Subtle Little Lies

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Geo

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Jun 21, 2011, 8:41:33 PM6/21/11
to gg
As most of you know, my name is George Schiro. I was nominated by District 5
Osceola School Board Member Tom Long to sit on the Osceola County
Superintendent Citizens Search Committee (see http://tinyurl.com/6zmzkgt ).

Here is the initial communication that I received from Dana Schafer, Osceola
School District Director of Community Relations:

Note: The 1st attachment below is the original timeline
included in Dana's email, the 2nd is the final revised
timeline.

From: Dana Schafer [mailto:scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 9:36 AM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Citizens Search Committee For Superintendent

Mr. Schiro:

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the Citizens Search
Committee for Osceola County's next Superintendent. As
we move through the process, I will be working closely
with the committee as the applications/resumes for our
candidates come in and on any information you might
need.

Attached to this e-mail, you will find a Search
timeline that the School Board created with our
consultant, Dr. Wayne Blanton with the Florida School
Boards Association, that I hope you will find helpful.

Please note that the Citizens Search Committee will
have an organizational meeting with Dr. Blanton on
March 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the district
office, located at 817 Bill Beck Blvd. in Kissimmee.
Please e-mail me whether you will be able to attend.

I look forward to working with you through this
process. Please feel free to contact me at any time
with any questions you might have.

Dana Schafer
Director of Community Relations
Osceola School District
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
407-870-4007
scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us

This is a very long story. I struggled as to how to present this
information. Should it be presented in one very long post or several short
ones? I decided that presenting the facts in installments would be easier to
write and easier to read.

It took a long time to start this series since many of the facts required
submissions of multiple public records requests (at the insistence of
Osceola School Board Chairperson Cindy Hartig who refused to cooperate any
other way). The last request (ie. Jay Wheeler's phone records) was fulfilled
only today, although Jay did not hesitate to cooperate.

This is an introduction to "Subtle Little Lies". There are several posts on
this topic, as well as more topics related to my investigation of the recent
Osceola County superintendent search process. I think there is much that you
will find surprising.

FYI, although Tom Long now refuses to be accountable in public on this
matter (or any other as far as I know), he still receives these posts at his
public school board email address. So please don't hesitate to ask Mr. Long
questions on any of this yourself, either here or privately. Perhaps he will
discuss in private what he now refuses to discuss in public.

Please note for future reference, when a search committee member or a school
board member repeatedly ignores reasonable requests for information, such
non-responses are interpreted as refusals to cooperate.

2011 Superintendent Search Timeline.pdf
2011 Superintendent Search Timeline- revised 4-20-11.pdf

Geo

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Jun 22, 2011, 12:22:18 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
The Osceola County School Board recently announced its decision to discard
five highly qualified superintendent candidates, candidates recommended not
only by Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director of the Florida School Boards
Association (and hired and paid by the Osceola School Board to the tune of
thousands of dollars), but candidates also recommended by the Osceola County
Superintendent Citizens Search Committee appointed by the school board
itself.

Shortly thereafter I wrote an email to Cindy Hartig, Barbara Horn, Julius
Melendes, Tom Long and Jay Wheeler which included the following content (see
http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/1064d0a7d2eb1b90 ):

I am trying to fully document the superintendent search
process from the search committee through the school
board itself. I have already completed most of the
documentation of the search committee's efforts.

I have found that using a single concrete example and
following it all the way through is most illuminating.
As I am sure you could guess, I am using the case of
Dr. Roberta Selleck as the example. I am sure that we
would get similar results following any of the other
candidates in the same fashion.

There are reasons why Tom Long is unwilling to publicly discuss his method
of evaluating superintendent candidates during this process (see
http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/d16e95546396b277 ).

Not only did Tom fall far short of due diligence in evaluating
superintendent candidates ( see "How to Evaluate Superintendent Candidates",
http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/b823adba0ea82768 ), but he also
stood idly by when informed of misstatements made into the public record by
search committee members as well as by the chair of the search committee and
the chair of the school board herself. This misinformation was used as the
primary rationale for the non-selection of at least one candidate (Dr.
Selleck). It is also my view that the other superintendent candidates were
similarly mistreated during the evaluation process.

Tom Long is also aware of two things that I attempted to do, one that
occurred several days before the May 17, 2011 workshop (during which
superintendent candidates were discussed by school board members and the
preliminary decision was made to discard them) and the other that occurred a
day or so thereafter:

Before) When Tom Long told me that googling was
sufficient for him to properly evaluate superintendent
candidates, I pleaded with him to speak to the
candidates themselves on the phone and listen to the
phone interviews that I recorded. He refused.

After) When I informed Tom Long that several statements
made into the public record by committee members were
false, and even statements made by Osceola School Board
Chair Cindy Hartig were either patently false or wildly
exaggerated (by 50,000% in one example), he said that
the school board's decision was final and none of that
matters now.

All of this leads to several more questions that will likely remain
unanswered by Tom.

How much lying is too much? How much lying is OK?

How much lying in public is too little lying to cause public concern?

What does it mean when people are willing to speak anything less than the
truth before a public committee?

What does it mean when people are willing to speak anything less than the
truth before a public board tasked with making important decisions based on
the assumed accuracy of such testimony?

Why would people entrusted to serve a role on a public committee or on a
public board say anything less than the truth into the public record, even
if the details are seemingly trivial? Especially if the details are trivial,
why would anyone bother to lie?

Upon hearing the truth, what does it mean when a public official avoids
bearing witness to the evidence that proves the lies? What does it mean when
a public official sits idly by and does nothing knowing full well that the
data that proves the lies is about to disappear?

What does it mean when public officials intentionally sidestep the Florida
Sunshine Law by secretly and undetectably forwarding emails to an online
blogger for the purpose of having their views expressed privately and
publicly by an anonymous and unaccountable agent? What does it mean for the
sake of transparency and accountability?

What does it mean when public officials refuse to cooperate when asked to
produce records that help account for their actions?

What does it mean when public officials offer their opinions in public about
important facts, yet fail to exert even minimal effort to verify the
accuracy of such facts used in support of their final decisions?

What does it all mean?

I think it means that something is very wrong with the superintendent
selection process in Osceola County and this process needs serious review. I
think that it also means that the makeup of the Osceola County School Board
needs serious review by the voters of Osceola County.

spberube

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Jun 22, 2011, 4:17:00 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Sadly, I think that it means we have accepted such things as the status quo.

Why?? Because the vast majority of people don't get involved in their government UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE!! And then,because they don't like what has happened, they cry out and try to get it undone.

The situation you decribe George, is a fine example. The vast majority of people were not involved likely because they don't care. But, you were involved because someone got you involved knowing that you cared.

Now, the outcome is something that you ( and a few others ) are not happy with and it is my belief that you can NEVER muster the support needed to change it.

BUT---let me ask you this: Had you not been part of the committee, would you have been interested enough to attend all the meetings, do research, and speak your mind at meetings when you could?? Be honest now....my belief is that you would have stood by and watched as the process rolled itself out and arrived where we're at now.

I know that it is very difficult to inject your opinions into public meetings and have them be heard and acted upon; and lone voices don't get very much attention. However, there is strength in numbers and getting those numbers organized into one voice gets attention.

In the superintendant search case, there seemingly were not any lone voices never mind an organized outcry. So, being human, the Board did what many humans do: Take the easy ( and safe ) choice who was a known quantity and thereby kick the can down the road a bit; perhaps, someone else will now have to deal with the next search. Most humans choose to change nothing or change very little--likely because that's easiest and the least risky.

Just my opinion(s).

Steve Berube

Geo

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Jun 22, 2011, 7:18:56 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
You left a previous question unanswered on the "How to Evaluate
Superintendent Candidates" thread (see http://tinyurl.com/5sqgm2u ) Steve.
Here it is again:

Suppose you caught Bob Evans pocketing petty cash from
the CDD fund. Wouldn't you speak up Steve?

I am sure that you assumed the question was rhetorical, so I assumed that
your answer would have been "yes".

I will now answer your questions with the understanding that my questions
that follow will be answered by you since they will not be rhetorical. I
hope that you agree this is fair Steve.

You wrote:

Now, the outcome is something that you ( and a few
others ) are not happy with and it is my belief that
you can NEVER muster the support needed to change it.

This implies a misunderstanding on your part.

I have no intention of changing the current superintendent. I think Terry
Andrews will carry us through the next two years "OK". As you stated, this
was the safe choice, if not the correct one.

I would have been perfectly fine if the school board had been up-front and
honest and said months ago that they would prefer to stick with Terry
Andrews and forego a superintendent search process.

The problem is the apparent charade of a superintendent search process. My
purpose is to expose the charade so that we can hopefully avoid a repeat of
the same in the future.

You asked:

Had you not been part of the committee, would you have
been interested enough to attend all the meetings, do
research, and speak your mind at meetings when you
could?? Be honest now....my belief is that you would
have stood by and watched as the process rolled itself
out and arrived where we're at now.

I was honest when you asked essentially the same question previously Steve
(see http://tinyurl.com/5sqgm2u ).

No, if I had not been part of the committee, I would not have had the same
level of interest. This was true when Dr. Grego was selected a few years
ago. At that time I trusted that the school board was doing the right thing
and I assumed as much. Now I know better.

When I was selected by Tom Long to be on the committee (I didn't ask, he
asked me), I thought that I could help make a difference. By making that
commitment, I was also obligated to attend all the meetings even though I
had to take time away from work and family to do so.

I hope you understand that I fully understand what a major hassle it is to
drive 30 to 45 minutes to attend such meetings. That's why 99.99% of the
citizenry doesn't do it. That includes me. That is also why I went way out
of my way to publish whatever I could so that folks like you could stay
informed without the hassle of attending the meetings.

You wrote:

In the superintendant search case, there seemingly were
not any lone voices never mind an organized outcry. So,
being human, the Board did what many humans do: Take
the easy ( and safe ) choice who was a known quantity
and thereby kick the can down the road a bit; perhaps,
someone else will now have to deal with the next
search. Most humans choose to change nothing or change
very little--likely because that's easiest and the
least risky.

This is correct. Making "the easy ( and safe ) choice" is exactly what they
did, instead of working diligently and representing the best interests of
our children.

