Reinstated! A Vote for Truth, Justice and the American Way

The GPS Governing Board voted to reinstate Gladis Mopecha as continuing teacher in Gilbert Public Schools. This is good news for everyone in Gilbert Public Schools. We appreciate that so many people in Gilbert stood by Gladis and Sarah as they struggled for justice for themselves and other GPS employees.

Reinstating Gladis and Sarah is a smart move that spotlights enormous change in GPS management philosophy.  We’ll take a moment to spotlight outstanding credentials and accomplishments Gladis and Sarah bring to their chosen profession. Gladis specializes in helping English Language Learners master a new language. Sarah had the English Language Learners class for the third grade at Meridian. The combined efforts of Gladis and Sarah worked magic in the classroom, which was especially visible in students’ reading achievement. Credentials say much about their dedication to being the best teachers they can be … see for yourself:  

Gladis:

* Student Teacher of the Year Award, ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
* M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, ESL emphasis, ASU.  3.96 GPA
* B.A. in Elementary Education with ESL endorsement, ASU.  Graduated magna cum laude with a 3.74 GPA
* Licentiate of the College of Preceptors, College of Preceptors, London (equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor’s degree)
* Speaks seven languages
* 20 years of teaching experience

Sarah:

* National Board Certified Teacher
* M.Ed. in Elementary Education, University of Nevada, Reno.  3.96 GPA.
* B.S. in Marketing, University of Nevada, Reno.  Graduated with high distinction; 3.79 GPA.
* 8 years of teaching experience

In addition to brainpower, these ladies bring heart.  They love their students, and the kids know it. The photo at the top of this post was taken in G3, Sarah’s third grade classroom at Meridian.  Sarah’s students made a class book to thank Gladis for a great year.  Sarah is holding the box of chocolates she gave Gladis.  The chocolates are called “Merci”—French for “thank you.”  It was apropos because French is one of the seven languages Gladis speaks. [Sorry, kids in the G3 Accelerated Reader Hall of Fame. We removed your names in the photo to protect your privacy. We all know who you are! Rock on!]

We’re glad the public face of GPS reflects new attitudes. Moving forward to reverse injustice at new Superintendent Kishimoto’s first official board meeting was good Karma.

Out with the old ways and in with the new, and new leadership at the superintendent level is a great start. The board’s hard work behind the scenes is paying off for the community in big ways. Although differences of opinion remain in terms of how to best achieve GPS goals, citizens are speaking out to support employees and showing appreciation for teachers and support staff who toil ceaselessly to help students learn, grow and thrive. It’s turning into a win-win scenario for all.

This situation shows why we all must be vigilant about how GPS uses tax dollars and other funds amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. GPS continues to be sued for the same old misconduct and wrongdoing, and the lawyers paid by ASRRT, The Trust laugh all the way to the bank. Here, The Trust paid out hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to settle lawsuits brought by teachers who had been wronged by GPS administrators … just for sport, it seemed. Those administrators are no longer GPS employees. How fitting.

Both teachers settled their lawsuits expecting to be reinstated. The white teacher was reinstated immediately after the settlement was finalized. The black teacher was told to wait until she could be investigated some more, even though there was no complaint and the allegations were made by people who were mandatory reporters … of course, they had reported exactly NOTHING. We don’t think the East Valley NAACP and Cameroonians in Arizona were amused, but what does ASRRT, The Trust, care about the reputation and public perception of Gilbert Public Schools? Nada, zip, zilch. It’s not The Trust’s problem.

You would think these lawyers paid by ASRRT, The Trust, would give up, since none of their interminable investigations turned up any wrongdoing by either teacher. Nope, GPS and ASRRT, The Trust, just threw incredible amounts of $*@(%*  against both teachers, ably assisted from the dais by board members Jill Humpherys and Lily Tram, who were just totally OUTRAGED that GPS would reinstate the teachers who had been so terribly wronged by past GPS GOB administrators.

Those two board members were armed with pages of allegations that they read into the record, allegations that they knew were never proven. Even when warned that continuing to throw out unproven charges could result in name clearing hearings for accused employees at further expense to the district, Jill said in essence, “So what?” and continued ranting. Man, those Roman circuses and spectacles at the Coliseum taught two board members how to play to a crowd. How the crowd loved that red meat! How the two board members basked in their adulation!

Lily tossed out allegations that NOT rehiring a different employee who had resigned would be age discrimination. Why not call it sex discrimination, too, Lily? Why not invite the EEOC to waltz in and audit GPS hiring practices while you’re at it? Throwing out public comments about that former employee’s medical status was ill advised, to say the least. The GPS ice is getting thinner, but it isn’t from global warming. It’s from foot-in-mouth disease: open mouth, insert foot. That carries huge liability for an elected official in a public meeting, but Lily Tram doesn’t worry. Lily Tram knows The Trust will defend her just like The Trust is defending convicted criminal Brian Yee.

How posterity will regard those performances is another matter. Everyone knows how easy it is to fling untrue allegations from the safety of a board meeting where members enjoy legislative immunity. GPS employees know that they can be accused of anything, any time, and the persons making those allegations will never be held accountable for their malicious words and actions.

Somehow, we think Karma might have special plans for two board members, former GPS administrators and superintendents and the attorneys who enabled evil diatribes and attacks against Gladis and Sarah. We love Karma!


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