You can expect more accusations, disruptions and disrespect
from this group of people in the future: it's their reason
for being after the override was defeated. If you think these plans sound
creepy, they do.
The political action
committee formerly known as Gilbert Supports Education
created a "double dutch super secret" group:
Still Supports Education.
Organizer Susan Morris Keuter
didn't like public scrutiny, so she took the group private
to coordinate their plans after the voters rejected the
override she so desperately wanted for Gilbert Public
One of the members of this group was Barb Brownfield Dwyer,
a GPS substitute teacher who also is paid $1,000.00 per
month by the
Gilbert Education Foundation.
Be sure to look at
who is on the board of this foundation -- it's
interesting that the same cast of characters got together in
a different guise.
As for the attacks at the
December 4, 2012 board meeting, Staci Burk explained what had happened that
upset Michele Frasier and Daniele Quinteros (and Jodie Dean,
reiterated by Ms. Quinteros in this video, I ran for the
board on a platform of improved responsiveness to
parents. This remains a high priority to me. All parents
are welcome to contact me anytime through the board
email, facebook message or via telephone.
In the interest of
transparency, there were no promises made by myself or
anyone present at the meeting. The meeting was in
public, (not secret) with one parent on the GJHS
transition committee. It is inaccurate to state that we
met with all GJHS representatives on the transition
There was no strategizing
or promises made. The parent we met with granted
permission to disclose the content of our meeting
related to the GJHS/GCA issue; This parent asked and I
answered several questions regarding the school
facilities board and its role in school closures. In
response to a question about how to find the capacity
numbers for district school sites, I provided
the school facilities board website that could provide
Comments on Gilbert Still
Supports Education veered into territory that can only be
called "hate," and people began sharing information outside
of the inner circle. We have to wonder if it ever occurred to
Susan Morris Keuter that someone might share information
from Gilbert Still Supports Education because they were
disturbed by the comments made by members of the group.
But the kicker was when
members of Gilbert Still Supports Education published their
plans to speak at board meetings during public comments with
information to knowingly mislead the public, media and to
actively interfere with orderly board business.
Many people dislike hate
speech intended to divide and destroy the district,
especially with references to other people as "whack-jobs."
After being derisively tagged as "the rabid fringe," many
people adopted that moniker and used it as a rallying point
for political activity. We do not believe the GPS
administration intended that result.
Perhaps the biggest problem
is that top-level leaders in Gilbert Public Schools allowed
these two groups, Gilbert Supports Education and Gilbert
Still Supports Education to become the public spokespersons for
the district. Superintendent Dave Allison expressed his
sincere appreciation for these efforts in an email to GPS
employees. Gilbert Public Schools superintendents and
administrators, along with the Gilbert Education
Association, contributed the bulk of the political donations
supporting the override.
Lines of communication and
information have become so blurred, the community doesn't
know what to believe about the Gilbert School District. It
has become painfully obvious in the divisions created by the GJHS / GCA controversy.
Susan Morris Keuter announced
that she was disbanding Gilbert Still Supports Education in
December 2012. We have it on good authority that she later
bragged it was just a ruse.
As for the strategizing
advocated by Gilbert Still Supports Education, there is plenty of
that among the GSSE vets who are now aggressive Gilbert Classical Academy supporters.
A letter, or talking points primer, was passed out at a
December holiday concert by GCA supporters.
You can read the entire document here.
The reaction from Gilbert
Junior High School families included:
Karen Udall: The
"Recommendations" on pages 4-6 are the same ones [our team]
passed out to the GJHS parents on Thursday and Monday. These
are the recommendations associated with Transition Option
#3. It has NOT been voted on yet, that is what tonight's
[Dec. 19] Transition Committee meeting is for. The
"Additional Considerations" section is pure GCA, and their
opinion on which recommendation to vote for. GJHS committee
members have not collaborated on that, nor endorsed those
reasons as the primary drivers if they were to vote for
Option #3. The first page is pure GCA as well, no input on
that from GJHS committee members.
Love how they have renamed
GJHS "the Burk street campus". And how they continue to
assert that this makes fiscal sense. And how a whole host of
things should be evaluated or studied AFTER the decision is
made. I really don't know what else to say, except the level
of arrogance from these folks continues to astound me.
This is just appalling that
they can actually distribute this document with a straight
Why is it that every time
I read what GCA is doing/ saying, my blood boils? Why do
they feel they must promote such one sided views /
materials. I see this and can't help but feel they view
us (GJHS) as second class citizens and our students are
something you sweep out with the trash? To be honest, I
hear lots of talk amongst my students who already
perceive that they are being tossed aside for the
"smart" kids. They hear these things that are being said
in the community and come back asking why the district
doesn't care about them. I don't feel "decisions" that
have not been passed, or letters to rally the GCA troops
should be allowed to stir things more. There is a
committee in place, let them do their jobs as they have
been asked to do, and stop unnecessary talk. It finds
its way to the students after it has been bastardized
and it is hurtful.
In the end, there was a vote
by the transition committee on December 17, 2012, and the
matter will go to the new board for consideration on January
8, 2013. The vote was 10-4 for closing Gilbert Junior High
School at the end of this year. A transition committee
member said that was the only option the GCA representatives
Be sure to read the document
that GCA supporters prepared, if only to see the financial
data they made up about the two constrained options
available to the committee:
TOTAL EXPENSE TO DISTRICT: $ 80,000
TOTAL UNREALIZED SAVINGS: $342,000
TOTAL REALIZED SAVINGS: $0
NET COST/SAVINGS: $422,000
TOTAL EXPENSE TO DISTRICT: $ 14,880
TOTAL UNREALIZED SAVINGS: $0
TOTAL REALIZED SAVINGS: $422,000
NET COST/SAVINGS: $407,120
Do you believe those figures?
They did not originate with the administration; they seem to
have been conjured from thin air. But those numbers really
don't mean anything -- the decision to close Gilbert Junior
High School was made with even less data. What a way to run