You wrote "there seemingly were not any lone voices". This is not true.
There were several of us who liked the selected candidates. The problem is
that as far as I could determine, not one school board member called even
one committee member for their opinions of the candidates.

Now here are my questions for you Steve.

Do you think that it's OK for several people to lie during public meetings?

Do you think that it's OK for the school board to never really have any
intention of replacing Terry Andrews?

Do you think that it is our obligation as citizens to do whatever we can to
help expose and perhaps fix problems like these?

Jim Warren (Home)

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Jun 22, 2011, 7:31:59 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Have you ever thought that the "charade" was for Terry Andrews benefit?
Given that he had said he would see out the position until end of school year, or as soon as they could find a candidate, and that he had no intention of staying on.

But shown there were few candidates worthy, prompted him to agree to stay on for 2 years........

Just a thought, as that's how I saw it played out.. Same way you see it George, but for different reasons....

Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Geo
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 7:19 PM
To: harm...@googlegroups.com

spberube

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Jun 22, 2011, 8:07:16 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
I did not answer your previous question for a very good reason, that being something I've discussed with you before, specifically, the question, while likely rhetorical, "rings" a bell that cannot be "unrung."

As you know, search engines like Google search keywords; in the question you pose, someone's name (perhaps a prominent name)is mentioned, and an action (pocketing) is suggested, an item (cash) is mentioned, and a specific agency (cdd) is named. Based on keywords, a search might return a headline like: bob is pocketing cash from cdd.
And, now someone believes this keyword headline to be true.

Such things can easily lead to something you have written about previously: Google gossip. Such gossip is dangerous for a number of reasons and is just one of the reasons I did not answer your rhetorical question knowing that the fewer times it gets published the further down the return results it falls.

Also, as we've discussed privately, I choose to NOT participate here in my capacity as a supervisor; your rhetorical question attempts to tie my private participation to my public position-not acceptable.

Finally, rhetorical or not, I will not answer it. And,in fact, the very fact that you posted it again makes me wish I had not joined in on what seemed to be reasonable dialogue.

Now, I will answer your questions:

a) No,I don't think it's OK for people to lie; but, there's a difference between lying and not knowing ( or divulging ) that which may be factual.

b)I think the board has every right to not have any intention of replacing Terry; but, I also believe that intent developed AFTER the committee began its search--largely because Terry's supporters turned out in big numbers to keep him there.

c)Yes, I do think it is our obligation to try and "fix" such problems. But, I also think it's important to recognize when one is beating a dead horse; and this equine looks pretty lifeless to me.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
>From: Geo <IIDIMG...@spammotel.com>

Geo

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Jun 22, 2011, 10:03:50 PM6/22/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
I'll respond to Jim first.

Jim wrote:

But shown there were few candidates worthy, ...

The search committee was formed to proffer five candidates. While five
candidates may be few in number, this was the number specified by the school
board. I assure you that all five candidates were very worthy, far more
worthy that was depicted by the school board. That is one of the main points
of all of this.

Anyone who can conclude that these five candidates were less worthy than Mr.
Andrews is sorely misinformed or just plain dishonest, IMHO.

Now for Steve. I intended no offense by using Bob Evans in my hypothetical
example of public corruption. Next time replace whatever name I use with
"Boris Badenov" and then please respond.

Steve wrote:

a) ... there's a difference between lying and not


knowing ( or divulging ) that which may be factual.

It will be demonstrated that "not knowing" was not at all the case.

b) ... I also believe that intent developed AFTER the


committee began its search--largely because Terry's
supporters turned out in big numbers to keep him there.

The actual behavior of the majority of school board members does not support
this position. This will also be demonstrated.

c) ... I also think it's important to recognize when


one is beating a dead horse; and this equine looks
pretty lifeless to me.

The superintendent selection may be a dead horse, but there is much more to
the story than that Steve.

A new horse is just out of the starting gate and in this race for the long
haul.

Jim Warren (Home)

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Jun 23, 2011, 7:56:17 AM6/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
George,

Whilst you and the board felt worthy, my comment was that they found fault with the 5, compared to the need, and the overall agenda to retain Terry Andrews.

Your missing my point, in your anger that they did not do it your way again George. Let it go, a decision was made, it was not to your liking but that's life. Get over it.

As Steve has already said, if you want to change things, you need to run for office your self. Bitch at elected officials changes nothing mate.

Don’t give your self an ulcer of such a trivial matter. You said yourself terry is a good candidate. It's done, finished, over.

Jim

Geo

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Jun 23, 2011, 12:06:09 PM6/23/11
to HarmonyFL
Perhaps we are missing each other's point Jim. So let's just leave it
at that for now.

Please do us both a favor and let me finish posting the facts before
you offer your conclusions. When I am done, I will be happy to
continue debating the merits of this topic with you. Fair enough?


On Jun 23, 7:56 am, "Jim Warren \(Home\)" <jm.war...@btinternet.com>
wrote:

Jim Warren (Home)

unread,
Jun 23, 2011, 12:56:33 PM6/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
No not really....I thought you had finished.....

We get it George. The appointment did not go your way... so what boo bloody
hooo..... Grow up....Get a life.. what's done is done.

The best man got the job, if a little underhanded.. It happens

Geo

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Jun 23, 2011, 1:08:14 PM6/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Jim, similar to what you have tried to do in the past on other threads (see
http://tinyurl.com/65fqkaf ), you are interfering with this thread. I have
tried to be reasonable with you, but apparently you just can't help letting
your personal feelings get in the way of reasonable discourse.

If you have anything further to say, please create your own thread. You are
free to speak your mind on your own threads. You are not free to interfere
with reasonable discourse on other threads.

Geo

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Jun 23, 2011, 6:26:44 PM6/23/11
to HarmonyFL
What follows are some of the facts that I have been able to assemble
over the past several weeks since the Osceola School Board made its
final decision to discard all superintendent candidates, the
candidates recommended by its appointed citizens search committee in
favor of retaining interim superintendent Terry Andrews.

Four members of the search committee claimed to have called Dr.
Roberta Selleck on the phone and that she never called them back. The
implication is that these folks actually dialed Dr. Selleck's cell
phone number (the only one provided in her resume), they let the phone
ring and then they left a voice message on Dr. Selleck's Sprint voice
mail system. The testimony of these four individuals was very damaging
to Dr. Selleck.

Rather than taking anyone's word for it, I asked to see Dr. Selleck's
phone records. Since Dr. Selleck had nothing to hide, she graciously
agreed without hesitation to let me access her cell phone records
directly on the "Sprint.com" website. From the date of Dr. Selleck's
application submitted to Osceola County to the date of the May 17th
Osceola School Board workshop meeting, I was able to verify that Dr.
Selleck received no phone calls from anyone in Florida other that Dana
Schafer, Jon Arguello (another committee member) and myself.

The following statements were taken from the official final meeting
minutes of the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee
(see http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/584655088a793623 ):

Roger Allain:

She [Dr. Selleck] did not return his call.

Sprint phone records show that contrary his testimony, Roger Allain
never called Dr. Selleck. While Mr. Allain ignored my email, he was
nice enough to return my phone call. He suggested that he may have
dialed the wrong phone number when he thought that he was calling Dr.
Selleck, yet he never bothered to try more than once.

Kip Smith:

She [Dr. Selleck] did not return his call.

Sprint phone records also show that contrary his testimony, Kip Smith
never called Dr. Selleck either.

I emailed Mr. Smith. He ignored my email. I also spoke to him briefly
on the phone. When asked if he would be willing to check his own phone
records to verify that he really did call Dr. Selleck, Mr. Smith hung
up on me.


On Jun 22, 12:22 pm, "Geo" <IIDIMGRLA...@spammotel.com> wrote:
> The Osceola County School Board recently announced its decision to discard
> five highly qualified superintendent candidates, candidates recommended not
> only by Dr. Wayne Blanton, Executive Director of the Florida School Boards
> Association (and hired and paid by the Osceola School Board to the tune of
> thousands of dollars), but candidates also recommended by the Osceola County
> Superintendent Citizens Search Committee appointed by the school board
> itself.
>
> Shortly thereafter I wrote an email to Cindy Hartig, Barbara Horn, Julius
> Melendes, Tom Long and Jay Wheeler which included the following content (seehttp://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/1064d0a7d2eb1b90):
>
>     I am trying to fully document the superintendent search
>     process from the search committee through the school
>     board itself. I have already completed most of the
>     documentation of the search committee's efforts.
>
>     I have found that using a single concrete example and
>     following it all the way through is most illuminating.
>     As I am sure you could guess, I am using the case of
>     Dr. Roberta Selleck as the example. I am sure that we
>     would get similar results following any of the other
>     candidates in the same fashion.
>
> There are reasons why Tom Long is unwilling to publicly discuss his method
> of evaluating superintendent candidates during this process (seehttp://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/d16e95546396b277).
>
> Not only did Tom fall far short of due diligence in evaluating
> superintendent candidates ( see "How to Evaluate Superintendent Candidates",http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/b823adba0ea82768), but he also
>     schaf...@osceola.k12.fl.us

Geo

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Jun 25, 2011, 3:08:54 PM6/25/11
to HarmonyFL
The following statements were taken from the official final meeting
minutes of the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee
(see http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/584655088a793623 ):

Kathy Donato:

She [Dr. Selleck] did not return her call.

Sprint phone records show that contrary her testimony, Kathy Donato
never called Dr. Selleck.

I called Ms. Donato and left her a voice message. She never called me
back. She also never responded to my email.

Ms. Donato is the President of the Osceola County Education
Association. We can only speculate as to why the president of the
local teachers union would dislike a superintendent candidate so much
that she would falsely claim to have called her when in fact she did
not and then also claim that she never received a return phone call.

I suspect that this may have something to do with Dr. Selleck's
position that teachers should be held accountable, like most of us who
work for a living (the thrust of Florida Senate Bill 736). That said,
please listen to Dr. Selleck's response to superintendent question
#45:

Q45) What do you know about Florida Senate Bill 736 and
how it relates to education?

Hear for yourself Dr. Selleck's complete answer:

http://tinyurl.com/6bg2oas

Kathy Donato:

From listening to Mr. Schiro's audio-taped interview
with Dr. Selleck, Mrs. Donato expressed her concern
that the candidate "thought Senate Bill 736 was
wonderful." Because of this, she felt that this
candidate could bring a "heavy handedness" to the
district.

