Gilbert Public Schools: Jeff Filloon is New Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Jeff Filloon, Director / Certified, has been named to replace departing Nikki Blanchard. Teachers and support staff who were hoping for relief from Nikki Blanchard's management style will be disappointed.

We know that Jeff Filloon follows a similar management style of manipulating facts to serve his purposes, as he showed at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. Public records in Denise Lowell-Britt's investigation file revealed that Jeff Filloon called the parent of a student in Sarah's classroom, interrupting the family during a vacation in Disneyland after the school year ended.

Jeff Filloon was "investigating" a comment that Sarah made in an email to Vicki Hester following a tragic accident involving students at Meridian Elementary School. His goal was to prove that Sarah had made a false statement to her principal. The manufactured controversy was over Sarah's objection to Vicki Hester asking a parent if their child "had a good relationship" with Sarah as the child's teacher. Vicki Hester claimed she never did that.

Jeff Filloon's quest was to prove Sarah lied without alarming the parent about the purpose of his investigation. Just as Denise Lowell-Britt "put words in the mouth" of witnesses during interviews, Jeff Filloon manipulated a witness's testimony. Just as Denise Lowell-Britt wrote text for Sarah's evaluation, Jeff Filloon "created documentation" to suit his purposes. The immediate problem for the district was that two investigations had not shown grievous misconduct on Sarah's part, so Jeff Filloon, working with Vicki Hester and Denise Lowell-Britt, set out to tighten the noose around Sarah's neck. (In the excerpts below, punctuation shows mistakes from the original documents.)

After talking to the parent on the telephone, Jeff Filloon sent that parent an email:

I want to thank you for taking the time out of your family vacation to speak with me. I have attached a summary of our conversation. Please let me know if this is an accurate reflection of our conversation. If there is anything that needs to be changed, please let me know. If it looks accurate, please say, "I approve of this summary statement". I look forward to your email response.

Jeff Filloon also wrote a memo on May 27, 2011:

Jeff Filloon, Human Resources Director for Gilbert Public Schools, had a telephone conversation with ***, Meridian Elementary School parent...Mr. Filloon asked *** if she had recently spoken with Vicki Hester, principal of Meridian Elementary School.  *** said, "yes"...

Mr. Filloon asked *** when that conversation took place and *** said, "I spoke with Mrs. Hester on the phone on Monday, May 23 between 9:00-9:30 p.m."...

Mr. Filloon asked *** if there was any dialogue about [child's] rapport or relationship with Ms. Sarah Green. *** said, "no", why?" Mr. Filloon said that a concern had been raised by Ms. Green.  *** told Mr. Filloon that not once during her conversation with Mrs. Hester did Mrs. Hester ask about [child's] relationship with Ms. Green.

*** told Mr. Filloon that Mrs. Hester went above and beyond to reassure that [children] were taken care of. *** said that *** didn't know what they would have done without the great help of Mrs. Hester.

Since Mr. Filloon called *** while they were on vacation, he asked if he could email the conversation summary to her for approval. *** agreed and would reply back with verification.

Jeff Filloon didn't have to pretend to be independent or even fair in his investigation. He emailed Vicki Hester and Denise Lowell-Britt later that same day:

Denise and Vicki,
I was able to talk to *** at noon today. *** was at Disneyland. I emailed *** the summary of our conversation for her verification and she was hopeful that her hotel has internet. I will forward you the verified summary when I receive it. *** did say there was no conversation about the relationship between the teacher and student ever brought up during the conversation. Very supportive all of Vicki's help during this ordeal.

I will get that to you when I receive it. I will be out all of next week. Have a nice Memorial Day Weekend!

Jeff Filloon emailed Denise Lowell-Britt (who was at the time acting as an "independent investigator") on June 6, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.:

Attached is the documentation you requested in regard to ***, parent at Meridian Elementary. I spoke with *** over the phone while *** was out of town on vacation. I documented the conversation based on what *** told me during the phone interview. The attachment points out the dialogue of our conversation.

Jeff Filloon then crafted a summary of the conversation and emailed it for the parent to endorse, including this statement:

*** told Mr. Filloon that not once during *** conversation with Mrs. Hester did Mrs. Hester ask about ***'s relationship with Ms. Green.

The parent, by email on May 28, 2011, wrote that Jeff Filloon's account sounded accurate and complete, then added:

... Admittedly, I am still confused and somewhat concerned where your concern arose because I feel as I stated to you before, that the school and all involved were more than helpful in their efforts to make last week as comfortable for our children as possible. I do recall and don't know if this came out in the conversation, but the only time Mrs. Hester asked about the relationship between our [children] and their respective teachers was when she asked if they had a "good relationship" with their teachers...

Jeff Filloon wrote to Denise Lowell-Britt on June 6, 2011:

Here is the email from *** which confirms my interview write up. I forwarded her my documentation and she read it and emailed me to confirm that it was accurate. Please let me know if you have further questions. Thank you.

Once again, the district arrayed its big guns against a small teacher. Although the parent explicitly contradicted Jeff Filloon's write up, this incident became Charge # 9 in the Statement of Charges against Sarah.

9. May 23, 2011: Ms. Green sent an email to Principal Hester in which she accused Principal Hester of asking a parent of Student B if Student B had a good relationship with Ms. Green.

Ms. Green further accused Ms. Hester of putting Ms. Green in the position of having to defend herself and stated, "It's clear that you are trying to destroy my professional reputation".

In fact, Principal Hester had not made the alleged inquiry to the parent, which the parent confirmed verbally and in writing.

This incident illustrates Jeff Filloon's integrity and his belief in "creating documentation" to further his objectives. His service as Director/Certified under Nikki Blanchard's tutelage prepared him well to continue the hidden agenda of the administration of Gilbert Public Schools.

An employee can NEVER feel secure in this toxic environment in Gilbert Public Schools. Teachers and support staff, be careful! Take away these clues to entrapment of an employee in the district's labyrinth known as Progressive Documentation:

  • There may be meetings you know nothing about (until you don't attend that meeting, then it can become a charge against you)

  • Or you don't know about a meeting because your access to the district's email system has been blocked (when you don't attend that meeting, then it can become a charge against you)

  • A parent or an administrator speaks of a "concern" about you or your actions

  • An administrator or superintendent creates documentation for parent signature or produces an email from a parent several days after a "concern" is supposed to have occurred

Code word: "concern."  If you hear that word, it means your career probably was imperiled before you knew anything about it. Gilbert Public Schools policies have been carefully crafted so you don't know and can't defend when you learn that you are being fired.

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