Southside Isd Interim Superintendent--No Qualifications --$82,000 Pay Raise
Not qualified to be Superintendent
While most struggle to see that Ricardo R. Vela could serve as the Southside ISD Interim Superintendent without a background in education; the "team" saw fit to place him in this position. Mr. Vela made it clear to staff members that his position would become permanent. Even telling his former employer such in his letter of resignation.
SUPERINTENDENT QUALIFICATIONS PER TEXAS LAW:
- Must hold , at a minimum, a Masters Degree from Institution of Higher Learning
- Must hold, at a minimum, a Principal certificate
- Must have attended a Superintendent Educator preparation program and hold a Superintendent's Certificate
- Must have passed an exam based on the Standards Required for the Superintendent.
Requirements not met by the current Interim Superintendent. As seen above, Mr. Vela simply holds an education Aide certificate at most.
Mr. Ricardo Vela vs. Lisa Salazar
Team finds a player
The board makes it official, they don't want a Superintendent. They're looking for someone they can control and they find someone that has no more certification than one of the school board members.
The board voted on July 23,2013; less than one month after signing a contract with Ricardo R. Vela; they went back in to extend the contract of the Interim-Superintendent until the end of school year 2014. Making him a highly paid Interim-Superintendent without the qualifications to be a Superintendent. Since Mr. Vela could not be hired full time and would require putting someone at the helm that might question the "teams" agenda, they decided to keep him on as Interim, giving them the time they needed to search for a way to give him the position permanently.
Hiring him at a later date as Superintendent without qualifications has put the media and T.E.A. on alert. Mr. Vela's unconventional design to get his certifications are a joke to the community and put the schools law firm that represents the activities of this board in a bad light.
The day to day handling of the district by Mr. Vela have shown the community that he holds no qualifications to run the district. The district is in shambles and he is allowing the "team" to micromanage the district and spend frivolously with his authority and blessings.
The "teams" actions showed the community of Southside ISD that they do not have the best interest of the children and the community?
Give a little....get a little
During Mr. Vela's previous tenure at Southside ISD in the capacity of head of Finance, he saw nothing wrong with getting a little something if he gave something. As Interim Superintendent, he has shown that nothing has changed.
Vendors made donations to the district and Mr. Vela, the unqualified Superintendent and two board members (Brewer and Chavez) have reaped the rewards of a free trip to New York by a firm doing work with the district; leaving many to wonder if this is legal or at best find it to be ethically wrong.
Do you see Ricardo Vela remaining with the district?
The Board That Cried Wolf
The board that cried "wolf". Southside ISD board members, Brewer, Luna and Chavez ran on the premise to get rid of the Superintendent, Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso because he was getting paid too much. So how did they justify to the voters of the district why they chose to hire a less qualified candidate at a higher pay rate? They didn't have to because they were elected and don't find that they need to justify any of their actions.
Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso has a doctorate in education and has been a proven leader as well at the districts he's worked for and at Southside ISD.
Looking at the Interim Superintendents contract and comparing it to that of Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso, it is easy to see why. Dr. Jasso's contract (6 pages); which covers his responsibility, duties, compensation,liability, stipends, etc. all to the total of $176,277.28 per year, including the 4% pay raise that he was to get for the following school year would have been the better choice for the district all around.
Had the board voted to keep Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso on at his regular salary; with stipends and not give him the 4% pay raise the next year would have been $170,112.00; he still would have been cheaper to keep and better qualified than the candidate the "team" chose to hire.
In the contract, Dr. Juan Jasso is held accountable to the board as a whole.
While Dr. Juan Jasso was waiting for his "walking papers", he continued to be paid by the district.
The "team' spent approximately $6000 dollars a week for two people to run the school. One who couldn't come near it; Dr. Juan Jasso and one who isn't qualified to run it- Ricardo R. Vela.
RICARDO R. VELA- Interim Superintendent
The board met on June 6, 2013 to discuss the position of Interim Superintendent.
"Discussion and Consultation with School District Attorney Regarding Employment of Interim Superintendent": was the action item.
The action taken: "Motion to make an offer to Mr. Ricardo Vela to be the interim superintendent and authorize the board vice president to finalize an agreement with Mr. Vela" (as discussed in closed session).