As you can hear yourself and contrary to Ms. Donato's assessment, Dr.
Selleck never suggested that Senate Bill 736 "was wonderful".
Likewise, no honest person listening to Dr. Selleck would even
remotely get the impression of "heavy handedness" from her. But
rather, as you would expect of a professional of Dr. Selleck's
stature, her response was much more thoughtful and nuanced.

This is why listening to the candidates themselves is so important.
This is why it was so important for Tom Long and the other school
board members to personally speak to the candidates on the phone at
the very least, yet they failed to do.

While Dr. Selleck does believe that teachers should be accountable,
she also believes that such accountability should be handled in a
manner that is fair and equitable to the teachers themselves. And in
case you have any doubts about the sincerity of Dr. Selleck's concerns
about the teachers she leads, you should also know that Dr. Selleck
was directly responsible for increasing teacher starting salaries by
$10,000 (33%) to the highest levels in the entire state of Colorado.

In addition to having a good understanding of Florida Senate Bill 736,
Kathy Donato made it abundantly clear (multiple times) that a
candidate's knowledge of the nationally recognized work of Dr. Robert
Marzano is of utmost importance in evaluating superintendent
candidates.

Hear Kathy Donato speaking about Marzano during the April 27th meeting
(Note: Lissette Brizendine speaks first, then at about 24 seconds into
the audio snippet Jay Polachek can be heard asking "I'm sorry, a
what?" when Ms. Brizendine mentions an "evaluation system" after which
Kathy Donato elaborates on the work of Dr. Marzano):

http://tinyurl.com/6hxywx9

Here is what Ms. Donato also had to say about the Marzano plan when
asked during the final committee meeting on May 16th:

Mr. Schiro asked Mrs. Donato to share in her opinion
the importance of the Marzano plan and whether it is
considered a top model when it comes to measuring
teacher effectiveness. She replied that it is
extremely important and well regarded in education, so
much so that the state and our district has adopted the
plan based on its proven results.

What is most perplexing is that the president of the local teachers
union couldn't be bothered to actually call Dr. Selleck. This is
especially troubling knowing that Dr. Selleck not only knew more about
the Marzano plan than any other candidate, but unlike any other
candidate she also actually received a personal recommendation from
Dr. Marzano himself:

Dear Superintendent Search Committee for The School
District of Osceola County, Florida:

I have known Dr. Roberta Selleck for four years now
during which time I worked with her as a consultant and
researcher on the design and implementation of a
district-wide system of standards-based (i.e.
competency-based) education. At a general level, I can
confidently say that Roberta is one of the best leaders
I have had the opportunity to work with during my
40-plus years in K-12 education. Her leadership skills
are obvious and impressive. She could effectively guide
a system of any size and any circumstance in my
opinion. Of course there are probably other fine
superintendents you might consider who would share
these characteristics. What separates Roberta from all
others is her passion and courage to make significant
changes in K-12 education. While other effective
superintendents might lead well and even inspire their
constituents, few seem to be willing to make the type
of changes that have the potential of transforming
education. Roberta is numbered among these few. About
standards-based education, I once made the comment that
Roberta was born to lead this change. I believe she has
started this transformation in Adams 50 School District
in Colorado and will continue to do so in other
districts that are fortunate enough to have her.
Literally I can't think of a person I would recommend
more strongly for the superintendency in a large
district seeking to deliver on the promise of K-12
education. Roberta has my full support. If you have any
questions please feel free to call me at 720-339-4580.
That stated, please note that I will be out of the
country from May 18 until May 27.

Robert J. Marzano
C.E.O. Marzano Research Laboratory
Denver, Colorado

Geo

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Jun 28, 2011, 9:09:09 PM6/28/11
to HarmonyFL
The following statements were taken from the official final meeting
minutes of the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee
(see http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/584655088a793623 ):

Jay Polachek:

She [Dr. Selleck] did not return his call.

Sprint phone records show that contrary his testimony, Jay Polachek
never called Dr. Selleck.

FYI, Jay Polachek was a former Councilman for the City of Saint Cloud
and a one-time mayoral candidate. Here is his most recent campaign
slogan (from last year's mayor's race, see http://www.webcitation.org/5yzYHVyxB
):

"The quality or state of being accountable; especially:
an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility
or to account for one's actions"

Mr. Polachek didn't return my phone call, nor did he acknowledge my
email.

Since he's not talking, we can only speculate as to why Mr. Polachek
would say that he called Dr. Selleck when he didn't, but first we need
more information.

So I went back and listened to an earlier committee meeting. I was
surprised to hear Mr. Polachek's initial statement about the minimum
requirements for superintendent candidates:

"Polachek - Candidate Requirements"
http://tinyurl.com/6hl96eo

As I recall no other committee member repeated such minimalist
requirements for a superintendent candidate. I don't think anyone else
indicated that a masters degree was sufficient for the position being
offered. While Mr. Polachek was just restating what appears in the
school board's superintendent search brochure, I don't think anyone
else actually took such minimal requirements seriously. The rest of us
were looking for much more. It didn't occur to me at the time why Mr.
Polachek would feel the need to restate the minimum requirement.

This statement is also taken from the final committee meeting minutes:

Mr. Polachek voiced his concern that none of the nine
candidates in his opinion were better than the person
filling the Interim Superintendent position currently
[Terry Andrews]. As such, he said that he was going to
abstain from casting his votes for the top five
candidates.

But why? Why would Jay Polachek make a false claim about Dr. Selleck
and then follow-up the claim that none of the superintendent
candidates were "better than the person filling the Interim
Superintendent position". Of course in this context "better" meant
"more qualified".

During the last search committee meeting I told Mr. Polachek to his
face that I thought that his conclusion was bizarre. The same word was
subsequently used in a similar context by Atlee Mercer in an op-ed for
the Osceola Gazette.

Folks who simply read the candidates' resumes and listen to their
recorded interviews (see http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/b0b4a4a621d674c6
), and those who also read their written responses to the committee
questions will come away understanding that at a minimum they are all
more qualified than Terry Andrews. I mean no disrespect to Mr.
Andrews, but this is simply the fact of the matter. I challenge Jay
Polachek or anyone else to refute this conclusion. I expect that there
will be no takers since Jay Polachek's position is irrational,
indefensible and unsupported by the facts.

If anyone took the next step and actually spoke to these folks they
would come way understanding that something must be very wrong if
anyone can arrive at the conclusion that such superintendent
candidates are less than fully qualified to be the Superintendent of
the Osceola County School District.

I must honestly say that Mr. Polachek's position surprised me more
than anything else that I witnessed during the superintendent search
committee deliberations (other than the statements that I learned only
later were false). I really couldn't understand Mr. Polachek's
position at all. I resigned to never understanding until I was made
aware of one simple fact that seems to explain everything.

During the May 16th committee meeting I was quite unaware of the
presence of one other person in the room, the one and only member of
the public present that evening. Her name is Jayne Polachek. She is
Jay Polachek's wife.

I didn't know who Mrs. Polachek was at the time. I also didn't know
something else. Not only is Mrs. Polachek a teacher in Osceola County,
but she also worked under Terry Andrews at St. Cloud Middle School
where Mr. Andrews was principal just prior to his appointment as
interim superintendent.

Listen to Jay Polachek talking about how teachers and their needs are
his primary concern while selecting a superintendent:

http://tinyurl.com/3t362mx

I agree with Mr. Polachek that the needs of teachers are important,
but I don't agree that they are more important than the need of
students, our children.

While the words of Mr. Polachek suggest that he is an opponent of
mediocrity in our schools (hear his full statement: http://tinyurl.com/5snq22b
), his actions seem to prove otherwise.

Here is the last email that I sent to Jay Polachek:

Jay, it has come to my attention that your wife (Jayne
Polachek) worked as a reading teacher under Terry
Andrews when Mr. Andrews was the Principal of Saint
Cloud Middle. If this true, this would appear to be a
conflict-of-interest on your part when you accepted
your nomination to the recent superintendent search
committee. This is especially true considering the fact
that Mr. Andrews was well known to be in a position to
be retained as superintendent if the applying
superintendent candidates were somehow deemed "less
qualified" than Mr. Andrews.

Did you fully disclose to Tom Long this
conflict-of-interest Jay?

Needless to say, I received no response from Mr. Polachek. Since Tom
Long appointed Jay Polachek to the citizens search committee, I
seriously doubt that he will have much to say about it either.

Geo

unread,
Jun 29, 2011, 12:35:44 PM6/29/11
to HarmonyFL
It just occurred to me that the significance of an important detail in
the previous post may be missed.

While our current superintendent, Terry Andrews, has a masters degree,
all five of the superintendent candidates dismissed by Jay Polachek
(and subsequently by the school board) have doctorate degrees. This is
part of the reason why it is absurd to suggest that "none of the nine
candidates in his opinion were better than the person filling the
Interim Superintendent position currently [Terry Andrews]".


On Jun 28, 9:09 pm, Geo <IIDIMGRLA...@spammotel.com> wrote:
> The following statements were taken from the official final meeting
> minutes of the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee
> (seehttp://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/584655088a793623):
>
> Jay Polachek:
>
>     She [Dr. Selleck] did not return his call.
>
> Sprint phone records show that contrary his testimony, Jay Polachek
> never called Dr. Selleck.
>
> FYI, Jay Polachek was a former Councilman for the City of Saint Cloud
> and a one-time mayoral candidate. Here is his most recent campaign
> slogan (from last year's mayor's race, seehttp://www.webcitation.org/5yzYHVyxB
> recorded interviews (seehttp://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/b0b4a4a621d674c6
> >     teacher effectiveness.  She replied that it...
>
> read more »

Geo

unread,
Jun 30, 2011, 8:27:53 PM6/30/11
to HarmonyFL
The following statement was taken from the official final meeting
minutes of the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee
(see http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/584655088a793623 ):

Lissette Brizendine:

Mrs. Brizendine: She was also very impressed with her
[Dr. Selleck] as she was easy to talk to and seemed
like a "people person." Her research showed that is
she an innovator and a forward thinker who does her
homework.

Lissette Brizendine is the Principal of Mill Creek Elementary School.
She was also elected by the Osceola County Superintendent Citizens
Search Committee to be its chairperson.

