Superintendent Misleads the New GPS Board at Their First Meeting

Congratulations! The new members of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board have been seated: Lori Wood, Sheila Rogers and Reed Carr. Members of the public are rightfully alarmed that Superintendent Christina Kishimoto intentionally misled the new board members about a very important matter. That was incredibly stupid, since evidence to the contrary is readily available … which Westie is delighted to share, especially if it will prevent new GPS board members from following Christina Kishimoto off a cliff. 

Citizens who watched the January 11, 2017 board meeting were waiting for signs of independence and forward thinking. They were richly rewarded when Sheila Rogers was elected president and Reed Carr was elected clerk. Sheila Rogers immediately showed that she knows exactly what she is doing as president. After the meeting, Reed Carr explained to well-wishers “I will have specific responsibility to review the financial vouchers prior to the board’s approval as well as responsibility to ensure board records are properly maintained.”

People in the audience reported that Christina Kishimoto appeared stunned; she had already been bragging that the new board members didn’t know anything and would do whatever she wanted. Jill Humpherys cried because she was not elected president. She and fellow rubber stamper Charlie Santa Cruz, who was not elected as the new board clerk, were not expecting these results, either.

One thing tells you all you need to know about the character of Jill Humpherys and Joseph Charles Santa Cruz: after their candidacy for board offices had been shot down in 2-3 votes, both remnants of the rubber stamp board of 2015-2017 voted against the other board members who had been nominated for those offices. Sheila Rogers and Reed Carr were elected on 3-2 votes, with Jill yelling out “Nay” as she used to do before she was part of a majority caucus on the GPS governing board.

Jill Humpherys and Charlie Santa Cruz could have been classy and made the second votes unanimous. But no, they wanted retribution after having their fondest hopes dashed. They must have believed that they, too, would *handle the new board members* seeing as how they’re now so experienced in school district boardsmanship. Most would call what they practice *gamesmanship,* but let’s not get distracted by semantics … or *the optics* that are more important to Charlie Santa Cruz than actual ethics.

Back to the intentional misrepresentation where Christina Kishimoto told the board that the committee for enrollment management is a *district* committee in the meeting. There is no such animal. There are committees formed by the board and there are committees formed by the superintendent – these are the committees at the district level, but they are not *district* committees.

What’s important: board committees must operate under Open Meeting Laws. As members of the public have seen time and again, Christina Kishimoto has no use for OML, and she’s not going to follow it when she can get away with brazen defiance. The former Rubber Stamp Board followed their Dear Leader each and every time, and then they denied to the Arizona Attorney General and to the public that they did what they did.

Remember how Christina Kishimoto told the board there were no findings from the OML investigations … and then she and the board had to sit through a public session of OML training? Yeah, that was part of the GPS consent agreement with the Attorney General’s office so the OML complaint investigations could be closed. Remember how there was no record of that OML training … until a citizen’s video was posted online? THEN they decided to find the *nonexistent* video of the OML training. Remember? Maybe there’s a pattern here.

Christina Kishimoto’s purposeful misrepresentation has potential to cause immense damage to Mesquite Junior High School and Mesquite High School, depending on how the new boundaries and super boundaries fall out. That’s entirely the point!

Recall that the surplus space, ZBB and other committees were board committees; their meetings and their reports were to be made public … at least, that was the case before Christina Kishimoto quashed those committees like bugs under her feet. Christina Kishimoto has fought hard to keep the public shut out of committees and anything else where citizens might impede her plans for a *national reputation.* The entire *committee of the whole* was a construct by Christina Kishimoto to get the whole board to meet, purportedly as the GPS Policy Committee, without public interference. It took several OML complaints to get those meetings made sort-of public.

The *enrollment management* committee should be reconstituted as a board committee and it should operate in public view; nothing less will suffice to maintain public confidence as GPS boundaries are redrawn. Christina Kishimoto can do a lot of damage with Jill Humpherys and Charlie Santa Cruz running interference for her against the new board if no one knows what’s on the committee’s agenda. Of course, that’s exactly the point,  and no one can stop this new *follow the leader off the cliff* meme except the newly seated GPS board members.

More: GPS has NEVER addressed boundary issues without community input, although Christina Kishimoto is determined to keep the committee’s work a secret until she brings it to the board for a vote. Fireworks will erupt when Christina Kishimoto pushes through the junior high gifted academy at HJHS for next year … the school that already has the highest enrollment and many out of boundary GPS students, in addition to out of district students.

The video below shows the kabuki dance that enshrined the GPS Enrollment Management Committee. If you don’t see the video, use this link:

Hey, new board members: there’s a reason that citizens, taxpayers and residents on the west side of the Town of Gilbert are working on a petition to the Chandler Unified School District to annex their properties …  #SaveOurNeighborhoodSchools

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