Concerns From Another in Response to the Chef’s “It Happened Again”

I received a comment from an Anonymous writer asking me to post it.  I post all comments, as long as they follow the Chef’s posting rules.  (POST HAS BEEN EDITED bold ____________________________________________________________________________

There is a growing group of Citizens that feel that there are some bad decisions being made and some that have been made at our District.  One of those BAD decisions was to hire Dr. Cullen.  I want to keep this as short as possible but please read all of it if you have time and please please please come to the school board meeting, bring your friends and neighbors.  This meeting will be very important to our district; because of the financial effects.  This month’s School Board agenda that is being presented on Thursday is full of actions items that will lead this district to a deficit of some $400,000 (plus).   After everyone that reviews or comment on school budgets state that Districts must maintain a healthy reserve, because the amount of funding is predicted to be less.   District 22, just continues to spend.  Here are just a few issues that will be addressed this week.

1) Hiring a new Curriculum Director, WHY.  District 22 has less than 1000 students, making up three small schools and we need two Curriculum Directors.  Again WHY.  The interviews are still going on for this position yet Dr. Cullen seems to have already made the recommendation for this position, Dave Finley.  Now Dave Finley and Dr. Cullen go way back, they worked together at Hugo for quite a few years and attended the same college.  Mr Finley, also worked at a school in Littleton, a number of citizens have made calls, in the past few days.  It seems as though Mr Finley left early, as the school put it “they decided to part ways”.  It appears that Dr. Cullen maybe offering him, $80,000 a year.  Are we really serious about educating our Ellicott’s Kids?  We could hire two teachers for that, which we desperately need.  Again I have looked through the Board minutes and cannot find any discussion and approval.

2)  Just how long has the Elementary Principle and Vice Principle been in their positions?  Yet; it appears that both received raises in June of this past year, 2012 ($14,000 and $4,000,  respectively).  And now it appears that Dr. Cullen is asking for another raise for each.  Rumored to be $5,000 each.  Again I cannot find any approval by the Board for the first raise.    These raises are for two people that have been here less than a year yet we have teachers that have been on a hiring freeze for several years.  In my efforts to confirm these raises all I hear from those that are in positions to know is, ” he is never here”.  Has the District or School Board determined that we are so much better than a few months ago?  You award individuals that are improving things or we!

3) Renewing Dr. Cullen for another year, we should ask the School Board to say NO. I think Dr. Cullen should resign.

I have pointed out the top three agenda items that will have a negative cost impact on the district but seriously all of them will cost our district; it is just a matter of how much.  The best thing that you can do for this district is to come out tomorrow night.  Not to talk but show your support in numbers.  Remember there is strength in numbers.  Together we can stop the Bullying!

From a VERY Concerned Taxpayer and Parent


As the Chef, I cannot confirm the above post.  But I too are concerned with the uncontrolled spending of our Superintendent and School Board.  There is no concern for the future.  As I have discussed with other elected officials, there needs to be a change to the liability law so Officials could be sued by those they represent.  There are five members to our District’s Board we must hold them accountable, today and tomorrow.  I feel that all the Board Members failed the community when they didn’t visit past employers,  discuss with past schools and employees/co-workers.  No one visited or called Hugo’s District.  I have never hire a person in a critical position without one-on-one contact with employers and co-workers, that what leaders do.  Maybe it is time for another to announce.   Please read also yesterdays post.


Integrity in Leadership

P.S.  The Ear voiced some concerns that I posted a comment from an anonymous commentor.  Mr Ear the poster is anonymous to you not to me.  In fact we spent a couple of hours discussing the posting even before it was written.  Mr Ear maybe you should be concerned.

  1. #1 by Also Concerned on February 20, 2013 - 8:41 pm

    In response to a “very concerned taxpayer and parent”, I am also a concerned taxpayer/parent and completely agree with you on the issues of: 1) The hiring of a new curriculum director: Even without the detailed knowledge, we should question the need and expense of hiring for this position. Are there not enough well paid individuals (including Dr. Cullen) that should be responsible for curriculum development/management? 2) The issue of raises being given in less than 1 year and before a proper review of successes and/or failures has been conducted, with and without board approval? 3) While I wouldn’t go so far as to demand a resignation, I think the board must tread very carefully, taking into account many factors, before offering a new or extended contract. I agree that Dr. Cullen has not yet “proven himself” with our teachers, staff, parents or community. And, it is too early to accurately gauge his effect on improved student achievement.

    Since you are concerned about the raises given to the new Elem. Principal and Vice-Principal, as am I, why didn’t you mention the gigantic raises given (or taken?) in the finance dept., without board discussion or approval? We should all be greatly concerned about that as well!

  2. #2 by Bartholomew B. on February 21, 2013 - 10:45 am

    Having a curriculum director is laughable, and was so when Ms. D’Amour was here making extra work for teachers, taking away from teaching time with students. But most of all, the SOS crowd and the school employees that support it are fortunate to have Cullen as the Super. If Jeff Bollinger had been hired, he would have cleaned out the SoS crowd and the incompetent employees once and for all.