With all of the previous folks falsely claiming to have called Dr.
Selleck (and also claiming to not get a call back), how could it not
occur to any of them that it strains credulity that anyone applying
for a $200,000 per year job would neglect to return phone calls? This
simply makes no sense at all.

What also makes no sense is claiming something that can be easily
verified by checking phone records.

Yet contrary to her public statements, Lissette Brizendine never spoke
to Dr. Selleck either. In fact, like the others, she never even called
Dr. Selleck. Her statement to the committee was made up out of whole
cloth.

What's even worse is that as the committee's spokesperson, Mrs.
Brizendine repeated the following day the same falsehood before the
Osceola County School Board.

Hear Lissette Brizendine's testimony about Dr. Selleck before the
school board:

http://tinyurl.com/3qcrnw6

While reiterating that Dr. Selleck was "very easy to speak to", she
also repeated the testimony of others who falsely claimed Dr. Selleck
failed to return their calls, phones calls that were never placed.

As the chairperson of the search committee and also as someone
claiming to have actually spoken to Dr. Selleck, Lissette Brizendine's
misstatements gave credence to the misstatements of others. As a
result, her testimony was very damaging to Dr. Selleck.

So the question remains. Why would anyone lie?

Geo

unread,
Jul 3, 2011, 11:46:20 AM7/3/11
to HarmonyFL
So far this thread has been about the documented misstatements of
Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee members. These
misstatements (and likely others not researched) helped lead to the
rejection of highly qualified superintendent candidates by the school
board.

Search committee members were not alone in their dishonesty. During
the recent superintendent selection process school board members were
also less than honest, both publicly and privately.

Here is the first email sent to Julius Melendez on this matter (a
similar email was sent to the other board members as well):

From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name]
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:56 AM
To: mele...@osceola.k12.fl.us
Subject: Documenting Superintendent Search Process

Hello Julius,

I am trying to fully document the superintendent search
process from the search committee through the school
board itself. I have already completed most of the
documentation of the search committee's efforts.

I have found that using a single concrete example and
following it all the way through is most illuminating.
As I am sure you could guess, I am using the case of
Dr. Roberta Selleck as the example. I am sure that we
would get similar results following any of the other
candidates in the same fashion.

Could you please provide me with all of the information
that you used during your investigation of Dr. Selleck?
What were your sources? What references did you use
(ie. personal or web links). Who did you speak to on
the phone?

Any assistance you can offer with this would be greatly
appreciated.

My hope is that your feedback will help improve the
process for next time.

Thanks!

'Geo

Mr. Melendez replied:

From: Julius Melendez [mailto:mele...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:45 PM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Re: Documenting Superintendent Search Process

I am in Gainesville tomorrow and another event
scheduled all day on Friday. This weekend I am still
moving and will be able to get back to you on Monday.
I will be happy to share with you my thought process on
Dr Selleck.

Julius

Yet sadly, I never heard from Mr. Melendez a second time. He didn't
write again nor did he call to explain his "thought process on Dr
Selleck" or anything else.

Why? Why would he say that he would, yet then not follow through?

Before moving on, you should be aware of an interesting occurrence on
the night of the last search committee meeting (May 16th). After that
meeting I asked Mr. Melendez if he had called any of the
superintendent candidates. He said "no". I then asked if he listened
to any of the interviews that I recorded with the candidates (see
http://tinyurl.com/3dleswn and http://tinyurl.com/3br3fet ). He again
responded "no".

Since I had Mr. Melendez's undivided attention, I asked if he would be
willing to listen to the first 5 minutes of some of the candidates'
interviews. He agreed. So I setup a little portable speaker and
attached my MP3 player. As I recall, Mr. Melendez listened to the
first few minutes of 3 or 4 interviews. He liked what he heard. In
fact, he was so impressed that he was motivated on the spot to make
two phone calls: one to the school board attorney (to get Dr. James
Browder's phone number) and the other call to Dr. Browder himself. Mr.
Melendez was so impressed with Dr. Browder that he spoke to him at
length for an hour and a half!

Hear his recollection of the call in his own words (Note: Mr. Melendez
was speaking on May 17th about the night before):

http://tinyurl.com/3o6j5ss

Another question arose when I became aware that folks were not
actually making the phone calls that they were claiming. So I asked
the school board members for their recent phone records. Yet I only
received phone records from two school board members, one voluntarily,
the other involuntarily.

Jay Wheeler was the only school board member to cooperate. He didn't
hesitate to provide his personal phone records (he doesn't use a
school district assigned phone). No other school board member was
helpful at all.

Although Julius Melendez wasn't willing to provide me with any
information (including his phone records), I was able to get his
school district assigned phone records via a public records request.

Here's what I initially asked for:

Please also accept this as a separate request for
Julius Melendez's phone records from May 6th through
May 17th of this year. I make this request with the
understanding that Mr. Melendez has been issued a cell
phone by the school district. Please make his phone
records available in text searchable form (ie. ideally,
a single plain text file).

Here's what I finally received:

From: Martha Mann [mailto:ma...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:51 PM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Re: Fwd(2): Public Records Request

Mr. Schiro,
Regarding your phone call question -

On the night of May 16, 2011, I personally
witnessed Mr. Melendez's make two school district
related phone calls shortly after the end of the
final citizens search committee meeting. He did so
after I played a few audio recordings of
interviews, including one of Dr. James Browder.

The first phone call was to Suzanne D'Agresta. I
believe that she provided the phone number for Dr.
Browder. The second phone call was to Dr. Browder.

Why would these phone calls not appear in the call
record?

He did not use his district provided cell phone to make
the phone calls you are referring to.

Thank you,

Martha Mann
Osceola County School District
Community Relations Specialist
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Ph:407/518-2926 Fax: 407-870-4017
ma...@osceola.k12.fl.us

So why would the school district incur the expense of Julius
Melendez's cell phone while he avoids using it to make school district
phone calls? Why would he use his personal cell phone instead?

If Julius Melendez is using his personal cell phone for school
district business, why does he refuse to produce his personal phone
records?

Folks should also be aware that the Osceola School Board recently made
the decision to require all school board members to carry school
district assigned cell phones. But it is my understanding that the
school board did not also require school board members to stop using
their personal phones for school district related calls.

Thus school board members are still free to conduct "undocumented"
school board related phone calls on their own private and
unaccountable phones while still incurring the expense of school
district assigned cell phones.

The goal of transparency and accountability is one thing. The pretense
of transparency and accountability is something else. Do current
members of the Osceola School Board really know the difference?

Geo

unread,
Jul 6, 2011, 12:40:38 PM7/6/11
to HarmonyFL
As far as I can tell, Tom Long made no false statements in public
about the recent superintendent search process, or at least not
intentionally. That said, there is no doubt that Mr. Long made serious
errors in his evaluation of superintendent candidates.

However, what Mr. Long did do, subsequent to the conclusion of the
superintendent selection process, is another matter altogether. In my
opinion, this is even more serious than the lies previously
documented.

As you now know, a few days after the school board's final decision, I
became aware that several people were not telling the truth about
contacting superintendent candidates. This included search committee
members as well as at least one school board member (as of yet
unnamed). The faked contact attempts by committee members have been
documented here already.

It is a fact that Tom Long called no superintendent candidates. He
also called no one who personally knows the superintendent candidates.
But unlike the others, Mr. Long made no pretences to the contrary, or
least not during public school district meetings.

Hear Tom Long acknowledge that he called none of the candidates:

http://tinyurl.com/6fo93rt

So what's the problem? What else is there that Tom Long actually did
or didn't do? Did he lie about something? There are two answers to
these questions.

One answer details what Mr. Long failed to do. The other details what
he actually did, apparently maliciously and vindictively, in secret
and during a futile attempt at being undetected.

When I learned of the false statements made during public meetings and
written into the public record, I knew that the proper thing to do was
to bring this matter to the attention of someone in a position to do
something about it. Since this is a school district related matter and
since I have spoken to Tom Long many times about many school related
matters, I thought it only natural to also bring this matter to Mr.
Long.

I was hoping that at a minimum Mr. Long would be willing to bear
witness to the facts that prove that several people in the public
trust lied publicly. So I asked:

As I told you, several people claimed to have called
Dr. Selleck who apparently never did. One person
(Lissette Brizendine) even claimed to have spoken to
Dr. Selleck, yet she never did. Did you get the
impression from Dr. Blanton's evaluation of Dr. Selleck
before the school board that he spoke to her too. He
didn't.

For the sake of the whole truth Tom, for simple right
and wrong, would you be willing to witness Dr.
Selleck's phone records directly on the Sprint.com
website? Would you be willing to verify that what Dr.
Selleck has been saying on her own behalf is the truth?

Mr. Long responded by offering conditions for his help:

If you wish to provide me certified and complete hard
copies of Dr. Selleck's phone records, including her
cell phone, home phone and school district phone
records, from the date she submitted her application to
the date of our workshop, I will receive them at the
district office.

Mr. Long concluded his email with this admonishment:

THIS EMAIL IS PRIVATE AND
NOT FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY ON ANY MEDIUM.

So I pointed out how unreasonable Mr. Long was being:

After speaking to Dr. Selleck, she is not sure what
would constitute "certified and complete hard copies"
of her phone records. What guarantee could be made that
hard copies transmitted from Denver to Florida could
not be tampered with? How could anyone be certain that
the data wasn't somehow faked? In other words, how
could anyone be certain that nothing was removed?

Also, Dr. Selleck doesn't see the relevance of any
phone records other than those associated with the
phone number provided to the school board in her
resume. Please remember, the point of all this is to
know who actually called Dr. Selleck, not who was
called by Dr. Selleck. Thus asking for Dr. Selleck's
home phone records or phone records for any phone
number other than the one and only phone number
published in Dr. Selleck's resume is not a reasonable
request. In fact, such a request has every appearance
of being an attempt to delay the outcome of this
process.

Also, Dr. Selleck's phone records are private. She was
willing to share them with me only for the purpose of
helping to clear her good name of apparently false
allegations as well as the implication that she did not
take the Osceola superintendent application process
seriously enough to return phone calls. Thus having her
phone records delivered unprotected and copyable to the
school district is also an unreasonable request. This
request seems to impose an unnecessary burden on Dr.
Selleck. For what purpose?

