chellew took place on December 3, 2011. I documented my conversation with Jim Chellew back then with others in an email right after it happened so I would remember what we discussed. When I saw Mr. Chellew at the store, we first chatted about scouts. After a few minutes, I told him that I wished that we could put some Character back into our district leadership. That's when I started telling Mr. Chellew about some of my concerns about what was going on in the district and the problems that I had been having with Dianne Brown and Dan Baker and the district's attorneys.




I told Mr. Chellew how the district was violating federal law and how we were put through a charade of a Due Process Hearing and that Dianne Brown and Dan Baker should be fired for not doing their jobs and for not following the law.

During our conversation I also told Mr. Chellew that I was pretty sure that Dianne Brown and/or Jamie Critchlow were posting defamatory comments about me in an online forum. I told him I went to the December 2010 school board meeting and that I asked the board questions about Jamie Critchlow and how he got his job because of his lack of credentials and prior arrest record. Derogatory comments were posted online about me right after I spoke at the December 2010 board meeting. More derogatory comments were posted about me and my parents a week later in December 2010 just two days before an article appeared in the Arnold-Imperial Leader newspaper about Jamie Critchlow and his DWI arrest in Texas.

Jefferson County Penknife first posted an article on February 21, 2015 documenting Jamie Critchlow's most recent two DWI arrests. Jefferson County Penknife has the "must read" police reports from both the July 3, 2014 Iron County arrest and the January 31, 2015 Arnold Police Department arrest.


On February 25, 2015, the Arnold-Imperial Leader newspaper published an article about Jamie Critchlow's most recent DWI arrests.


Fox C-6 School Board Elections are April 7, 2015
Dismissing my concerns back then and over the years might be something you may want to consider when casting your vote for Fox C-6 school board members on April 7, 2015!