Archive for the 'Schools' Category

Nancy Walsh Undermines School Administration and Holds Mock Graduation Ceremony

Nancy Walsh Mock Graduation Ceremony

First let me say that the reason I’m posting this entry on this site and not the Take Back Perry Schools website is that my opinion may not reflect the opinion of TBPS as a whole. I’m sharing this as an individual that’s concerned about having someone like Nancy Walsh responsible for our school system.

The story goes that recently at Perry Meridian High School there were a group of guys that were caught by police on top of the school building vandalizing property and just some general pre-graduation pranking going on. I’m not interested in getting these students in more trouble than they’ve already been in, which was defined by the school administration as being expelled for 5 days which included their graduation commencement ceremony this past Friday I believe. I’m not sure whether or not any police charges were brought against the individuals, but for me that part’s not important.

I found these photos as I was browsing around Facebook and MySpace pages after initially hearing about the event taking place. My account of the story comes from bits and pieces I’ve heard from a variety of sources as to what occurred.

What is important is that these students had more than likely been warned, along with the entire student body about pulling pranks like this before graduation and were probably told that there would be consequences for these types of actions if they were pulled. They decided to do it, they got caught and the suffered the consequences. I’m not sure if the students were really upset about everything, but I’m sure their parents were pretty ticked off at them. Included in those parents that were upset, was none other than MSDPT School Board Vice-President, Nancy Walsh.

As some point after the event, Nancy Walsh called the school and said that she would be coming in for something acting on behalf of the school board. When she arrived the principal was not available and she proceeded to tell whomever she was speaking to that she wanted the diplomas of the students that were expelled and that they deserved to have a ceremony because of all their hard work the previous 4 years. She reminded them that she was acting on behalf of the school board and proceeded to stage a mock graduation commencement in the school guidance office.

From what I’ve heard, someone hummed the melody to Pomp & Circumstance while someone else read their names alphabetically and they walked to Nancy Walsh and received their diplomas.

Regardless of whether or not you think these boys deserved to walk in their graduation, or whether or not Walsh’s mock ceremony was a disgrace to all the other students who also worked hard and took their education a little bit more seriously than others, there’s a more important issue at hand.

Nancy Walsh arrived on school property, announced that she was acting on behalf of the board and decided to undermine every bit of authority and leadership that the school administration had in handing down their decision against these four students. I’ve emailed every board member and acting superintendent Dennis Nichols asking if indeed, they were aware of Nancy’s actions prior to her arriving at the school. When I hear back from them I will confirm whether or not they were informed of that decision.

UPDATE: I’ve heard back from Steve Maples, Gayle Houchin and Jo Ellen Buffie that they were in no way informed of these actions prior to them taking place. Now the question is whether or not the “board majority” knew about it, if they did then here again they’re making decisions for the district without including all board members.

The crux of the problem is that Nancy Walsh, or any other board member for that matter, have absolutely no power or authority as individuals outside of a school board meeting. There are some occasions where the board would ask a board member to do something, but it’s my understanding if that was the case a motion would have been passed at a meeting and all board members would have voted. Upon the result of that vote, the board member either would have or would not have acted on “behalf” of the board.

Yet, it’s her opinion and will that she can walk into any school in our township and make students, administrators or staff do whatever she wants. If that’s not an example of micro-management, I don’t know what it would be. Then there is of course the issue of undermining the authority of the entire staff at a school. If she doesn’t agree with it, she overrides whatever she wants and forces her will upon others. Could it be these types of actions, while on the board and previous, are exactly the ones she was reprimanded for by Dr. Williams? And could it be that her response to his authority over that misguided behavior is exactly the thing that pushed her over the edge against Dr. Williams?

If anyone has additional details or thoughts they’d like to share, please leave me a comment.

Request to Students: What Has Dr. Williams Done for You?

With all the news that’s come out recently with the school board and Dr. Williams, along with the hundreds of comments on the IndyStar Topix blogs, there’s been one question I’ve continued to key in on. Lots of people have said that Dr. Williams never put the kids first or asked the question of what he’s actually done for kids. Here’s my request.

If you’re a student, past or present, I’d love to hear examples of what Dr. Williams has done for you. These can be either personal experiences you’ve had with him, or maybe even programs that he was influential in putting in place that you were able to benefit from during your school years.

As I’ve done before, I’m only interested in positive statements from students. I’ll just delete anything else on this one. Go find another post or another website if you want to post negative comments here. I’d be particularly interested in hearing input from any student that was involved in the “Ragtime” play.

Edison’s Not the Only For Profit in the Township

I’ve got to bring a recent comment to the forefront so I can respond to it. I was going to just write up my own post in general, but this comment does a good job of vocalizing a seeming consensus of concerns about Edison. I’ll break-up my response below after each paragraph.