In reality all Tom Long had to do was spend a few minutes in front of
a computer accessing Dr. Selleck's phone records directly on the
"Sprint.com" website (Dr. Selleck was graciously willing without
hesitation to provide her "Sprint.com" account credentials). Yet Mr.
Long refused to do this. He refused to cooperate. He refused to bear
witness to the truth while the facts where still readily available.

Here is the last of three emails that I sent to Tom Long on Friday,
June 3rd:

From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name]
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2011 12:46 PM
To: lon...@osceola.k12.fl.us; cfl...@aol.com
Cc: Dana Schafer; prse...@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Dr. Selleck's Phone Records


Mr. Long,

It has been more than 3 hours since my previous email
to you at 9:34am this morning as well as more than 6
hours since my first email to you today at 6:12am.

I asked Dana Schafer earlier today what time she would
be available at the latest for the purpose of aiding
you in the process of bearing witness to Dr. Selleck's
phone records (as you have indicated a willingness to
do). Ms. Schafer said that she typically leaves at
about 4:30pm. When I spoke to Ms. Schafer I felt at the
time that we should all meet no later than 4pm. But I
really would not want to keep Ms. Schafer beyond
4:30pm, so I really think that we should start this
activity no later than 3:30pm, just to be safe.

I took the liberty to ask Ms. Schafer if there are any
official school board meetings or similar activities
going on at the school district today (6/3) or Monday
(6/6). Ms. Schafer responded that there are none. While
there are end-of-year activities going on at various
schools, there are nothing like meetings or expulsion
hearings going on requiring mandatory school board
member attendance.

Thus you appear to be unencumbered by official school
district duties today or Monday Mr. Long. So I think
that you will be hard pressed to explain why you are
unable to reply to these emails or why you can't make
yourself available to witness the phone records which
call into question the official testimony not only of
search committee members but also of at least one
school board member as well.

I repeat, after Monday or possibly after today, these
call records may no longer be available on the
"Sprint.com" website.

Ms. Schafer has indicated that she is indeed available
anytime after lunch and prior to the time that she
leaves for the day.

Please do not let this opportunity slip away for you to
personally bear witness to the truth Mr. Long.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

Yet even after all my pleading Tom Long never responded again
(himself). It seems that he was perfectly OK with having the call data
disappear.

I acknowledge that I was very persistent with my pleas for Mr. Long's
help with this matter, but I wanted to be absolutely sure that he
fully understood that he was making a conscious choice in helping to
suppress the truth.

Bearing witness to Dr. Selleck's phone records was the very least that
Tom Long could have done, and yet he failed to do this.

If not witnessing phone records is what he didn't do, then what DID
Tom Long do? Did he lie?

Tom Long did lie. Then he did something even worse. And as I wrote
above, he did so apparently maliciously and vindictively, in secret
and during a futile attempt at being undetected.

More details will follow soon.


On Jul 3, 11:46 am, Geo <IIDIMGRLA...@spammotel.com> wrote:
> So far this thread has been about the documented misstatements of
> Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee members. These
> misstatements (and likely others not researched) helped lead to the
> rejection of highly qualified superintendent candidates by the school
> board.
>
> Search committee members were not alone in their dishonesty. During
> the recent superintendent selection process school board members were
> also less than honest, both publicly and privately.
>
> Here is the first email sent to Julius Melendez on this matter (a
> similar email was sent to the other board members as well):
>
>     From: Julius Melendez [mailto:melen...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
>     Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:45 PM
>     To: 99922008harm...@schiro.name
>     Subject: Re: Documenting Superintendent Search Process
>
>     I am in Gainesville tomorrow and another event
>     scheduled all day on Friday.  This weekend I am still
>     moving and will be able to get back to you on Monday.
>     I will be happy to share with you my thought process on
>     Dr Selleck.
>
>     Julius
>
> Yet sadly, I never heard from Mr. Melendez a second time. He didn't
> write again nor did he call to explain his "thought process on Dr
> Selleck" or anything else.
>
> Why? Why would he say that he would, yet then not follow through?
>
> Before moving on, you should be aware of an interesting occurrence on
> the night of the last search committee meeting (May 16th). After that
> meeting I asked Mr. Melendez if he had called any of the
> superintendent candidates. He said "no". I then asked if he listened
> to any of the interviews that I recorded with the candidates (seehttp://tinyurl.com/3dleswnandhttp://tinyurl.com/3br3fet). He again

Geo

unread,
Jul 9, 2011, 6:41:06 PM7/9/11
to HarmonyFL
This is a continuation of the previous post about Osceola School Board
member Tom Long.

I made a public records request to verify that Tom Long actually
received the emails that I sent him on June 3rd (see above). He did
receive them. There is no doubt about that.

What is interesting is that Tom Long also received an email from
someone else apparently not privy to the emails that Mr. Long received
(or at least as far as I knew at the time).

As some of you may recall, I wrote about the "Carl Cricket" blog some
time ago:

Carl Cricket - 2011-03-23
http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/81515778b27f15d1

As I described back then, "Carl Cricket" is a pseudonym for someone
who apparently fears that his or her true identity might be known in
public. This is consistent with the many personal attacks that "Carl"
and others (many of whom are the same "Carl" pretending to be even
more people) regularly launch against public and private citizens
alike.

In my opinion, if you are not man enough to identify yourself when
speaking in public (especially when you are attacking others), then
you lack courage. You also lack credibility and your positions will
appear to arise from some hidden agenda.

I had no idea in March who "Carl Cricket" was. But now I do. "Carl's"
true identity will be revealed in a future post. But for now, suffice
it to say that I have recently learned that "Carl Cricket" has a close
personal relationship with Tom Long. In fact, their friendship is so
close that it looks like "Carl" responds on Tom Long's behalf when Mr.
Long lacks the courage to respond himself.

What follows is the content of an email buried deep among the many
provided by Tom Long to fulfill my public records request. This email
was sent directly to Dr. Roberta Selleck by the person who I now know
to be "Carl Cricket". This email had the subject "Emails you've been
receiving" and was sent on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 5:40pm:

Please do NOT judge Osceola County based on Mr Shiro's
multiple emails, of which you must be physically ill of
by now. Most citizens here are as well. The man seems
to only have one point, or opinion. That is, he's right
and all else are wrong. Unfortunately, every community
has one or a dozen to put up with. Mr. Shiro seems to
have been under lots of stress when the school board
"had the nerve" to disagree with his choice. I'm sure
you understand and will not fault an entire county
based on this rather ill man's actions. Of course,
that's my opinion, and I am only one of so many who
have now become disgusted with Mr. Shiro and his loose
cannon antics. I also believe that one, or possibly two
school board members may already have consulted an
attorney regarding his completely harassing emails.

Your credentials seemed impressive and I am sure you'll
have no difficulties relocating to wherever you deem
necessary.

I suspect that Tom Long asked "Carl" to send the above email on his
behalf, although I can't know this for sure. What I can know for
certain is that Tom Long secretly forwarded my June 3rd emails to
"Carl Cricket" himself.

How can I know this? From the previous post you can see that the
emails of June 3rd were sent to Tom Long, Dana Schafer and Dr. Selleck
(and no one else). Thus only 4 people should have known about these
emails, the three folks listed and myself.

I didn't forward the June 3rd emails to anyone.

So I asked Dr. Selleck. She didn't forward the emails to "Carl
Cricket" or anyone else either. I also asked Dana Schafer. She didn't
forward the emails to "Carl Cricket" or anyone else either.

Therefore there is only one possible source of the June 3rd emails
given to "Carl Cricket". That would be Tom Long. But if this is true,
we have a serious problem.

I reviewed every email among those provided by Tom Long to fulfill my
public records request. The request asked for:

all emails to or from Tom Long (via any email address
used by Mr. Long) since April 27, 2011 containing the
character string "selleck"

The Florida Sunshine Law requires public officials (including school
board members) to respond in good faith with ALL correspondence
requested. Public officials are not at liberty to withhold certain
pieces of information that perhaps they don't want the public to know
about.

Yet when Mr. Long fulfilled this request, he excluded the June 3rd
emails forwarded to "Carl Cricket". Why? Apparently Tom Long doesn't
want the citizens of Osceola County to know that he has been secretly
forwarding school board related information to "Carl Cricket" for the
purposes of having such information published in an anonymous blog.

I asked Martha Mann and Dana Schafer how this could happen. How could
"Carl Cricket" receive the June 3rd emails from Tom Long while Tom
Long also failed to reveal this information in his fulfillment of my
public records request? Here is the official response that I received
to answer these questions ("Carl Cricket's" real identity has been
replaced with ["Carl Cricket"]:

From: Martha Mann [mailto:ma...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 11:55 AM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Fwd: RE: RE: Fwd(2): RE: Public Records Request

Mr. Schiro,
Mr. Long called to let us know that the reason he did
not have a forwarded message to ["Carl Cricket"] is
because he printed the message and gave Mr. ["Cricket"]
a copy.

This should complete your request. Thank you!

Martha Mann
Osceola County School District
Community Relations Specialist
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Ph:407/518-2926 Fax: 407-870-4017
ma...@osceola.k12.fl.us

I also learned that it took Tom Long more than 24 hours to "remember"
that rather than clicking the "Forward" button in his email reader, he
instead printed out the June 3rd emails on paper and personally handed
them to "Carl Cricket" himself. "Carl Cricket" then sent the "George
is ill" email to Dr. Selleck that same day.

I claimed in my previous post that Tom Long lied. As you can see, his
was a lie of omission. Not only did he lie by not including the fact
that he secretly forwarded my emails to "Carl Cricket", but he also
lied by not properly fulfilling a public records request as required
by law.

In a previous post Steve Berube wrote:

there's a difference between lying and not knowing ( or
divulging ) that which may be factual

Is this what you were talking about Steve? Is this kind of "not
divulging" by a public official "OK" in your opinion? I certainly hope
not. A response would be reassuring Steve, but none is required. I
know that it can be difficult for a public official to take a public
stance on issues like this.

At this point it might be helpful for folks to remember that Tom Long
won his elected office by running prominently on a platform of
transparency and accountability. It would appear that not only does
Mr. Long have a difficulty understanding the meaning of term "due
diligence", he also has a difficulty with the concept of transparency.

