GPS Talent Management: The Boss Isn’t That Into You, Senior Teachers

Gilbert Public Schools will give teachers another piddly raise – up to 7% for a select few – and will continue to lavish money on those oh-so-amazing inhabitants of the White Castle, where the district offices are located. No one is quite sure about the details of these raises, but Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and her Top Dogs made sure the audience was filled with *friendly* (to her) principals who applauded on cue after the GPS Governing Board approved meager raises, contracts with handcuffs, a half-finished handbook and countless other tools that Christina Kishimoto needs to finish driving GPS into the ground  achieve her vision for her national reputation.

The Chief Talent Officer, who has earned her moniker *Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner* has proven time and again that she doesn’t understand her workforce.  She wonders why there’s been such an exodus from GPS. How big an exodus on her watch (which also happens to be Christina Kishimoto’s watch)? Really big, according to a memo that the Superintendent wrote to the Governing Board:

The majority of the resignations are in the one to five year range. The most critical capacity to retain is in the six to ten year range, and the good news is that right now we are stable there. Yet, there is a significant cost to losing teachers in years one to five in our early investments in mentoring and training. As we look at retention strategies, we will want to look at the pay scale for years six to ten teachers to remain competitive with peer districts.

1-5 years: 137 resignations in 2014-2015; 56.85%
6-10 years: 57 resignations in 2014-2015; 23.65%
More than 10 years: 47 resignations in 2014-2015; 19.50%

Birdies chirped that Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner herself called a meeting with those mid-range teachers not too long ago. Her schtick was basically this: “We haven’t figured out a lot of stuff about new contracts, salaries and employee handbooks, but we really want you to be going out and recruiting new teachers for GPS. Hey, that’s going to be the new critieria for being named a Master Teacher and getting more money in your paycheck! What a great idea I just had!” You heard it here first, teachers: recruit some naive teachers to GPS and maybe you can make more money! You sure are not going to be rewarded for your professional accomplishments … the inhabitants of the White Castle can’t hold a candle to you.

That about sums up Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner’s talent management, doesn’t it? We heard that the meeting devolved into quite the b*tch session when teachers told Slimebucket what they REALLY thought. Birdies now chirp that Slimebucket is calling a meeting of the Millennial teachers (that’s the young ones, in the 1-5 year range) to find out what it will take to get them to stay with GPS.

Here’s an idea, Slimebucket: your *voluntary* meetings at the end of a long day spent on your feet in front of students are not very enticing to your target audience. Even if you serve refreshments, like GPS Top Dogs are now doing any time they call a meeting. Wait … this will be for young teachers, maybe they’re not *special* enough for the lavish catering that members of the superintendency, principals and board members now enjoy.* Anyway, you are aware that many of your Millennial teachers can’t afford to live anywhere near where they work, aren’t you? Housing is expensive in The Town of Gilbert, especially for recent college graduates who have crushing student loan debts. Spending an extra couple of hours in your exalted presence isn’t worth the time when you’re looking at a long commute after a long, hard day.

Up there in your White Castle, where you Top Dogs are always talking about how gosh-darn HARD you work, you have no idea what it’s really like on the front lines of education every day … in the classroom. Perhaps because you don’t know much about what goes on in a classroom. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto can’t get an Arizona Superintendent’s license because she has never taught in K-12 classrooms she now lords over superintends … she only talks the talk; she’s never walked the walk.

The following are real questions asked by a real teacher. What are the chances that she will receive *real* answers from the Superintendent or the Chief Talent Officer? What are the chances she’ll receive any answers? Nada, nil, none. Those exalted inhabitants of the White Castle are NOT going to talk about the sweetheart deals Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s *alleged* boyfriend received while loyal teachers struggled in their classrooms. Note to GOBs: this scandal is not going to fade away.

1)  If override money is not available until after July 1st, how is it that Mr. Charles Stevin Smith was able to receive his  $10,000 raise?

2)  Where did the funds come from to pay Mr. Smith the $10,000?

3)  Mr. Smith officially resigned on January 22nd, is his salary going to be placed back into the M.O.?

4)  The $2,500 received from Mr. Smith for breaking his contract, will it be placed back into the M.O. fund?

5)  On the agenda (1-26-16), there was a new teacher hire by the name of Kristin McCord.  Ms. McCord will be making $60,000.00/year  with a Master’s +60.  The position posted was “TBD.”  I have a Master’s +72 and make considerably less!  Why is she being paid so much more for a position that is TBD????

5a)  How is it that Ms. McCord’s salary has already been determined now?

6)  Will administrators who do not have their doctoral degrees (Example: Linda McKeever, Jason Martin) be required return to college and get their degrees in order to receive their future raises?  The positions they hold require they have doctoral degrees.

7)  Why did “some” employees receive promotions and raises now, while others have not?

8)  Why did “some” employees NOT have to wait until after July 1, 2016 to receive their promotions and raises, and teachers do?

9)  My understanding is the 7% raise was “our reward” for staying loyal and dedicated.  So, now you are telling me this 7% raise includes a salary increase for the 2016-2017 school year?  Please clarify and explain.

So, you teachers who have 10 or more years working for GPS and resign from the district at the rate of 19.50%, this is why Superintendent Christina Kishimoto isn’t that in to you. You just aren’t important to her. She can prop up those experience levels by hiring more retired teachers on SmartSchoolsPlus to offset the growing number of new, inexperienced teachers in GPS and still post decent experience statistics. We already showed you that SmartSchools Plus teachers have been receiving generous stipends for longevity and “H” (whatever that is, it’s for them but not for you loyal teachers).

A movie script has a special message for loyal GPS teachers who stayed the course during the Great Recession and received only disrespect in return:

Sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs. How to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don’t, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending is you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is just moving on.

Memo to Slimebucket Suzanne Zentner: One way to increase retention of new graduates is closer supervision of those male principals (especially the ones who haven’t been in the district very long) who can’t keep their hands away from their zippers  off pretty young teachers. We realize there could be some handsome young new graduates as well, but we’re not hearing that female principals are hitting on guys. Just sayin…

*Big Fat Asterisk:  We know that GPS spent $988.68 at JOE’S REAL BBQ for “Non-Curricular Food for Staff Meeting at District Office, December 17th for all District Office Staff.”  We also know you added $68.91 for “Non-Curricular Food – Additional side order for District Office Staff Meeting , Dec 18, 2015.”  Plus, we know about “BPO-Miscellaneous Catering Services needed for Superintendency and Governing Board, $993.50” and  “Catering of food for Board Mtgs: Policy Committee Mtg. Meetings held once a month in 1st floor conference room 2015-2016, $360.00.” We’ll talk more about these expenditures later.

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