One of my issues with Edison is that it is a ‘for profit’ system. Someone, somewhere, is making money from this relationship. A profit motive is driving the the Edison value system. Edison needs growth to survive and that is why they sell local school systems on their ’superior’ education products. Williams was sold on the idea and Perry Township become another revenue stream for Edison. I don’t think the share holders of Edison (Nasdaq: EDSN) would be happy if Terry Stecz would say “we are a not-for-profit corporation”.

Do you think Edison is the only company making a profit off our children? Last time I checked, textbooks were the equivalent to highway robbery. What about all those big yellow buses? I believe Thomas or Blue Bird are making a pretty penny on every single one that’s cruising around the township multiple times a day. What about the food suppliers that feed our kids? What about the teachers themselves, what are they thinking actually trying to make money off of teaching our kids? With this line of reasoning, our football fields should be turned into gardens so we can grow our own food for lunch programs and revamp our shop programs to start building our own fleet of buses. Also, you should do more research on Edison, they are no longer a public company and no longer listed on NASDAQ.

I applaud the free enterprise system as competition excites innovation in product and service. However, free enterprise belongs in the private sector. Turning the management of public schools supported by public tax dollars to a private enterprise violates this principle.

Exactly what principle is violated? You didn’t mention one, so I’m guessing that you’re stating innovation only belongs in the private sector. I’ll totally disagree with that one, one of the reasons our entire national educational system is where it is today is because there as been a significant lack of innovation in our educational methods as a standard. Organizations like Edison, New Tech High and other charter school organizations are bringing much needed changes to education in America.

Since Edison is a private company and they manage Rosa Parks and Jeremiah Gray, those schools should be considered private schools and should be financially supported 100% by the parents with kids enrolled at those schools, not with the tax dollars collected from the parents who have kids in non Edison schools. How many parents would send their kids to an Edison school if they had to pay private school tuition in addition to their property taxes?

I would love to have the opportunity to not pay the portion of my taxes to the government that pays for public education. If I were allowed to make that choice and then invest that money in my kids education in the school I chose, I’d do it in a heart beat. I have a problem with my tax dollars being wasted on kids who have no interest in getting an education, but who are kept in standard classrooms to raise the graduation rates or for requirements of No Child Left Behind.

Shopping Time for Perry Township

This letter was received from a Perry parent and citizen and published with his full permission.

Open up your wallets, Perry Township. School board president Susan Adams wants to go shopping again.

This time, as she browses for something sustainable against suspended superintendent Dr. H. Douglas Williams, she needs $250 an hour for a “prosecuting” attorney from Lafayette, and that guy wants an additional $175\hr for his assistant. They were recommended by the attorney hired to investigate Dr. Williams months ago who has charged the township $8,500 so far and produced nothing.

The measure passed 4-3 Feb. 26 with the usual people voting the usual way.

These expenditures are on top of the tens of thousands of dollars paid to Williams to stay home, not to mention the healthy bump in pay for Dennis Nichols to be the interim superintendent.

The real question is this: what will happen if nothing sustainable is found against Williams? Has Adams thought that far ahead?

Pull your children back, Perry Parent, Adams and board vice president Nancy Walsh are passing by. They’re in charge, baby, and everything comes through them, even detailed construction decisions.

At the Feb. 26 meeting, Walsh had trouble formulating intelligible questions about badly needed classroom expansion, but that’s not important. She has the power, and Adams will help translate Walsh if necessary, and between the two of them, they will badger and insult experienced administrators without even the hint of self-awareness.

Good leaders are wise people. Wise people know when to be quiet. They listen. They know how to take advice from those with more experience. They show respect.

Adams openly challenged Associate Superintendent Bill Brown’s expertise on the construction matter. Brown, the poor man, is retiring. Board member Steve Maple thanked Brown for his “exemplary” service and noted that his departure was partly due to “despicable maligning” by some board members.

The Adams\Walsh regime has now eliminated two solid administrators. If you’re keeping track at home, the score now stands at Adams\Walsh 2, Perry Township 0.

It is painful to watch Adams and Walsh. A person cannot appreciate the level of their incompetence unless he or she sees it for themselves. All Perry Township taxpayers should attend at least one meeting. It is easy to overlook school board activities. Frankly, they seem rather unimportant, that things will work out well enough, but board members have great capacity for good or harm, and they have absolute power over the spending of tax dollars related to school activities. One visit to a school board meeting should suffice.

Brown’s position must now be advertised and filled. What kind of candidate will step forward to work for the likes of Adams and Walsh? I wouldn’t.

They wander the aisles of power and ego to satisfy whatever drives them. It’s certainly not the welfare of Perry students. I’m sure they delude themselves otherwise, but I think they care about power, and they care about keeping out Williams. All else gets subordinated to those two motivations. The voice of teachers and parents, the editorial boards of local newspapers, mean nothing. Adams and Walsh are as deaf as stone.