Geo

unread,
Jul 14, 2011, 12:39:44 PM7/14/11
to HarmonyFL
To review all of this from the top, click "Go directly to the Harmony,
FL newsgroup on Google" from here:

http://HarmonyFLcommons.com

This is a continuation of the "Subtle Little Lies" thread.

As stated early on, I started this research with emails to each school
board member. The following email was sent to Cindy Hartig, the
current Chairperson of the Osceola County School Board:

From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name]
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:56 AM
To: har...@osceola.k12.fl.us
Subject: Documenting Superintendent Search Process


Hello Cindy,

I am trying to fully document the superintendent search
process from the search committee through the school
board itself. I have already completed most of the
documentation of the search committee's efforts.

I have found that using a single concrete example and
following it all the way through is most illuminating.
As I am sure you could guess, I am using the case of
Dr. Roberta Selleck as the example. I am sure that we
would get similar results following any of the other
candidates in the same fashion.

Could you please provide me with all of the information
that you used during your investigation of Dr. Selleck?
What were your sources? What references did you use
(ie. personal or web links). Who did you speak to on
the phone?

Any assistance you can offer with this would be greatly
appreciated.

My hope is that your feedback will help improve the
process for next time.

Thanks!

'Geo

Cindy Hartig replied:

From: Cindy Hartig [mailto:har...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 11:01 AM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Re: Documenting Superintendent Search Process


George I am in court this week, out of town for two
days and will not be able to respond till Tuesday of
next week hope that is good for you

Clh
Sent from FirstClass with my iPad

When I didn't hear back from Ms. Hartig, I sent her a reminder:

From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:54 AM
To: Cindy Hartig
Subject: RE: Documenting Superintendent Search Process


Cindy,

You indicated that you would be able to respond by
yesterday.

Can you now share your candidate evaluation
methodology? In particular, when did you speak to
Roberta Selleck? Also, who did you speak to in the
Adams50 school district about Dr. Selleck?

Thank you for any assistance that you can offer with
this.

'Geo

Cindy Hartig replied:

From: Cindy Hartig [mailto:har...@osceola.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:56 PM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Cc: sdag...@orlandolaw.net; Dana Schafer
Subject: Re: Documenting Superintendent Search Process

Mr. Schiro,

I hope this email finds you well. I am dealing with
many issues both business and private and am very
limited on my time right now.

That being said, with all due respect at this point I
do not believe keeping this alive in this forum will do
any good. I feel very good about my research and would
suggest to you that if you have questions you contact
Dana Schafer and do a public requests. She will be
able to provide any notes that were turned in after the
meeting.

At some point Mr. Schiro we need to let the board do
what they were elected to do. This board does an
awesome job as do each and everyone of our employees.
Many times prior to being on the board I questioned
things so I understand, however this board is very
transparent and they need to be taken at face value.

This path is concerning to some of the committee
members and feel they are being dragged into something
they saw as "doing an honor" to the community. I
support your desire for open and honest communication
and transparency in all things,however continuing down
this line is counter productive to our community, and
certainly to our educational system and its employees.

Have a wonderful day, and understand I will not respond
to future requests on this topic.

Thank you for all you did as part of the committee and
what you have done and I am sure will continue to do
for the community,

Cindy Lou Hartig
School Board Chair

So from the outset you can see that Ms. Hartig was not being honest
when she implied cooperation with this matter. She easily could have
issued her subsequent non-response a week earlier. Yet as you will
soon see, Ms. Hartig was apparently intentionally delaying her
response so that she could make a CYA ("cover your ass") phone call to
Dr. Selleck's school district in Colorado (Adams50), a phone call made
long after Dr. Selleck had already been trashed in public by Cindy
Hartig.

The following documentation reveals a pattern of deception by the
Chairperson of the Osceola County School Board that is so pervasive
and troubling that one can only wonder if such a recurring problem is
actually pathological in nature.


On Jul 9, 6:41 pm, Geo <IIDIMGRLA...@spammotel.com> wrote:
> This is a continuation of the previous post about Osceola School Board
> member Tom Long.
>
> I made a public records request to verify that Tom Long actually
> received the emails that I sent him on June 3rd (see above). He did
> receive them. There is no doubt about that.
>
> What is interesting is that Tom Long also received an email from
> someone else apparently not privy to the emails that Mr. Long received
> (or at least as far as I knew at the time).
>
> As some of you may recall, I wrote about the "Carl Cricket" blog some
> time ago:
>
> Carl Cricket - 2011-03-23http://groups.google.com/group/harmonyfl/msg/81515778b27f15d1

Geo

unread,
Jul 17, 2011, 6:00:36 PM7/17/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
To review all of this from the top, click "Go directly to the Harmony, FL
newsgroup on Google" from here:

http://HarmonyFLcommons.com

This is a continuation of the "Subtle Little Lies" thread and a continuation
of the previous post about Osceola School Board Chairperson Cindy Hartig.

The following statements were taken from the official video of the Osceola
County School Board Workshop recorded on the morning of May 17, 2011 (see
http://tinyurl.com/668lamw or
http://www.osceola.k12.fl.us/board/Board_Meetings.asp ) as well as from
documents obtained via public records requests.

From an email quoted in my previous post, I asked Ms. Hartig:

Can you now share your candidate evaluation
methodology? In particular, when did you speak to
Roberta Selleck? Also, who did you speak to in the
Adams50 school district about Dr. Selleck?

Here's the salient part of Ms. Hartig's response:

I feel very good about my research and would suggest to
you that if you have questions you contact Dana Schafer
and do a public requests. She will be able to provide
any notes that were turned in after the meeting.

FYI, Dana Schafer is the Director of Community Relations for the Osceola
School District. She is responsible for fulfilling public records requests
directed at the school district.

Since Cindy Hartig was unwilling to cooperate at all, I had no choice but to
proceed as she suggested. So I submitted public records requests to Dana
Schafer for the information that Ms. Hartig was unwilling to provide
herself.

Cindy Hartig #1:

I've looked at all five of them [the candidates].
I've spoken to the majority of them.

Hear it in her own voice:

http://tinyurl.com/68dgevh

I personally contacted each of the top five superintendent candidates with
this:

Please reply with your name and a statement confirming
that Cindy Hartig actually spoke to you (or not).

The candidates responded:

Dr. James Browder:

Hi George I did speak to Cindy.

Dr. Roberta Selleck:

The only two people who had a conversation with me
about my application to Osceola County is Jon
Arguello and George Schiro. Cindy Hartig, Chair of
the Osceola County School Board never called or
talked to me.

Dr. Wayne Alexander:

I did not speak with her!

Dr. Thomas Geismar (by phone):

No, Cindy Hartig never called me.

Dr. Ralph Teran:

I did not speak with Cindy Hartig, I did not have a
voice mail either at home or on my cell phone to
return a call to Cindy Hartig.

From the candidates themselves we now know that Cindy Hartig spoke to only
one (Dr. Browder). She didn't even make an attempt to call any of the other
candidates.

Therefore Cindy Hartig's public statement that she had "spoken to the
majority of them" is clearly false.

Cindy Hartig #2:

I called her [Dr. Selleck] and
did not get a phone call back.

Hear it in her own voice:

http://tinyurl.com/69rnx9v

Yet Sprint phone records show that contrary her public testimony, Cindy
Hartig never called Dr. Selleck. This was later confirmed by Dr. Selleck
herself (see above).

Cindy Hartig #3 (from Dana Schafer):

In speaking with Ms. Hartig today, she shared that she
recalls making several calls during her Superintendent
Search research on candidates from the phone in our
Board workroom here at the district office.

The three attachments below are the three pages of phone records produced
via a public records request. These reports detail usage of the school
district boardroom phones from 5/6/2011 (candidate resume deadline) through
5/17/2011 as well as from 4/28/2011 (the day after Dr. Selleck's resume was
received) through 5/17/2011. There were no calls made to phones outside of
the 407 area code or the 321 area code from the boardroom phones during this
time span (other than one call to the Florida Department of Education and an
another call to the New Hampshire Special Education Information System).

So once again we see that Cindy Hartig's statement is false.

During the school board workshop on May 17th Cindy Hartig made a big deal
about her call to Dr. Browder (her only call to any of the candidates). She
had nothing positive to say about Dr. Browder (unlike Julius Melendez who
went on at length about how impressed he was with Dr. Browder "This guy was
amazing.", hear it yourself: http://tinyurl.com/3cevzde ).

Yet Ms. Hartig concluded her statement with a claim that she had a text
message that proved her point about Dr. Browder:

Cindy Hartig #4:

I've got the text message and
I would be happy to show anybody.

Hear it in her own voice:

http://tinyurl.com/4yc8wxg

Yet after saying publicly that she "would be happy to show anybody", here's
what I received instead:

From: Dana Schafer [mailto:scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us]

Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 4:32 PM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Information

George:

Ms. Hartig does not have the text message that you
inquired about. She did request that we investigate
through her cell phone carrier on whether or not we can
obtain that message. We have been advised through her
carrier that text messages are only retained by them
between 3-5 days from the date they were sent or
received. Ms. Hartig said that she received the text
before the May 17 Board meeting. As such, it is not
available now through them.

Thanks!
Dana

Dana Schafer
Director of Community Relations
Osceola School District

817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744

407-870-4007
scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us

Note: My first "Documenting Superintendent Search Process" email (see above)
was sent to Cindy Hartig on May 18, 2011, the day after she claimed publicly
"I've got the text message."

Jeanette Rivera-Lyles wrote an article in the Orlando Sentinel recently with
the heading "After leadership turmoil, Osceola schools try to find their
bearings" (see http://www.webcitation.org/60Fh1T3o3 ). Cindy Hartig was not
happy with this article. In particular, Ms. Hartig took issue with this
statement:

Hartig was not impressed by the search committee's top
choices, although she acknowledged she had called none
for an interview.

While it is accurate that Ms. Hartig didn't call any candidates for
interviews in person, she did call exactly one candidate on the phone (Dr.
Browder, as stated above). Yet this was her written rebuttal to Ms.
Rivera-Lyles:

Cindy Hartig #5:

I did call candidates and did have conversation with
them so why would you make the statement I did not?

But again, when she claimed to the Orlando Sentinel's Osceola Reporter that
she "did call candidates", Cindy Hartig was not being truthful (ie. she
called only one candidate).

According to the Chairperson of the Osceola County School Board, just one
out of five is a "majority" and a minority of one is considered
"candidates".

