Why I am running: to fix a sinking ship
Our District is in crisis. For seven straight years we have faced declining enrollment of more than 11% while the population of the City of Scottsdale has grown more than 13%. For seven straight years we have over-spent our peer group on average by paying more than $10,000,000 to administrators to wreck our District. Meanwhile, Scottsdale Unified School District teachers are not even in the top-ten of best paid teachers in Arizona.
The current Governing Board brought in the administration of Dr. Denise Birdwell, Louis Hartwell, Laura Smith, Steve Nance, Amy Fuller, and Debra Ybarra. Their plan of action, when not stealing the District's money, was to decertify the SEA, end the collective bargaining agreement at the District, and terrorize students, teachers, and principals who did not toe their line.
Dr. Birdwell and Mr. Hartwell have now been fired for commercial bribery, lying to the Board, failure to supervise, accessing the email accounts of Board members to help in compiling an SUSD enemies list, failing to disclose their personal relationship, résumé fraud, and various other issues. But even after that long list, the Board still chose to pay each of them off for a total of $180,000. Laura Smith, the former CFO, resigned when it was determined that she was funneling money to a company she owned. Amy Fuller, the former acting Superintendent and current District employee, is embroiled in a serious personal legal matter that will necessarily prove distracting to her job. Steven Nance, Louis Hartwell, and Brian Robichaux took part in the bid rigging of construction projects. This has culminated with the the Attorney General of State of Arizona filing a lawsuit against our District in February 2018. Even more individuals brought in to the District by Dr. Birdwell received and accepted additional funds to which they were not entitled.
Our District needs to change, and it needs to change for the better. The courses of action I would like to take as a member of this Board are divided over three parts: (1) my first 100 days, (2) my ongoing plans, and (3) my long term goals. Each provides a comprehensive set of steps our Board can, and should, take to turn our District around and set it up for long-term success.