*Academy* Has Become a Four-Letter Word in Gilbert Public Schools

Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto, Ed.D.As the unintended wildfires relating to the decision to give Gilbert Classical Academy a new location at the expense of a neighborhood junior high school were being tamped down, the good people of Gilbert, Arizona were told that there will be two new *academies* in the school district. Mesquite Junior High School will become an academy sharing a facility (with multi-million dollar improvements!) with Gilbert Classical Academy, and Gilbert Junior High School also will become an academy of some sort. So sayeth Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, who apparently didn’t completely communicate all of her plans to the GPS Governing Board beforehand. Once again, GPS is reliving the old Cool Hand Luke aphorism, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Once again, failure to communicate is creating unintended consequences and controversies.

We’ve already shared Christina Kishimoto’s letter – the letter that came out of nowhere stating that Gilbert Junior High School also will become an *academy.* Good people who fought so hard for their schools, Mesquite Junior High School and Gilbert Junior High School, are striving mightily to put lipstick on that pig, but the fact remains: Christina Kishimoto makes plans she doesn’t bother to reveal to her bosses, the elected members of the GPS Governing Board. The community is left wondering who is in charge of Gilbert Public Schools when things like this happen.

For some unfathomable reason, board clerk Jill Humpherys has become the information maven of this latest GPS fiasco. She went to Mesquite Junior High School to lay down the law about the board’s decision to make Mesquite Junior High an academy, with uniforms, capped enrollment and a sports medicine focus.  There was such an uproar from the community that Dan Johnson, the principal of Mesquite Junior High School, sent out a letter to MJHS parents walking back the main contentions. “Never mind,” he says. There won’t be uniforms unless WE want them: “That is not a planned requirement for MJHS…” He went on to say sweet nothings such as the school design won’t be sports medicine; we’ll decide together. No enrollment cap. Collaborate. Yeah, sure. The good people who worked so hard to save their school (and by extension, their neighborhood high school, Mesquite High School, for which MJHS is the only *feeder* school), are not amused. Read on, Dan Johnson: your one-sided *collaboration* on behalf of MJHS already is being dismantled by your BFF, Dan Hood at GCA. (Click here for a larger version of the letter below.)


Remember what Westie told you, Mesquite Junior High School parents: GCA wants the whole enchilada. Apparently word came down from on high (GPS Chief of Staff Alexander Nardone, most likely) telling GCA to cool it. We’re sure Nardone’s words were accompanied by a wink, wink, nod, nod.  “Just get us through until summer,” he must have pleaded. “That’s when the board will do all the dirty deeds we have requested … while no one is watching.”

Nardone’s pleas would have fallen on deaf ears, because these GCA parents, administrators, teachers and students suffer from Special Snowflake Syndrome, and they don’t want to play ball unless they can change the rules in the middle of the game. If that brings to mind Christina Kishimoto’s request that the board suspend a regulation because she already violated the reg, the policy and the law, well … GPS history repeats itself at every opportunity for failure.

Special Snowflake Syndrome is a malady wherein the afflicted will demand special treatment, conduct themselves with a ludicrous, unfounded sense of entitlement, and generally make the lives of everyone around them that much more miserable. This condition, if left untreated, can radically alter the carrier’s demeanor, to include any of the following: a complete devolution to child-like behavior, temper tantrums, and/or fits of narcissistic rage.

GCA parents, administrators, teachers and students will not cool their jets or suddenly become reasonable. It’s not in their DNA. Exhibit number one: GCA principal Dan Hood’s follow-on letter to GCA parents about their victory over Mesquite Junior High. Principal Dan’s communication emphasizes, “We are going to do our very best to make sure we are the same school but with a new address.” Yeppers, they’re going to “preserve The GCA Way.”

To hell with all that touchy-feely collaboration!  Dan Hood and his GCA Snowflake NarcissistsBS  already “discussed uniforms for both academies.” Dan Hood told GCA parents the two schools going to *share* certain appealing activities as long as they can *take advantage of them.* Dan Hood also is telling Mesquite Junior High School that he has decreed they will wear uniforms … so his GCA snowflakes feel better about wearing their silly khakis. [It’s a harder sell every year, isn’t it, Dan Hood? Those ridiculous *uniforms* from the 1990s on today’s nerdy kids. Sheeeesh.]


The reason *academy* is a four-letter word in GPS is because, as Jill Humpherys explained, “The word academy just means a school with less than 1,000 students that has some innovative programming.” If you believe that, Westie has a bridge to sell you.  To understand what is about to happen to Gilbert Public schools, all you have to do is review Christina Kishimoto’s history of *school design.* As Yogi Berra said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

Watch Christina Kishimoto discuss the four schools she *redesigned* in Hartford.  “First, all of the adults in the building leave.” Christina Kishimoto thinks it’s just *uncomfortable.* Notice that she redesigned a school into “Latino Studies Academy.”  It’s worth spending five minutes of your life to see the truth issue forth from Christina Kishimoto’s mouth. Be very afraid, GPS communities. Especially later in the summer when Christina Kishimoto and Her Three Votes think no one will be watching them as they finish dismantling neighborhood schools by *redesigning* them.

Think about what Christina Kishimoto has already done, for example, giving Gilbert Junior High School a new principal before she entered into any communication with the GJHS community. The “To hell with all that touchy-feely collaboration!” attitude starts at the top.  The reality is all buzzwords and made-up metrics: “Ten per cent improvement” means that what got *measured* improved. How it was *measured* is irrelevant. You must accept this as true because Christina Kishimioto said so.

Jill Humpherys thinks it’s all just great. She self-confessed she “doesn’t do numbers very well.” Who needs numbers when you can just make something up as you pull it out of your nether regions? All you folks who are getting recruited by or are applying to GPS for jobs, pay attention! There’s a reason the *mass exodus* of employees continues.

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