Within 5 days, Mr. Vela who was still employed at the time with Dripping Springs ISD was moving into his new office at Southside ISD. Mr. Vela's employment with Dripping Springs ISD did not officially end until June 20, 2013, but he signed a contract with Southside ISD on the 12th of June.
Mr. Ricardo Vela's original contract put him at the mercy of the Board President and not the board as a whole. That would fall in line with micro-managing the Superintendent as well as putting the Superintendent at the mercy of one sole individual; a puppet if you will.
His contract showed that he would be paid $778 per day, making that to be a total of $3890 dollars per week. In a 26 week period, which is from his contract days June 12 to Dec 12 of 2013, he would be paid $101,140.00.
If held over, than he would double that salary to approximately $202,280.00 for the year. The question that community members have about Mr. Vela; "What does Mr. Vela have to offer the district?" Mr. Vela himself stated that while he had 19 years of business and finance experience and a couple of Educational aide certificates he is not a well rounded individual for the position nor the pay; the comment he made that he was"going to try to drive the bus" does not instill much confidence. And Educational Aide certificate is also held by former Board President Lisa L. Salazar, who also has a background in business and finance, however, Ms. Salazar was quoted as saying, "this doesn't give me the qualifications to be a Superintendent and run a school district, but it's a good background for a board member".
The "team" at Southside ISD have hired someone with less qualifications for more money and only they know why. Mr. Vela who was making $120,000 a year at Dripping Springs was offered $82,280 more a year to come to Southside. That alone is not good business sense, nor looking out for the taxpayers money.
The only thing the community knows, is that a very vocal advocate of theirs had meetings with members of the community to discuss the possibility of finding "dirt" on Dr. Juan Jasso that they could use to get rid of him. This advocate was appointed to serve Mr. Brewer and the "team" as their chairperson for the food service committee.
A text message was received by members of the community on election day, telling them to go vote so they could get rid of the superintendent as well.
All this malicious behavior to be elected to a board position that does not come with a salary, but for some it is the power that corrupts.
ESD#6 Training at work...
Mr. Brewer learned well from his mentor, Ms. Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn, President of the Emergency Service District#6; who ran the district the same way. She controled it all by having the board appoint her in charge of decisions, committees, etc.
Mr. Brewer, like Ms. Mendelsohn, had sole power over Mr. Vela. which in itself might actually be a violation of the open meetings act.
Ms. Mendelsohn told the media several times since her "team" was elected to serve on the Southside ISD school board that there was no transparency on the previous board and with Dr. Jasso.
Yet, almost every motion that this "team" has made is under the guise of "as discussed in closed session", thereby keeping facts and important information out of the hands of the community that voted for them. With the lack of transparency from the board, it is not known when all power was given to the board president, since it was not a part of any agenda or vote.
More on Superintendent and Board Member Activities
- South Bexar County Community Awareness: Southside IS...
School board members and Superintendent take a New York Vacation, Using their positions on the board for personal gain.
Almost a year later at the district and 4 months after solidfying his position, Vela applies for T.E.A. waiver
Ricardo Vela was long deceiving the members of the community at Southside ISD and the media. He had mentioned several times that he had already applied for a waiver, was working on his certification, had attended a school to get his certification; all were found to be false.
Vela filed a waiver with T.E.A. and was turned down on the 29th of July because he wanted to go over what is usually a 2 year period to get certifications, sometimes 3 years. At which time, according to Vela and the schools attorney's, he did. The waiver will come with contingencies in place to make sure he is making a valid effort to get his certification. They also lead the community to believe that it was a done deal.
Vela went on, in so many words, to accuse the T.E.A. representative of being untrue about the contingencies because that was never mentioned to him. With Vela's history of lies, it would be safe to believe that the T.E.A. representative did explain this to Vela. What he didn't say was that while he did resubmit for a waiver, it had not been granted as of yet.
After misrepresenting himself to the community, Vela went on to pat himself on the back by saying that he was doing a "fantastic" job. These words came from Ricardo Vela, at a district whose community members are circulating petitions on social media to remove him from his position.