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Southeast Bexar County Community Awareness: Southside ISD- Resignations- Reassignments and a revolving door
Resignations Kept Coming --friends and Supporters Got Jobs
The Southside ISD has had one of the largest turnarounds in history. As the newly elected board took over, staff from the highest level to the lowest left for jobs in other districts. At last count well over 200+ employees were hired to fill vacancies at the district.
The "team" set precedence for hiring friends, family and campaign supporters for positions, whether with the required credentials or not.
- Son got permanent substitute position in the district (does not hold the teaching certification required for the position or the pay scale). A permanent substitute must have a degree and certification in the field, if he/she subs a class for more than 10 days, the district will be in violation.
- Mother-in-law gets a created position in administration and a pay raise.
- Promises kept for Theresa Balderas' support, created a position for her. (Ms. Balderas was the Assistant Principal that was relieved of her duties because she could never pass the required test for certification)
- Hired Balderas' son and husband (the husband had been a former employee of the district and was released due to inappropriate behavior with female students). The son was recently relocated to an other area within the district for the same type of violations.
- Promises kept for Coach Ruiz, one of the few positions kept in the coaching staff shuffle, to include a promotion (research found that Mr. Ruiz had been demoted and reassigned by the previous board)
- Promised Ricardo Vela a position as Superintendent when hired as interim and has fulfilled the promise.
- Created a position for the wife of Ricardo Vela. (Refuse to let anyone know how much they were paying her) but the local media acquired the information. She took a $64,000 paid position, but was awarded a $90,000 salary. Making her position now a position that the tax payers are over paying by $26,000 a year. A large number of people in the district and employees of the district, don't even make the additional $26,000 a year that she got on top of the $64,000.
- Allowed Ricardo Vela to hire his brother to a created position without the experience to warrant his hiring or the over sized salary.
- Allowed Ricardo Vela to hire his son at an undisclosed salary.
- Allowed the district to purchase vehicles for their personal use (against the law).
New Positions Created
Since the election of "the team" to the Southside ISD School Board, they decided to go "self operational" with the food service.
- The board voted to create 2 new positions, Assistant Director of Food Service and Director of Food Service. The aforementioned position, costing the district approximately $56,000 to $60,000 a year. While the Directors position will cost the district considerably higher. The district spent more money on food service than the budget called for.
- The "team", created a new position; Director of Federal Programs & Compliance (mother-in-law of board secretary, Frank Henry Cannon).
- The first year in office for "the team", they spent $21 million dollars of the $23 million they had available, mainly to support the athletic department.
- Other groups and organizations needing funding are told to use their booster clubs, while the Athletic Department has increased it's salary by two fold and the district has spent the majority of it's funding for additional schools, etc on a state of the art score board, new turf and athletic facility.
Reassignments and Resignations on the Rise
The board members of the Southside ISD School Board ran and won by making many promises to their voters and when it came time to pay back those promises, boy did they.
- Ms. Buckley from Gallardo Elementary has been reassigned to the Discipline Alternative Education Program (D.A.E.P.), which is seen as a demotion of sorts.
- Losoya Intermediate Principal and Vice Principal have resigned.
- Special Education Department has had a shake up, for those who will recall, a supporter of this group, Ms. Squires was quoted as saying "Spec Ed Next", after the dismissal of Dr. Juan Jasso at the Southside ISD board meeting.
- Culinary Arts Teacher left the district
- Agriculture Teacher is no longer with the district
- Technology Teacher is no longer with the district
- Girls Softball Coach is no longer with the district
- Football/Baseball Coach is no longer with the district
- Football/Basketball Coach is no longer with the district
- Ms. Zertuche, an "awesome" teacher, I have been told left the district
- Middle School Counselor has left the district
- English Teacher at D.A.E.P. has left the district
- Bilingual Kindergarten teacher has left the district
- District Police Officers have left the district, with others pending.
- 27 English teachers contracts are held back because test score were miserable
- Coaches were denied contract renewals.
- Coach Selianka was released from the district amid complaints brought on by homophobic views of certain board officers.
- Middle School principal leaves Southside ISD after being reassigned
- Administrator was reassigned to Middle School Principal to fill void.
These decisions like all others were made at the whim of the board members who are micromanaging the district and over stepping the law and regulations of a board member.
Friends and Supporters Get Job Promotions
In a tight knit community such as is the case with the Southside ISD community; it is easy to see which community members support which board members.
The "team" at Southside ISD took total control of running day to day operations, which is outside the purview of a board members responsibilities. Mr. Brewer, Mr. Cannon and Mr. Chavez have become permanent fixtures at the district during school hours overseeing projects and questioning staff members. It had been rumored by administrative office staff that Mr. Brewer was homeless and had been staying in Mr. Vela's office in a sleeping bag until a new sofa was ordered for Mr. Vela's office.
Community members that believed their political rhetoric second guessed their choices. Especially after the board settled a lawsuit with a supporter and member of their "team" Ms. Alma Estrada aka: Guzman, when a judge had ruled against her in court, costing the district and taxpayers $120,000 in a settlement and the legal fees they spent to fight the case against Ms. Guzman.
The "team" reassigned staff members at an alarming rate to fill positions that they couldn't fill. Could be the reason that scores were as bad as they were. Fewer than half of the students are ready to succeed in college because they cannot read or spell and struggle with math. While the teachers that are left are making money due to all the pay raises this board has handed out, they have less experience and scores are showing it. According to campaign flyers, they added 200 tutors to the district and still the scores did not reflect it.
