Geobop School Board Update, October 15, 1999
Bad Principals Corner
Mary Kay LeTourneau’s Principal
Al Jones: Mary Kay LeTourneau II?
Life’s Full of Surprises!
Arthur Hu Rallies!
Lynn Varner: Double Jeopardy?
Lynn Varner Redeemed?
Catering to Parents
Sealth High School Murder
Bad Principals Corner
Most of these notes come from one individual who I’ve found to be generally reliable. He’s far less afraid to speak out than most teachers because he has a special little secret that offers him some protection from our education mafia. Some of these items corroborate tips I’ve heard from others, though a few are new revelations that may be inaccurate.
Pat Sander was perhaps Seattle’s most hated principal before she was promoted into the central bureaucracy. She had unusual political clout and was said to be John Stanford’s favorite; her name was indeed mentioned in connection with him on more than one occasion in the media.
I’ve interviewed a number of people who’ve had the misfortune to work with her, and the common themes, besides political clout, are tyranny and sex. I won’t say anything about the latter right now, but I recently talked to someone who gave me more insights into Sander’s brutal nature:
Originally Patricia Hunt, she attended West Woodland Elementary School, where she was a tomboy who liked to compete with boys. Such competitions included beating up boys at recess. After 6th grade, she attended James Monroe Junior High, where she threw tantrums and slammed lockers so hard, she dented them. She then attended Ballard High School.
She later married a football player and they had a girl before they got divorced.
My informant thinks Sander was nasty because she was so short and ugly. He calls her “lower Ballard trash.” Her legend will never die at Alki Elementary School, where the BIG sex thing happened, the one that allegedly almost got her fired. The other sex things allegedly occurred when she was a head teacher at John Hay Elementary, then as a principal at Gatzert Elementary School.
After I published my book, Teacher With an Attitude, Sander told teachers at a staff meeting at Gatzert Elementary School that she should sue me - but she was just too busy. She knows what I look like now; when forced to walk past me at a forum at Whitman Middle School, she gave me an icy “high.” I wanted to spray myself with disinfectant.
Euhania suffers from the Big Three principal malaise: She’s an extraordinary tyrant, is grossly incompetent, and is just plain weird. Under Euhania, Martin Luther King Elementary School never did improve enough to shake its status as a “focus school.”
I’ve already mentioned the bizarre costumes she wore in two photos on her gramatically challenged website, similar to the bird outfit she wore to Brighton Elementary School one day when I was a substitute. (However, I believe it was Halloween that day, so I didn’t think it too far out of line.) Well, my informant said the “dressed like a whore” at some sort of a retreat, mentioning her green fingernails.
He confirms her poor grammar, but her outstanding feature is her hatred for everything human. Though she’s been described as a racist (especially against Asians and Latinos, who she allegedly won’t allow on the staff), Euhania (who’s African American) dumps on black parents, also. He said when she wanted people to do odd jobs, she’d point at them and say, “There’s a victim; I need you to do this. There’s another victim - you do this!”
As I reported earlier, the rumor’s afoot that the district has finally been forced to send Euhania into hiding. I’ve now learned that the secretary was gone for a week when Euhania left. If she comes back to work after New Years, we’ll know her “medical leave” is the real thing. Let’s hope she ain’t sick.
Incidentally, a grayish-white-haired 4th-5th grade teacher named Charlene Smith-Veig (spelling?) has been described as a real bitch; I think she’s the one who sided with Euhania against Mr. Mak.
I received an e-mail from Dunlap Elementary School saying, “I’m from Dunlap where the one phone and stock room are locked up at 4:00 pm. Where teachers are not allowed to pass a front counter to talk to secretaries, or pass thru that area to go to the staff lounge, as the office staff has been told that they work for the principal not the teachers... We know that anything we say will sound petty, petty petty.”
Locking up the stock room at 4:00 doesn’t sound that unusual, and someone else informed me that Dunlap is presently housed with another school (Southshore Middle School?) and certain measures have been implemented to minimize confusion. A person who recently met Cook describes him as “formal” and under stress, but isn’t aware of anything really nasty.
On the other hand, a member of the Seattle Educators Caucus once told me that William Cook was a really nasty character. I recently met a teacher who had worked with him. She also described him as a nightmare principal. She said he was extremely racist, picking on anyone who isn’t black. She said he was protected by his “mentors,” which include schools administrator Pauline Hill, and the Seattle Education Association (“teachers union”).
For whatever it’s worth, I was told that William Cook was once featured in Ebony as the most eligible bachelor (I assume in Seattle, not the U.S.).
I’ve heard little about Principal Ed Brown (African American), aside from the fact that he’s BIG. My informant calls him a “football jerk” who pumps iron. He claims that he was chased out of Madrona Elementary School last year, then replaced by Ricky Malone. That’s news to me; I thought Ricky (who has an exceptionally big mouth) was principal of the African American Academy.
At any rate, I was told about kids getting hurt at recess, after which some black parents complained to the superintendent. Two parents were then hired to supervise recess. He also mentioned something about Ed Brown trying to fight off the SEA. A principal would have to be half devilfish to knock SEA out of its apathy.