It would appear that Cindy Hartig has a hard time with the whole truth. She
often claims a grain of truth that she then molds into whatever lie meets
her needs at the moment.

To be continued ...


-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com]On
Behalf Of Geo

Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:40 PM
To: HarmonyFL

Conf Room Calls.jpg
Board Workroom Calls 1.jpg
Board Workroom Calls 2.jpg

Geo

unread,
Jul 22, 2011, 7:42:46 AM7/22/11
to gg
To review all of this from the top, click "Go directly to the Harmony, FL
newsgroup on Google" from here:

http://HarmonyFLcommons.com

This is a continuation of the "Subtle Little Lies" thread. It is also the
culmination of the previous posts about Osceola School Board Chairperson
Cindy Hartig and her false statements regarding the recent superintendent
selection process in Osceola County.

The following statements were taken from the official video of the Osceola
County School Board Workshop recorded on the morning of May 17, 2011 (see
http://tinyurl.com/668lamw or
http://www.osceola.k12.fl.us/board/Board_Meetings.asp ) as well as from
documents obtained via public records requests.

I have spoken to several folks in Osceola County about these matters,
including Dana Schafer and Martha Mann. These folks have been very patient
and understanding with the fulfillment of several public records requests.
They have handled these requests with efficiency and professionalism.

Cindy Hartig #6:

In the process of fulfilling these public records
requests (requests suggested by Ms. Hartig herself),
Ms. Schafer and Ms. Mann have had the opportunity to
discuss these matters with Cindy Hartig and other
school board members. Here is a recent email from Ms.
Schafer describing a brief conversation with Ms. Hartig
about a public records request made last month that I
asked Ms. Schafer about last week (over the phone):

From: Dana Schafer [mailto:scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us]

Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 11:02 AM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: information

George:

While I am not 100% sure on the date, I am fairly
confident that either on or soon after May 25, I had a
conversation with Ms. Hartig where she told me that she
had not called Roberta Selleck directly but rather
conducted her candidate research by calling one or more
people in her school district.

Thanks!
Dana

Dana Schafer
Director of Community Relations
Osceola School District
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
407-870-4007
scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us

I personally called several people in Dr. Selleck's school district (Adams50
in Colorado) after the May 17th school board workshop. Exactly one
individual in the Adams50 school district recalls speaking to someone from
Florida about Dr. Selleck other than me. This one individual was Adams50
Board of Education member, Kevin Massey (see
http://www.webcitation.org/60Mmjmywy ).

Kevin Massey is also the current Treasurer of the Adams County School
District 50 Board of Education. He acknowledged receiving a phone call from
only one person from Florida recently (other than from myself). That person
was indeed Cindy Hartig. Thus even though Ms. Hartig never did call Dr.
Roberta Selleck (contrary to her public testimony which was contradicted by
her statement to Ms. Schafer), she did call someone in Dr. Selleck's former
school district.

Cindy Hartig called Kevin Massey.

At first blush this would appear to be a good thing. It looks like we have
at least one school board member in Osceola County who did due diligence in
preparing for the important superintendent selection decision to be made on
May 17, 2011. It looks like we have at least one school board member doing
her job, the job that she was elected to do and the job (part-time) for
which she is paid $35,000 annually. Clearly, the call to Mr. Massey is what
Cindy Hartig referred to when she told Dana Schafer that she called "one or
more people in her [Dr. Selleck's] school district".

So what's the problem? The problem is that Cindy Hartig's phone call to
Kevin Massey was made on May 24, 2011, a week after the school board made
its final decision on the choice of superintendent!

You can hear this yourself in an excerpt from an interview with Kevin Massey
( hear http://tinyurl.com/3qnr9wy , note: most of the very long pause in the
recording that occurred when Mr. Massey searched for the record of his call
with Ms. Hartig was removed for the sake of brevity). The full interview
with Mr. Massey can be heard here: http://tinyurl.com/3dfzpsj .

This is the CYA phone call that I referred to in a previous post on this
subject. It is obvious that Cindy Hartig was hoping that Mr. Massey would
reinforce what she had already said publicly about Dr. Selleck during the
May 17th workshop. When he didn't (ie. Mr. Massey clearly disputed Cindy
Hartig's testimony about Dr. Selleck), she cut the conversation short.

Ask yourself what kind of person would make such an important decision to
dismiss a valuable superintendent candidate (Dr. Selleck) based entirely on
unvetted misinformation that itself could easily have been dismissed had a
single phone call been made BEFORE the final decision.

What kind of person would say that she called a superintendent candidate's
school district (thereby implying that she had called during the candidate
evaluation process), when in fact she made the call long AFTER the candidate
had already been trashed in public as a result of a completely disingenuous
evaluation?

Ask yourself what kind of person would try to cover-up her own incompetence
this way and then write the following day "I feel very good about my
research".

Cindy Hartig #7:

She's racked up I believe almost a half million dollars
in finance charges and late fees because she didn't
sign-off on credit cards getting paid.

This is false. Of course like much of what she says, Cindy Hartig's claim is
based on a grain of truth. But even the grain is insufficient to give Cindy
Hartig's point a hint of credibility.

Cindy Hartig's quoted dollar figure was off by almost 50,000 percent! The
actual "finance charges and late fees" that she referred to added up to a
grand total of $1,027 over the course of 5 years. This is a figure that is
almost 500 times less that the "half million dollars" quoted in public by
Cindy Hartig.

Furthermore, the credit card problem used by Ms. Hartig to dismiss Dr.
Selleck was a problem created by Dr. Selleck's predecessor at the Adams50
school district. Yet the problem was fixed by Dr. Selleck 3 years before it
was ever reported in the news.

How do I know all of this? I know because I picked up the phone and called
the Chief Financial Officer of the Adams50 School District, Sandra Rotella,
CPA. Ms. Rotella graciously agreed to be interviewed on the spur of the
moment, the day (May 17th) that I first heard Cindy Hartig's false public
statement on this point. Hear the short version of the credit card story
here: http://tinyurl.com/3zx784h . You can also hear the longer version
here: http://tinyurl.com/3lfhtfl . This is the same 15 minute interview that
Ms. Hartig refused to let be heard during the public school board meeting
later that same day, even after all my pleading. You can hear the entire
interview with Ms. Rotella here: http://tinyurl.com/4xfnzuv .

Cindy Hartig #8:

She also sent 84 people to Alaska
for professional training.

This is false. But once again Ms. Hartig's claim is based on a grain of
truth that also misses the point.

The actual number of people sent to Alaska (teachers and administrators) was
34. These people were sent to Alaska, not for vacations, but rather to see
first-hand what "standards-based education" is really all about - the same
approach to education highly recommended by Dr. Robert Marzano. They went to
see what standards-based education can actually achieve in real-life and how
it had been implemented with great success in the only place previously
attempted in a serious way. How else can an old school district get full
"buy-in" for a fundamentally new way of teaching their children?

What's more, the decision to send all of these educators from Colorado to
Alaska was made, not by Dr. Selleck, but rather by the board of education
itself. Also while Cindy Hartig mischaracterized the Alaska trip as an
extreme example of fiscal irresponsibility, no money from the Adams50 budget
was spent. 100% of the money used for the trip was supplied by a federal
grant specifically allocated for just this kind of professional development
(ie. it could be used for no other purpose).

Hear what Kevin Massey had to say about the Alaska trip and how it was the
school board's idea and its decision to go: http://tinyurl.com/3mk488o .

What Cindy Hartig failed to mention (and failed to understand) is that Dr.
Selleck was hired by the Adams County School District 50 Board of Education
precisely for this purpose.

Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeanette Rivera-Lyles wrote the following in an
article last month (see http://www.webcitation.org/60Fh1T3o3 ):

But Wayne Blanton, executive director of the Florida
School Boards Association, thinks the board should have
taken the top five candidates seriously.

"This was a strong group of candidates," said Blanton,
who was paid $5,000 as a consultant to work with the
search committee. "The quality was excellent."

In an email response sent to Ms. Rivera-Lyles, Cindy Hartig referred to a
letter that she received from Dr. Blanton:

Cindy Hartig #9:

I also find it hard to believe that Dr. Blanton said
what you stated, I have a letter from him that said the
opposite

This is false. The grain of truth in this case is that Ms. Hartig did
receive a letter from Dr. Blanton. But the whole truth is that what Ms.
Hartig received from Dr. Blanton was a typical boilerplate "thank you for
your business" letter (see the attachment below).

As you can see for yourself, the letter in no way contradicts what Dr.
Blanton told Ms. Rivera-Lyles, contrary to Ms. Hartig's false claim. In
fact, the letter makes no reference at all to any of the details published
in the Sentinel by Ms. Rivera-Lyles.

Cindy Hartig #10 is a lie of omission.

What makes this lie especially troubling (and quite interesting) is that it
is very similar to the one reported earlier that was perpetrated by Tom
Long.

I was contacted about an email sent to all school board members regarding
the Orlando Sentinel article (again, see
http://www.webcitation.org/60Fh1T3o3 ).

Cindy Hartig took it upon herself to respond privately to the individual who
forwarded the news article to her. Here's what she wrote in response (a
little before 8pm the same night):

From: Cindy Hartig <har...@osceola.k12.fl.us>
To: [email address withheld]
Sent: Tue, Jun 14, 2011 7:51 pm
Subject: Re: Fwd: After leadership turmoil, Osceola
school district struggles to find its

Mr [name withheld],

It is a good article. �Not accurate but that seems to
be accepted and ok.

Do you realize that the majority of our school grades
are going down? That our high school grades are
dropping to d and f?

Because under dr grego we padded the ap classes and
twenty five percent of the students are level one? And
last year you could just pad the classes and get the
grade up BUT this year after his team padded the
classes the state sId you have to pass the exam?

Do you know that level one students have not passed any
fcat and we set them up for failure in an ap class?

That 1.5 million dollars for title one was not used as
granted to us and we failed under dr. Gregos leadership
to not give us the teachers our title one school were
supposed to have?

That dr grego had planned with his team to leave and
had plans of DOE?

That Debra pace admits in a letter she controlled the
hiring of contractors and ae firms?

That everything that happened was planned and this
board took the fall?

That dr grego sent an email to the board admitting we
did not meet class size?

That under old leadership it was about politics and not
education?