A new counselor was hired at the district and happens to be the spouse of former coach Ruiz who happened to be a close personal friend of Chavez and Brewer. Chavez, Brewer, Luna and Cannon were embroiled in phone campaigns to have him hired at the district after he was let go from his former position at another Poteet High School; all the while campaigning to remove the then head coach Harrison at Southside ISD; which turned into a legal battle. He replaced the former coach and then was released himself from Southside ISD.
The "team" reassigned the athletic director to an assistant principal's position and gave the position of Interim Athletic Director to a supporter of theirs, Coach Ruiz (no relation to the aforementioned). Since then, the new and unqualified Superintendent, Ricardo Vela has hired his unqualified brother for the position of District Athletic Director at an undisclosed salary.
Mr. Cannon's mother-in-law, Mary Bandy, was given an $800 pay increase and a newly established position in the administration.
Mr. Isaac Griego, supported during his election against Mr. Knapp, by the "team" and Ms. Mendelsohn, was recently appointed to the ESD6 board and hired at J. L. Matthey Middle School.
How Do You Like it Now?
Do you see the New Superintendent Mark Eads taking the school in the right direction?
More money being spent by the district.....
- Southeast Bexar County Awareness: More money on payroll and created positions at Southside ISD
Not one, but two media personalities coming to Southside ISD, not to report on the district but to work for the district. What is that going to cost the taxpayers?
Superintendent Mark Eads
Schools out for Summer... Time to Put House in Order
Summer of 2016 and the school has a new Superintendent; Mr. Eads comes with a background of getting things in order and raising the education level of the districts he's been involved with.
He will have his work cut out for him, but he has made it clear to his personnel that he is up to the challenge.
At Mr. Eads 1st official board meeting, it came to light that Mr. Brewer and Mr. Chavez were once again trying to re-align the board and take control. When it didn't go their way, Mr. Brewer in open session all but accused Mr. Espinoza of being a turn coat, for voting to table the matter, saying he was suppose to have voted with them.
Showing the Southside ISD community where Mr. Espinoza's loyalties lay. In open session, he will do what is right for the community, if it were held in closed session, it could have had a completely different outcome. This could explain why Mr. Brewer was openly disturbed and disruptive at the fact that the board chose to have this agenda item in open session. So much so that he referred to the newly hired superintendent as a "white boy" during one of his tirades.
While Mr. Brewer had control of the board, there were over 101 positions created that cost the district just over $4 million a year. It will be up to Mr. Ead to re-align and reassign the individuals that are qualified and those that are not due to the lenient qualifications created by Mr. Brewer and his "team" may have to be relieved of their duty.
July Job Openings
Let the countdown begin.
From the first day of school for 2013-2014, the district's loss of 53 employees put this district in a race against the clock. The positions listed below were from the time frame before the dead line for resignations and the district had not met yet. Since then more employees of the district jumping this sinking ship. There were 22 certified positions (again not all openings posted) and 5 classified positions still left filled.
The reputation of this board has employees leaving for a more stable environment of employment. The reputation of this board has made it difficult for the district to hire employees that want to work for a district with micro-managing board.
The same was seen when Mr. Brewer was board president during his prior term on the board.
- Assistant Food Service Director
- Director of Food Service
- Administrative Special Programs-Residential Housing
- Elementary Principal- Gallardo Elementary
- Math Teacher - Tiff
- Dyslexia Teacher
- Culinary Arts Teacher
- Agriculture Teacher
- Technology Teacher
- High School Math Teacher
- Counselor- Pre College- Career Readiness
- Assistant Girls Coach
- Assistant Football/Baseball Coach
- Assistant Football/Basketball Coach
- Special Education Teacher
- Head Softball Coach
- Social Studies/Coach
- Mentor-Teacher-Stipend - Pearce Primary
- Head Start Teacher- Pearce Primary
- Counselor- Middle School
- Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher- Gallardo
- English Teacher- DEAP
- Pre-Kinder Aide- Gallardo Elementary
No Show Member Spends Thousands of Taxpayer Dollars on Vacation
It is public record and knowledge, that while Mr. Brewer has taken his toys and gone home since losing control of the board during the past election. It was not public knowledge until a month or so ago; that Mr. Brewer and his high school companion and sitting board member; Mr. Chavez took vacations costing the district over $3500 a piece. Their request for SUV's and rental cars was unprecedented. Records show that previous board members have not received rental cars because the members have stayed within the hotels sponsoring the training's or near by hotels with shuttle service.
Mr. Brewer could not find the time to attend a meeting at the district where he was elected to represent his community by those that elected him, but he took an expense paid tax payer provided vacation. Something voters will need to remember, since Mr. Brewer will be up for re-election next May.
Three years later
Southside ISD with a mass of new, young and inexperienced teachers in the bunch. Assigned to train them; the one teacher that could never pass her own certification, Ms. Theresa Balderas. Ms. Balderas was let go due to lack of certification, she ran for the school board and was supported by the "team", then rehired by the district with a high paying position once the "team" was in place, along with her employment was that of her husband who was also a former employee of the district, let go for improprieties with female students.
The district still falling short on personnel puts Mr. Brewer in violation of state policy and working outside the purview of what a board member is allowed to do. Meeting with community members to solicit employees for the district. Mr. Brewer and his board were under an investigation brought on by T.E.A. and with all the proof to substantiate their actions, the T.E.A., whose credibility has been found lacking has continued to overlook the activities of the "team".
Southside ISD Main office and 4 campus'.