I’m not really confident in the accuracy of this report and would like to learn more. A very reliable source thinks that a counselor named Jacky Brown is Ed’s wife; he describes her as a really decent person.
The latest news about this self-centered bimbo is that she’s really giving Asian teachers a hard time. I’ve been hearing more and more about friction between African and Asian Americans, with the latter almost invariably on the receiving end.
I was told that “the chamber of commerce came out against” Rainier Beach High School Principal Marta Cano-Hinz. I assume the reference was to the Rainier Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Mary Kay LeTourneau’s Principal
Another individual confirmed that Mary Kay’s principal (Ms. Johnson) is now the principal at Cooper Elementary School. He thinks she was run out of Highline School District, and says she looks like a “tough old bitch.” She sure missed the boat with Mary Kay LeTourneau, whose class had allegedly been out of control for weeks when Mary Kay’s big secret broke.
Al Jones: Mary Kay LeTourneau II?
Oh my God! I’ve opened myself up to a lawsuit! I’ve been shooting my big mouth off about Al Jones having had sex with a student(s) decades ago and/or this school year (or rumors to that effect; I can’t remember which) without proof! What if Jones sues me for defamation? What if he convinces the jury that I’ve so damaged his reputation that even Seattle Schools won’t hire him back? Suppose he reapplies for a position as the superintendent of schools in Richmond, Virgina, and he doesn’t get the job! Why, he might nail me for all the money he might have obtained via a schools credit card!
Actually, I do have proof that Jones did it. Or maybe I don’t. What do you think? We’ll just have to let Seattle Schools’ legal squad work on this one. What if Larry Ransom, Brenda Little, and Paul Schell get hernias trying to figure out how they’re going to nail me, only to be trumped by an article in the Seattle P-I announcing that Jones really did it?
What if it really is true? At best, Seattle Schools’ PR department could buy the victim’s family’s silence, then say they never really knew about the earlier affair(s), it happened so long ago they simply forgot about it, or they didn’t know it was illegal for teachers to have sex with students in the 1960s. They could then balance all the financial crap and drunk driving against the positives: Al Jones was a visionary who wanted Garfield’s entire student body to be honor students. The Seattle Times could then run a front page feature story, “Al Jones: What was all the fuss about?”
On the other hand, what if word leaked out that a sequel to the Mary Kay LeTourneau story was in the making - not far from Mary Kay’s stomping grounds, no less? Of course, a male educator hitting on students isn’t as sensational as Mary Kay. On the other hand, Mary Kay was never picked up for drunk driving, evicted for not paying rent, or fired from a position as a superintendent for running amok with a credit card, then rehired by the district where her crime spree began.
I can envision some juicy sidebars, like the revelation that Jones was one of three criminals hired by Seattle Schools. Can you imagine an episode of “48 Hours” trying to track down the missing two ex-cons before they kidnap a student or blow up a school? How about Barbara Walters chatting with Mary Kay LeTourneau’s principal, who’s discovered working in a school in Seattle? What if they - God forbid - stumble onto the John Stanford story? Maybe they’ll even stumble into me, the lone lunatic who didn’t think Stanford was the Alpha and the Omega, the budding conspiracy theorist who was stupid enough to think a school board member married to a Perkins Coie/Mariners attorney is somehow unusual?
If Al Jones has any brains at all, he’ll strike up a romance with Mary Kay. There’s got to be a book offer in that one.
Life’s Full of Surprises!
Sounds like a sleazy little ripoff artist named Kenneth Camper is getting mighty spooked. School board candidate Martin Ringhofer received a plain brown envelope with no return address from the Campers. It was another warning to can the defamation, signed by the Campers.
At first, I was jealous. I get endorsed by no paper or organization - zip; Ringhofer reels in the Secretary of State, a local paper or two, and a political organization. I trash America’s most bizarre school district for several years, and they just ignore me. Ringhofer tosses out a few comments on Camper, and he gets mail.
On the other hand…I’ve probably said more nasty stuff about Kenneth Camper than Ringhofer. What if Ken Camper teams up with Al Jones, and they hit me with a class-action defamation lawsuit? What if they track down those two missing criminals and add them to the list of plaintiffs?
Of course, Murphy’s Law may be siding with Camper, who’s apparently looking over his shoulder. And I have a little plan that might scare the little creep into wringing his own neck.
Arthur Hu Rallies
Washington State’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction, Arthur Hu, rallied behind me and nailed Seattle Times reporter Lynne Varner with a couple e-mail assaults, which I’ve reprinted below. I’ve also been told that a local reporter was also taken aback by Lynn’s lapse in professional judgement.
Arthur Hu’s letter to Lynn Varner:
“Lynn, I’ll remove you from the list this time, but you cannot stick your head in the sand and call them a racist anytime somebody questions affirmative action. I can’t think of even 7 eleven clerks who resort to insulting their customers and expect them to pay for
their service, and I’m a loyal paying subscriber and someone you have called a racist over the phone. If you continue in this manner, I and Blomstrom will probably have to consider you to be a racist as well as one who puts racial theories over facts.
