Gilbert Public Schools: Marketing Failures and a 200 Day School Year

The Gilbert Public Schools administration and governing board are in a holding pattern as far as doing any real work this year — they’re waiting for the November mail-in election to be over so they can get on with the things Superintendent Christina 3-2 Kishimoto already decided to do. First priority: a new campus for Gilbert Classical Academy.  Nothing else matters, but they don’t want the public to know just yet.

The official *it’s not a public meeting* Work Study session on September 8, 2015 was not properly noticed to the public. AGAIN. In spite of the Attorney General monitoring agreement that the board will vote to accept on September 22, 2015 because GPS fails over and over and over again to properly post pubic notices about public meetings attended by members of the governing board. Here’s a hint: the Attorney General dude already said “there was some confusion regarding the online posting of the Board’s notices and agendas for upcoming meetings.” That’s why The Powers That Be have to attend class on complying with Open Meeting Laws. AGAIN. As if that’s going to make a difference. But enough digression.

The Work Study Session focused on two things: the GPS marketing plan and the GPS Legislative Agenda. Boring! But apparently that was the whole point of the meeting: to bore the public to tears so citizens will quit paying attention. The last thing the clowns want is for citizens to actually notice that a lot of Good Old Boys are being paid top dollar to fail at what they’re supposed to be doing. For an example, take a look at the *Good News* marketing fail on the right, where whoever it was doing the job of publicizing the *Good News* didn’t bother to look at what they did. Too bad the fabulous GPS marketing machine failed GPS alumnus Zach Davies.

All you teachers and support staff who still believe in unicorns and pixie dust promises of pay raises if the override passes aren’t going to like that two more projects are more important than you are. As always, Westie has the proof, right from the horse’s @$$ mouth. GPS helpfully posted the marketing plan that the governing board was studying. Yep, it sure looks like something someone pulled out of their nether regions.


GPS administrators claim they have reduced the marketing machine to one FTE (full time employee) this year. Sure they have <eye roll>. Next year, they’re going to DOUBLE the marketing staff to two FTEs. Here’s the catch: this year, GPS will pay an amount equivalent to two FTEs to give the Official GPS District website a makeover, hiring an interim director in the meantime. Notice that the benefits for two FTEs in 2016 cost almost triple the benefits for one FTE in 2015. Look at the bouncing ball of Capital & Property and Services & Supplies numbers. Do you need any more evidence of GPS smoke and mirrors budgeting? Sheeeeesh.


In another slide, the fabulous marketing machine claims credit for redesigning the GPS logo. Doesn’t the artistry make you want to swoon? They also claim to have completed a whole bunch of videos about GPS elementary schools. Have you seen the magnificent *showcase videos* for the elementary schools? Neither have we. But we clicked on the Ashland Ranch Elementary School link at the *Select a School* button on the GPS district home page. We hope the Ashland Ranch administration gets some vision correction (fancy term for eye glasses) that might help them correct their *Vision* statement [conjugation: get, have got, gotten, right?].

How will we know when students have “got it”?
What are we going to do when students didn’t “get it”?
What are we going to do when students “got it”?

Of course, illiterate writings are par for the course in Gilbert Public Schools, starting with the Superintendent’s illiterate Petition for Injunction Against Harassment and board president Lily Tram’s illiterate email messages. We expect better from the people who are on the front line of educating students, Ashland Ranch. We noticed, however, that Ashland Ranch has a LOT of clubs — you know, the GPS institutionalized system of making teachers work before and after school for no additional compensation, but with a “participation will be noted in your evaluation” cudgel. It’s obvious that principals took lessons from their leader, Superintendent Christina 3-2 Kishimoto’s example of how to win loyalty from slave laborers  GPS employees.

The other incredibly boring-by-design presentation was about the GPS Legislative Agenda. Mostly, it apes Arizona School Board Association stuff … like the things Silly Jillie Humpherys parrots on her perpetual campaign Facebook page. Hidden in the bu%# $h!t are a few things that should make believers in unicorns and pixie dust fear for their salaries. That’s right, ASBA and GPS want the option to go to a 200 day school year.  Do you believe for a minute that teachers and support staff, those front-line-of-education warriors, will see appropriate raises in their paychecks? No, it will be more and more of the Same Old Stuff: unpaid labor… “to improve student achievement,” which is Silly Jillie’s top priority. What a surprise <facepalm>.


Lookie here: the GPS governing board will get to decide whether or not to hire a paid lobbyist, according to the Legislative Agenda presentation. We all know the board will decide whatever they’re told to decide when they convene a properly noticed business meeting where they can legally vote the way they’re told to vote. Gee, wonder who they have in mind as a lobbyist?

Or could it be Paul Ulan, the guy who has specialized in Yes! Yes! campaigns* across the valley for several years? Ask yourself if any of this Same Old Stuff sounds familiar:

Yes for PV Students spent $82,719.44 of its contributions – there was a surplus of about $5,490 from the previous campaign. Paul Ulan, owner of Phoenix-based Primary Consultants, received $78,555 for consulting fees, signs, photos, design, printing, postage and more. Many of the contributors to Yes for PV Students though Oct. 19 were governing board members, administrators and employees.

There is no conflict of interest in Yes for PV Students receiving money from a group supported by businesses that could potentially benefit from the passing of the ballot measures, Paul Ulan said. “The committee is not the district. That way, there is a buffer between the district” and the construction companies, he said.

Maybe it’s the other guy that GPS has paid so much to represent them to their legislators: Kevin DeMenna. This is the dude who sets such a fine example earns every penny he has been paid by many school districts. Surely Lily Tram will say again, “Everyone makes mistakes,” as she authorizes Christina 3-2 Kishimoto to pay whatever Kevin DeMenna is worth to GPS. Read the article linked below to get the full story.

A prominent Arizona lobbyist was arrested last year on suspicion of drug possession and driving under the influence after police officers found marijuana, a pipe and 348 pills in his car, half of which were narcotics. DeMenna acknowledged in a recent interview with The Arizona Republic that he had been addicted to prescription drugs — a problem he said he had for years. DeMenna said he took morphine to suppress pain from old rodeo and other sports injuries he sustained in high school and college. He smoked marijuana to stave off nausea brought on by the narcotics, he said.

Let’s close with the most important revelation from the GPS Legislative Agenda: they want the Arizona Legislature to change the name *Override* to *Locally Controlled Funding.* Like that’s going to make a difference when GPS asks citizens to volunteer to pay higher taxes the next time GPS throws money to the winds. Sheeeesh.


*Big Fat Asterisk: Do these folks have any self-awareness? Yes! Yes! 
Or is Yes! Yes! just another marketing fail? Go ahead, GPS students, click the Yes! Yes! link and ask your parents to explain.

Post Tags: , , , , , , ,

Browse Timeline

What Gilbert Public Schools Doesn't Want You to Know,
Westie Posts Online (You're Welcome!)