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South East Bexar County Awareness: SISD Superintendent, waiver denied or not

Updated on August 6, 2014
Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn (received thousands of dollars during campaigning from County Commissioner Rodriguez and Judge Nelson Wolff. Loren Brewer, Norberto Chavez, County Commissioner Rodriguez, Alma Guzman, Frank Cannon. (L-R)
Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn (received thousands of dollars during campaigning from County Commissioner Rodriguez and Judge Nelson Wolff. Loren Brewer, Norberto Chavez, County Commissioner Rodriguez, Alma Guzman, Frank Cannon. (L-R)

He said...she said..

It seems there was a bit of confusion coming from the Southside ISD meeting. The TEA representative had given an interview to the local paper, saying that Ricardo Vela had submitted a waiver request, but had been denied.

The schools attorney's told the media that it had been accepted with "conditions" put in place. Ricardo Vela said, he had not heard about any conditions.

TEA said it was not true, it had not been approved because he wanted a 3 year waiver and basically if it took him 4 months to ask for the waiver, how much was he really going to accomplish in 3 years. That he could re-submit and it could be approved with "conditions".

Day 2, we find that he had resubmitted the application and it was accepted. The conditions being that it is good for the next school year, he has to show significant progress and only then will they extended it.

He must hold a Master's Degree, a principal certification (he does not) and to get one, he must hold a valid teaching certificate and have two years of class room experience.

Who brought Ricardo Vela to Southside ISD

Ms. Mendelsohn campaigned hard for her inner circle to gain control of Southside ISD, whom she later called a great "team". The team made it clear after being sworn in to let everyone know that they were getting rid of the sitting Superintendent of Southside ISD, Dr. Juan Jasso. During their campaigning they led the community to believe that they were bringing back a former interim superintendent that left under negative terms with the district.

However, it was made clear when they hired Ricardo Vela, that they had been in negotiations with him for some time, as per dates and times or Ricardo Vela was desperate to relocate as he made a quick decision and relocated just as quickly. His resignation letter stated that he would be given the opportunity to become the Superintendent at Southside ISD, knowing then that he did not hold the qualifications to do so.

Ricardo Vela's character is similar to that of the "team". It was open knowledge at the district that vendors and suppliers made deals with Ricardo Vela in order to get contracts. Ricardo Vela's tactics were not in line with the district policy and Vela took a job at Dripping Springs ISD. Upon his return to the district, photographs of Vela and vendors with "donations" to the district were posted on the schools website. Ricardo Vela recently sited that he got his training in the Valley; an area where school districts are riddled with moral issues.

Ricardo Vela has fit in with the "team" and worked to further their agenda.

Southside ISD to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars...

to maintain Ricardo Vela as the Superintendent, so he can get on the job training? It is a shame that TEA even accepted the waiver and a disgrace to the injustice it brings to Southside ISD taxpayers.

By accepting the waiver, they just gave the unqualified Superintendent and the board additional time to continue to spend, spend, spend and play with the lives of the employees of the district. As so many have been re-assigned, demoted and moved like pawns on a checker board.

If he has to accomplish all the goals set forth by the state. Two years will not get it done. If he has to teach for 2 years (not sub, like he planned to) then who will be running Southside ISD while he is in the classroom?

Who will be paying for all his classes and training? As per his contract and knowing that he lacked and would need to get his certification it says that the Board shall permit a reasonable amount of "release" time (as the board decides) to attend meetings, seminars or "courses". These to help him grow professionally. They also agree to provide in the districts budget an amount to be used for registration, travel, meals, lodging and "other" related expenses.

Shame on Southside ISD and shame on TEA for not taking a firm stand.

If Ricardo Vela does not get his certification and district continues to keep him at the helm. The district will lose even more financially. The district will be forced to cover all the cost of his salary, which I found in now being covered partially by federal funds. Those funds will also be pulled out of the district coffers, should the board decide to keep an un-certified Superintendent. Costing the district about $400,00 a year to keep him.

These are not sound decisions being made by the board or TEA at this point.

Do they get away with it?

Will this board be held accountable by TEA?

See results

109 Positions open at Southside ISD

To date, the Southside ISD is not ready to start the new year. A source has revealed that the district has used unqualified substitutes as permanent substitutes due to lack of teachers.

What type of education are these children getting when the district cannot hold on to viable teachers. An unqualified and un-certified Superintendent has lead the district in the wrong direction. The board has shown more concern with finding jobs for friends and family than filling the positions that matter; hiring the educators.

Positions available:

  • 14 Special education positions
  • 24 Teachers positions (English, Science and Spanish Language to name a few) all must be certified.
  • 22 Elementary Positions (Bilingual, Reading Specialist, English and Dyslexia to name a few) all must be certified.
  • 8 Special education Aides
  • 19 Food Service Positions (Nutritional Specialists, Managers, Assistant Manager, Head Cook to name a few)
  • 5- Maintenance positions
  • 5- Police Officer positions
  • 10- Administrative Positions.

What else will it take before T.E.A. says, "Enough is Enough". Each day that goes by, a child gets lost in the system because once they fall isn't very easy to catch up and that's when they give up.

Silver lining?

Due to numerous complaints, the hiring practices at Southside ISD are now under the watchful eye of the TEA. Community members have lost faith that TEA will do anything, December shall be the day that we all find out.

The board is being required to hire someone through Region 20 or an outside source to come in and investigate their hiring practices.

Having seen first hand with ESD6 what they can do to manipulate what they want, it would be in the taxpayers best interest to do a background search on the entity they chose to see where the connections lie. Ricardo Vela, boasted that he got his training in the Valley.

It would be an injustice for TEA to rubber stamp a review without making sure that the entity they hire is not tied in to Ricardo Vela or any of the board members by way of Sylvia Mendelsohn and Chico Rodriguez.

Southside ISD

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