I’m still astounded that you can charge that asking a simple question such as coming up with 100% 3 black women when they are less than 5% of the US population, and probably less than 1% of US superintendents being in violation of I200 is racist. Either you are complying with the law or not, whether or not you support the law is an entirely different issue. I do not believe you can honestly believe that race had no factor to play in the selection of Rimmer.
“Besides being a violation of I200, Rimmer is also a disciple of the flawed ‘standards based’ education philosiphy which is the same behind the flawed WASL test which will only harm the most vulnerable students who will be held to the standards of the top 10% without any attention to how to get them up to speed on the basics neccesary to bring them up to the average, let alone ‘world class standards.’ This is a story you should be onto instead of another unquestioning sheep. The true progressives such as Alfie Kohn hate the ‘tougher standards’ movement.
“There are lots of interesting questions about education and race, and your approach is really not helping things, especially given your promiment position in the Seattle media to color the perception of public discourse.
“I want to pass on to the editors that people like me and Blomstrom will not sit idly by and refuse the question the obvious bias towards hiring african american officials and snubbing qualfied asians and European Americans.
“I didn’t know that Jones was black, but I had big questions about his insisting that all students had to be honors students in view of the reality that black students in the school tended to be on the lower tracks vs. the white students, in typical standards based ‘let’s brag about high standards and worry about meeting them later’ fashion.”
Arthur Hu’s News Release
SEATTLE STILL IGNORES I200 VIOLATION
VARNER UNPROFESSIONALLY CALLS CUSTOMERS RACIST
This is Arthur Hu, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, I would like to add that Lynn Varner called me a racist to my face over the phone and told me to NEVER call her again when I suggested that the selection of 3 finalists for 2nd superintendent was obviously restricted to 3 black women in open violation of initiative 200. This is another racial issue that was never touched by anyone in the Seattle press. If all races and genders had an equal chance, the chances of getting 3 black women, who are 5% of the population, and less than 1% of the qualified labor pool based on the current number of superintendents, would be less than getting a 3 cherry jackpot on a one armed bandit.
Even 7-Eleven clerks know that you do not insult paying customers, even if they are racists. Again I request that Lynn be given racial sensitivity training, and she should be barred from again insulting Seattle Times customers by calling them racists, a very ugly and damagin accusation. How can anyone who has so much power to set the tone of the area press claim to be an open minded professional when has stated that she will refuse to even hear certain viewpoints?
Varner: Double Jeopardy?
It’s possible that the Seattle Times’ brass may be reaming Varner over something other than her shocking lack of common sense? While she was on Arthur Hu’s listserve, she was getting some information from me. Guess who e-mailed me just today asking for a tip about Al Jones? The Seattle Times’ Casey O’Corr. I told him I wasn’t interested in contributing to his paper.
Gee, do you think the Times owner, Frank Blethen, would let me kick columnist Joni Balter in the ass in exchange for a really sensational scoop?
Lynn Varner Redeemed?
To be perfectly honest, I may have been a little harsh on Lynn. After all, racism is a horrible thing, and who can blame someone for letting a passion for social justice override their professional judgement? Still, it is hard to justify Lynn’s shallow knowledge of Seattle’s brand of racial politics and her rather stunning lack of judgment in venting.
Nevertheless, she might redeem herself by doing something really gutsy: Start writing some pieces blasting African Americans.
Not the African American community, but the Uncle Toms who occupy so many important positions in Seattle Schools’ God-awful bureaucracy, the ones who stabbed their brethren in the back by rallying support for I-200 with their abominable ineptness and tyranny, which apparently includes a shocking helping of racism.
If Varner wants to go on the warpath against genuine white racists, I’ll back her up to the hilt there, too. She can start with the bastards who drove an African American teacher (Akili Seca, if I remember correctly) out of Roosevelt High School, where he was a rare and beloved role model, last year. God forbid that any Seattle Schools employee inspire the loyalty of students.
Catering to Parents
In “Parents learn to lean on school principals to get children with teacher of their choice,” the Seattle Times’ Keiko Morris writes about a state representative’s staffer who wrote on behalf of two parents who wanted to switch their child to another classroom.
Notes Morris, “In this latest era of school reform, choice and parental involvement, the lobbying has intensified. And principals are feeling the pressure, especially when parents cross the line from healthy concern to micromanaging their children’s educations. ‘There’s more a sense of entitlement in society, that I am not only entitled to pick the school, but pick the teacher,’ said Brian Barker, executive director of the Association of Washington School Principals.”
I’m not sure that’s the right angle. Another way to look at it is parents are desperate to get their kids into schools that aren’t run by Al Jones and aren’t staffed with dueling guidance counselors and teachers following in the steps of Mary Kay LeTourneau.
How about an article about principals who won’t give parents the time of day and are being sued as a result?
Sealth High School Murder
The murder victim discovered at Sealth High School was discussed in “Screams of man being brutally slain were ignored” (Tracy Johnson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It’s pretty shocking: Over a period of perhaps 45 minutes, Clint Brazell was apparently beaten at the top of a condemned grandstand, then shoved down about twenty steps and set afire. And all the while, a woman living in the neighborhood ignored his screams.