The Globe School District Governing Board has recently made decisions that have left many wondering if judgement has been clouded.
Two years ago Globe School District’s H.R. Supervisor left the District. Her HR responsibilities included payroll. Upon her departure, payroll was moved to another department. Although the new supervisor did not have HR experience in a school district, she was offered a significantly higher wage than any other HR supervisor before her, despite the fact payroll was no longer a part of HR duties.
Recently the HR Supervisor’s resignation was on the July 27th board agenda. At the board meeting, the Superintendent requested her resignation be removed, but oddly enough at the very next meeting a “new” job description was presented. Superintendent Jerry Jennex announced the position as “Deputy Superintendent Assistant”. He said the position would be offered to an existing district administrator, he would choose the candidate, as well as the amount of financial compensation. The assistant would assume Superintendent duties in his absence, while attending to obligations elsewhere, some of which are not a part of his district responsibilities.
An employee/taxpayer spoke at the meeting. She said the position wasn’t a fiscally responsible decision and many districts have superintendents away without an assistant to take over. She related feelings of other employees who have asked for pay increases but have either been ignored or denied, but new positions are being created. She has since had several employees thank her for being vocal.
As a rule, NEW positions have a 1st read, then 2nd read and board approval of the job description. The chosen candidate is approved at the 3rd board meeting after the job has been posted.
Keeping this in mind, many were shocked to see both the 2nd read of “Deputy Superintendent Assistant”, as well as approval of the chosen candidate on the same August 16th agenda. Skipping the 3rd meeting left no time for those concerned to respond. At this meeting the Superintendent said he had been asked about who would replace him when he retires. Similar comments made it clear the goal is to move the Deputy Assistant into his role upon his retirement. Typically, there is an involved process when a district is hiring a superintendent. Similar to the process Jerry Jennex experienced when he was hired, but it seems in this case the decision has already been made.
When board members were asked to approve the new deputy position, there was not one question asked about financial compensation. A behavior unheard of at board meetings when ANY new position is being presented. The Governing Board President is typically the most vocal in this regard.
The Deputy assistant position was never posted or offered to any other administrator, each of whom has substantially more experience in Educational Administration. The most troublesome fact of all of this is the Deputy Assistant’s brother is the Governing Board President. Is this not a conflict of interest? It doesn’t look good or feel right. When a Superintendent, who’s job lies in the hands of a board, chooses the Board President’s sister as his replacement, should the Board President have excused himself from these decisions? When student enrollment is down in the District, is this being fiscally responsible? When an employee resigns to pursue a higher paying opportunity outside of education, then is offered a newly created position two weeks later with a substantial pay increase, how does this affect district morale? Should taxpayers ask questions? Please stay informed and involved.
Board Agenda minutes can be found on the Globe Unified School District’s website, or can be requested.