  3. #3 by Fayne on February 21, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Response to Also Concerned Submitted on 2013/02/20 at 8:41 pm
    Also Concerned, I did address the miss-information posted by the Ear, concerning Mrs Devore. I also have addressed the false statements concerning “the pay freeze”. There was a pay freeze in the past; but ALL employee received a “base pay raise”. It is the “step pay” that was not addressed. What some are doing is telling only the part of the story that proves their point and omitting the complete story. I’m aganist “JUST” giving anyone a raise.
    Another issue that I failed to discuss is a high school degree; only statement. The Ear and others seem to place a negative view of successfully completing High School and working hard after that “self educating oneself”. I believe the world is full of individuals that are very successful with “just a high school degree”. I can go online an have my Doctorate in a week plus $7,000. There are a growing number of individuals that basely get a diploma with limited effort. Individuals that criticize others based on having or not having a piece of paper are so small. My father only had a HS diploma, he was considered to be a very intelligence person. Common sense, hard knocks and a desire to be better; a good mix for success. I would say that most of our parents “Just Have a High School Diploma”. So I don’t know about the Ear’s parents but mine were not “lacking”.
    Have the Potluck readers noticed that there are some folks that are so miserable that they have to make everyone else as miserable as they are or think they are. I believe that some individuals are so jealous of those around them that their goal in life is to take from others and to bully the rest.

    Integrity in Leadership

  4. #4 by Also Concerned on February 21, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    Response to Fayne: I was not asking YOU, I neither believe or respect anything YOU have to say! I was asking your anonymous writer, unless you are the “very concerned taxpayer and parent”? That would make sense because you insist on disagreeing with everyone including yourself! You seem to be addressing the Ear, all I did was agree with the anonymous writer on three points and ask why the gigantic pay raises that were “given” to the accounting department (i.e. 16,900.00 to 40,000.00) without board discussion or approval is not a concern? You then go on a rant against statements made by the Ear, not by me. The question remains!

  5. #5 by Fayne on February 21, 2013 - 7:59 pm

    Response to Also Concerned Submitted on 2013/02/21 at 4:32 pm
    Also Concerned, Gosh I guess I stepped on your toes before. Since I
    have no idea who you are I can’t and want say I’m sorry. But this is my Blog and I misunderstood who you were addressing. No I’m not vctp. But I do give my two cents. I also believe that you are wrong, I’m not always disagreeable, I do disagreement with individuals that I disagree with. I take the time to discuss anything that enters ,the thought process.
    To answer your question; the 16,900 was for a few months (118 days ?) that remained in the first year, the 40,000 is the annual salary. So there was no raise just a full year.

    To: VCTP if you wish to respond please do.

    Interigy in Leadership

  6. #6 by seriously? on February 21, 2013 - 9:20 pm

    Does anyone find it ironic that the 3Cs/SOS group recalled the only Board member that voted against hiring DrCullen? A hiring that they’re now whining about?

    I guess if the Board would have stuck to their original salary requirements, we may not be having these discussions about offering pay increases to employees who have been on the job less than a year.

    I am of the opinion that now that DrCullen is in place we should give him a chance to do his job and I think that a year is not long enough to affect real change. That said, no raises should be offered to anyone until they have been on the job for at least a year and CSAP/TCAP results are in. If we hold students to standards before promoting them, D-22 should hold it’s employees to standards as well.

  7. #7 by Fayne on February 22, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Response to Seriously Submitted on 2013/02/21 at 9:20 pm

    Seriously, I am having difficulty understanding how and why you/others point your finger at the SOS/3Cs for all negative events or statements. I reviewed the post you seem to be referencing and how does it lead you to believe that the writer is a member of anything. Also why do you believe the SOS/3Cs supported the selection of Dr Cullen over the others. In fact as a member of the SOS committee I believe the position was “WAIT”. Seriously; who is whining? I believe all Board members can share some fault. What I remember is ALL, saying we will support the Superintendent that was selected. Hind site would be wonderful. There is at least one Board Member, the President that still supports Dr Cullen and there could be others. One person has written, resign, doesn’t seem to be a majority. There are many others that are uncomfortable about things that are happening, some see that there are some that are out of control.
    I agree Dr Cullen should be given a chance, but his job is educating the children. About raises, they should be based on performance, and only performance. Student performance and employees performance should be the same. But it is the School Board that rewards the Superintendent. The Superintendent rewards the other employees.
    Finally, the SOS committee is made up of a group of individuals that have many independent ideas, when the SOS committee develops a “position”, we say it is the committee’s position. So please stop blaming a group for everything, maybe we should blame those that want make a stand. I fault those no-names that hide behind bushes and throw rocks/falsehoods. There needs to be discussions, debates and comprises. The School Board needs to be receptive to input, look at the number of closed sessions this board has had. Openness, receptiveness. Thanks for your opinion and positions.