Whether it’s Adams talking about the new, great “prosecuting” attorney (not even sure we could secure such a star) or Walsh bubbling along in her final comments after embarrassing herself again during the meeting, we are presented over and over with the fact that Perry Township schools are in the grip of two people who are frighteningly blind to their own faults and to the reality around them.

Jim Bowie

Business Friends, Gifts and Information

Teresa Smith recently posted this comment that was very resourceful and helpful as we continue to look at the situation in Perry Township and determine the best process and path to come out of it as well as possible. I wanted to bring it to the forefront considering it’s length and breadth of the information provided.

Friendships in business! Everybody has friendships in business unless you are just socially inappropriate. If you can’t get along with others, then you get marked down on your performance review. However, if you get along well with others, then you have friendships thrown back in your face if somebody doesn’t like the person that people perceive as your friend.

Another business observation! When you do a lot of business with a service provider, they send you gifts. It is their way of saying thank you. It is not to bribe. They will invite you to golf outings. Now, you are immediately labeled as “golf buddies.” I have attended golf outings and didn’t even like the way a person on my foursome behaved. However, every time that we were in a meeting that person greeted me as their golf buddy. It isn’t always as it appears.

It is amazing how you can take any statement and/or an act of kindness and twist it to make a person look bad.

I have personally requested information from both Terry Rice and Bill Brown. They didn’t ask my loyalties (which at the time I didn’t have any.) I told them I was trying to find facts. They gave me information that I requested which was public information. They had it ready in a matter of hours. They were both extremely professional and extremely concerned about Perry Township.

Now many people will say, well their just concerned about their jobs — look in the mirror — wouln’t you be concerned about your job if this was going on in your corporation.

Mr. Nance’s position is very rational. You can’t say one thing one meeting — look at how it came across before the next meeting — and then turn around and back track the next meeting. The 4 women are extremely unprofessional. They look like little girls trying to play house. They don’t know what they are doing and overexaggerate which further emphasizes their inexperience.

They pull out insignificant facts and throw them out. For example, Mrs. Walsh’s fact finding that Doug Williams played golf with a well respected firm in the building community. So, let’s go through the process again. The end result is it will delay the project and inconvenience the teachers and the students. Then, my prediction is at the end of the exercise, they will pick some immaterial item and switch firms and exaggerate their finding. In the process, they will give bad PR to the firm. All of this to support what they are doing.

Why didn’t Dr. Williams write a letter directly to the board? — Answer — his attorneys advised him not to. The letter that was read was written by his attorneys. If you are not familiar with the process, the attorney sends the letter to the client for review and approval of submission. It is a letter from Dr. Williams — it just has to be sent through his representave — his attorney.

In my opinion, the four women have just been advised from their attorney that they have no grounds to proceed with termination. The attorney has advised them that he can’t help. Now, they are going for a second opinion.

I would like for the women to have John Bailey speak for himself at the next school board meeting. I have personally observed Susan Adams taking information from a committee meeting and reporting it inaccurately. She was challenged on her report from Mr. Maples and Mr. Nichols agreed with Mr. Maples. So, what did John Bailey really advise? Let’s get his professional legal opinion straight from him.

Susan Adams stated that Dr. Williams had lost her trust. They have lost our trust, but unfortunately, we can’t put them on leave.

I find it amazing that all four of the women’s comments were praising teachers. Isn’t it ironic thay they are all on the “same page” and their closing comments were the same topic!

I urge all teachers, administrators, and orange people (of which I am one) to do the following: do not let them suck you in emotionally when they are acting so ridiculous. That is their game. They have had a life time of practice at being “drama queens.” I have done a lot of fact finding and questioning about the women. Many of their personal sources said that they have a history of this type of behavior. The majority of people that I have met in this process are not like nor act like they do. So, we react because we can’t believe the things that they say and do.

They look bad when they do it. However, if we get sucked in, we look bad, too. We are better than that. Warn new comers that it is easy to get sucked in by the ridiculous behavior.

I thought the speakers did an excellent job at the close of the meeting. They represented us well!!! Thank you for getting up and supporting the cause.

Ruby Alexander is wrong. This isn’t about Dr. Williams. It started out about Dr. Williams, but it has escalated into something far greater. We know that there are many people who can fill the role of superintendent. It is our right to think that we have the best superintendent for our school system — we are entitled to our opinion. It isn’t about one person. It is about stopping destructive behavior. We are Perry Township citizens. We have 4 women who have taken matters into their own hands. They are holidng our township schools hostage. They are preventing our business of education from functioning in what is already tough educational times. They threw out and continue to throw out peoples’ rights. They abuse their power and demean employees of the township. They continually report incorrect facts. They say one thing one meeting and then turn 180 degrees and say another thing the next meeting. They are so cowardly that they use technicalities to not listen to their citizens. So, orange people we have become — not by choice — not by want — but by desparation to TAKE BACK PERRY SCHOOLS.

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