    Integrity in Leadership

  8. #8 by Bartholomew B. on February 22, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    It is interesting that the high school principal has been successful at flying under the radar, when if there is anyone who should be replaced it is her. She has been in over her head from day one, and rules her roost by threat of firing and intimidation to cover her glaring inadequacies. Any teacher who has had the displeasure of “working” for her can tell you how little respect (not to mention disgust, distrust, and dislike) she has from the faculty and staff. Further, ask the students about her petty little rules and willingness to back stab them, and they will tell you how negatively she affects school spirit. Until the firing was “frozen” by the board, this principal would fire or run off at least half of her faculty each year. Any manager in business who had that track record would have been fired after the first year, yet she has gotten away with that practice for years. Some of the best teachers to ever grace those high school hallways have left, replaced by the naive, the inexperienced, and the incompetent. It was the janitorial firm from the Springs that employs her husband that caused the firing of 22 LOCAL employees. Was that some sort of payoff? Wake up! Any senior from recent years will tell you that a great percentage of each graduating class could not pass an eighth grade CSAP test, and some of them are not even proficient in speaking, reading, or writing the English language. C’mon, Ellicott, we can do better than this. Get rid of the dead wood NOW!

  9. #9 by Fayne on February 23, 2013 - 2:04 pm

    Response to Bartholomew B 2-22 10:27pm
    Bartholomew, I’m sorry you have some negative feeling about the HS Principal. BUT; I’m also sorry that you are making statements without PROOF or examples. Statements can be made by anyone against anyone, that is one of D22’s problems. The District has policies for having complaints reviewed/addressed. Have you filed a complaint? What are the principal’s petty little rules? I have followed the dismissal of all teachers and I must have missed those that were fired, resigned; yes, fired again missed them. Who was fired? And what and when was the “firing frozen”? I have not seen or remember anyone being fired. Believe you also have the janitorial change wrong. Again no one was fired the District moved from employing janitors to outsourcing the service. At last time all the LOCAL individuals that wanted to continue to work was hires by the new company. No I don’t think there was any sort of “pay-off”, believe it was “best-lowest” bid. Bartholomew when the contract expires or is up for renewal, you can submit a bid for the service. In reviewing the test scores I agree that our core scores need to improve, but Ellicott has a large percentage of students attending college. To be able to remove “dead-wood” you first have to identify then you can remove. We all have a yard stick for success and leadership, don’t we!

    Integrity in Leadership

  10. #10 by Bartholomew B. on February 23, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    Your response simply demonstrates how out of touch you and your SOSers are with what really happens inside those schools, especially the high school, on a daily basis. There is so much evidence available that a deaf and blind person could hear it and see it AND act upon it IF they had the best interests of the students at heart. I believe you are most likely too busy scheming about how to reward your associates (with school resources) and punish your enemies (vote out the responsible ones) and cannot see the forest through the trees. For that reason, I will not dignify you by posting anything else on this pitiful site, other than to say that you and your ilk are why the students in Ellicott get cheated out of a quality education and a satisfying school experience. Shame on you! As long as people like you and your SOSers have any say in this district, the only way to improve it is to shut it down and transfer the students to real schools.

  11. #11 by Bartholomew on February 24, 2013 - 1:23 pm

    How funny that you removed my last post, which only proves what I wrote. Your SOSers are so cowardly that they (and you) can’t handle the truth and must resort to lies and censorship. Are you personally so starved to be accepted by these local fakes that you have compromised your so-called “integrity?” We both know the answer to that, don’t we? How sad for you. “Integrity in Leadership?” How hilarious!

  12. #12 by Fayne on February 24, 2013 - 2:27 pm

    Response to Mr Bartholomew 02-24 1:23 pm
    Mr Bartholomew you must be patience. When you post a comment, you can see it but until I approve it, your comment does not get posted to the blog. I on most days visit the Potluck 2-3 times per day. I also try to comment on a post at the same time I approve a comment. As I have said many times as long as you follow the rules you comments will be posted. But thanks .for commenting.

    Integrity in Leadership

  13. #13 by Fayne on February 24, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    Response to Bartholomew 2-23 2:43pm
    Mr Bartholomew, I’m sorry that you have decided to not respond/comment any longer. I only asked you to address your concerns and you have decided not too. I do speak to students, past students and teachers. In fact I spoke to a student that recently graduated his statement was, I enjoyed my time at Ellicott. I asked you what rules and again no response. Evidence? I asked you again, what? I am not scheming about rewarding my associates, I’m planning on being elected and having those I support elected this Nov. Punish: I do not punished anyone. I just want mine and others side of the events and stories told. History has showed us that when there is only one story told; than the teller can mislead those that are forced to listen. I’m telling what I feel is the other side and you can believe it or not. I’m not forcing or threatening anyone. See that the difference between the Potluck blog and some of the others. Mr “B”, I haven’t hire, fired or voted for any raises, nor have I voted out any “responsible ones”. May I ask you another question, If I disagree with a person, what are I to do? I stand behind what I have written and said. That is Integrity.

    Integrity in Leadership

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