That many refuse to see the trees through the forest
because they can not handle the truth?

That the grades seen were not real and sustainable

So the question I ask do you support the children and
education or the non truths told?

I look forward to further discussion
Cindy Lou Hartig

Now compare Ms. Hartig's response to what appeared in the "Carl Cricket"
anonymous blog at 9:27am the following morning (see
http://www.webcitation.org/60MfJ1hvJ ):

The majority of our school grades are declining.

Some High School grades are dropping to d�s and f�s.

Under Dr Grego certain AP classes were misrepresented
and twenty five percent of the students are now at a
level one.

And while last year certain classes received �padding�
to get grades up, this year after this alleged
�padding� occurred, the state required examinations for
a pass/fail grade.

Level one students have not passed any FCAT, and it
does appear they were set up for probable failure in an
AP class. While not intentional to have students fail,
it was the process which failed them.

$1.5 million dollars for Title I was not used as
granted to the school system and it appears that under
Dr. Grego�s leadership, the Title I schools did NOT
have the amount of teachers the should have.

There are more interesting facts that we will share
along the way, but it does appear Dr.Grego had been
planning to leave the district for quite some time, and
Mrs. Pace submitted her letter to Brevard County, dated
March 25, 2011. We�ll share that one with you as well
so you can view for yourselves.

It's pretty obvious that Cindy Hartig's private response to the Orlando
Sentinel article somehow quickly found its way into the public hands of
"Carl Cricket" (with the heading "Schools Sentinel Article Laden With
Inaccuracy"). Although you can see that "Carl" made some edits (eg. "going
down" to "declining", "dropping to d and f" to "dropping to d�s and f�s",
etc), it is clear that what "Carl" posted is the same stuff written by
Cindy. It looks like "Carl Cricket" is actually Cindy's secretary, or
perhaps her public defender. Who is this sneaky "Carl Cricket"? (Note: As I
wrote previously, the identity of "Carl Cricket" will be revealed soon.)

Remember, Cindy Hartig suggested that rather than cooperating with me
directly, she would prefer that I make public records requests to get to the
truth instead. So here's one more:

From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name]

Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 12:50 PM
To: Dana Schafer
Subject: Public Records Request


Dana,

First, please accept my apologies for all of the recent
public records requests from me. I know that you and
Martha are very busy, but I see no other way to learn
what is really going on here.

I would like to see all emails to or from Cindy Hartig
(via any email address used by Ms. Hartig) from
yesterday (6/14) through today (6/15).

Thank you.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

Yet when Ms. Hartig completed the fulfillment of the above public records
request, the transmission of her email to "Carl Cricket" was nowhere to be
found. Is it possible that someone else forwarded Cindy Hartig's email to
"Carl Cricket"? This is unlikely since everyone else who could possibly have
forwarded it denied doing so (including Superintendent Terry Andrews).

I will now repeat what I wrote previously when detailing the same issue
about Osceola School Board Member, Tom Long.

The Florida Sunshine Law requires public officials (including school board
members) to respond in good faith with ALL correspondence requested. Public
officials are not at liberty to withhold certain pieces of information that
perhaps they don't want the public to know about.

Yet when Ms. Hartig fulfilled this request, she excluded the June 14th email
forwarded to "Carl Cricket". Why? Apparently Cindy Hartig doesn't want the
citizens of Osceola County to know that she has been secretly forwarding


school board related information to "Carl Cricket" for the purposes of
having such information published in an anonymous blog.

I asked Martha Mann and Dana Schafer how this could happen. How could "Carl

Cricket" receive the June 14th email from Cindy Hartig while Cindy Hartig
also failed to reveal this information in her fulfillment of my public


records request? Here is the official response that I received to answer
these questions ("Carl Cricket's" real identity has been replaced with

["Carl Cricket"] and the name of the private citizen to whom Ms. Hartig
originally addressed her response was changed to "[name removed]"):

From: Dana Schafer [mailto:scha...@att.blackberry.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2011 8:19 AM
To: 9992200...@schiro.name
Subject: Fw: Fwd: After leadership turmoil, Osceola
school district struggles to find its

George:
Here is the email to ["Carl Cricket"] from Cindy. She
said that she blind copied myself, Mr. Andrews, and her
personal/work email when she sent it to [name removed].
She forward that one to Mr. ["Cricket"]. She said that
since the body of the email was in First Class that we
were providing, she didn't think she needed to provide
it also. She does ... and she did ... Please below.

Thanks!
Dana
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----------------------------------------------------

From: "Cindy L. Hartig" <CHa...@ITDSCorp.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 07:05:58 -0400
To: <scha...@att.blackberry.net>; Dana
Schafer<scha...@osceola.k12.fl.us>
Subject: FW: Fwd: After leadership turmoil, Osceola
school district struggles to find its

Dana,

Here is the forward to Mr. ["Cricket"]..

Cindy Lou Hartig
Cind...@itdscorp.com
President / CEO
WBE / LDBE
ITDS / EDI
3184 S. John Young Parkway
Kissimmee, Fl 34746 407-846-4636 Office
"Absorb the beauty that surrounds you rather than the
trash!" unknown

Besides the fact the Cindy Hartig broke the law by not properly fulfilling a
public records request, she intentionally did so in a manner devious enough
to usually avoid detection. If not for "Carl's" rapid fire post the
following morning, no one would have been the wiser.

Similar to what Tom Long did a few weeks before (ie. he made a hard-copy of
an email to hand to "Carl Cricket" undetected and on the sly), Cindy Hartig
secretly forwarded (ie. "blind copied") an email from her school district
issued Blackberry phone to her private home email address. She then secretly
forwarded the same email from home to "Carl Cricket".

All of this cloak and dagger activity by Cindy Hartig was obviously done to
avoid detection via the standard public records request channels, the same
channels that Ms. Hartig suggested that I use to get at the truth of this
matter.

Keep in mind that it was just last month or so that the school board voted
(at Ms. Hartig's insistence) to incur the expense of Blackberry cell phones
for every school board member. The stated intention was to allow for greater
transparency during the fulfillment of public records requests for school
board member phone records.

I will repeat what I wrote in my previous post about Julius Melendez's
Blackberry cell phone.

Folks should also be aware that the Osceola School Board recently made the
decision to require all school board members to carry school district
assigned cell phones. But it is my understanding that the school board did
not also require school board members to stop using their personal phones

for school district related calls. They also didn't vote to make it against
the rules to "blind copy" emails which can't be detected by public records
requests.

Thus school board members are still free to conduct "undocumented" school

board related phone calls on their own private and unaccountable phones as
well as undocumented and unaccountable emails on their Blackberry phones
while still incurring the expense of these school district assigned cell
phones.

The goal of transparency and accountability is one thing. The pretense of
transparency and accountability is something else. Do current members of the
Osceola School Board really know the difference?

Does Cindy Hartig understand the difference? Clearly she does, and she does
whatever is necessary to privately avoid the transparency she espouses in
public.


-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com]On
Behalf Of Geo

Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2011 6:01 PM
To: harm...@googlegroups.com

Subject: [HarmonyFL:1121] RE: Subtle Little Lies


To review all of this from the top, click "Go directly to the Harmony, FL
newsgroup on Google" from here:

http://HarmonyFLcommons.com

This is a continuation of the "Subtle Little Lies" thread and a continuation

1074_0001.pdf

Geo

unread,
Jul 22, 2011, 6:06:44 PM7/22/11
to gg
OK Jim, I'm done with this thread.

But before I move on to "Due Diligence", do you still feel the need to
discuss the merits of this topic?

Jim wrote:

We get it George. The appointment did not go your way

No Jim, you didn't get it. But hopefully you get it now.

It's not about getting my way, it's about a seriously flawed superintendent
selection process. It's about how we should all be very concerned that a
similar failure of leadership does not happen again in the future of Osceola
County schools.

It's really about the people we elect to run our schools Jim. Are they
capable? Are they qualified? Are they honest enough, smart enough and
hardworking enough to do what is best for our children? Or are they merely
overpaid seat fillers doing whatever is easiest for themselves while on the
public dole?

Jim wrote:

The best man got the job, if a little underhanded..
It happens

Clearly the best man (or woman) did not get the job Jim. This is a fact that
will be made much more obvious when the next thread details the woeful lack
of effort applied to the superintendent selection process by the people we
entrusted to look out for the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens
(our children).

Geo

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 8:43:53 AM7/23/11
to HarmonyFL
Jim, I assume that you have changed your mind about questioning the
merits of this topic. So I will move on.

Roy Sampson

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 9:51:05 AM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
I try not to say too much on the internet about these matters but Jim and company if you think this is about George not getting his own way I seriously hope you are not actually believeing that. If you saw a comment I made a while back that the decision was made before this commitee was formed. If this is the type of corrupt society you want to support I do hope you are not a registered voter. 
 
> Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 05:43:53 -0700
> Subject: [HarmonyFL:1125] Re: Subtle Little Lies
> From: IIDIMG...@spammotel.com
> To: harm...@googlegroups.com

Jim Warren(Home)

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 10:22:31 AM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
No, My stance is the same. Yes I agree the board were wrong in their methods
or answers to your questions.
However, they had obviously already chosen their candidate, but wanted to be
assured they had the right person by running through the process.

Was it the right way to proceed?? probably not... Did they achieve the right
solution for the position, yes....

Again, the way they went about it was a little naïve, but I guess they did
not expect to be hounded regarding it.. Next time they won't pick you will
they :-)

Does this happen often? yes it does. It happens in corporate America, it
happens in small business, and it happens in all forms of government.
Is it right... N. Can we change it, no..... No matter who is in governance
George, this happens.. power corrupts and always will.....

You're looking for the holy grail George.. Good luck.....

Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com] On
Behalf Of Geo

Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2011 8:44 AM
To: HarmonyFL
Subject: [HarmonyFL:1125] Re: Subtle Little Lies

Jim Warren(Home)

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 10:45:05 AM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com

Roy, if you think this type of thing does not go on in all levels of society, then you are in no position to question my integrity.  Whether you are a democrat or republican, does not matter.

Both parties lie, cheat and con their way to power……..My point was did George really believe he could change it…….. What do you think?

 

Jim

 

From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Roy Sampson


Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:51 AM
To: harm...@googlegroups.com

Geo

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 7:01:43 PM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Indeed, it would appear that the old adage is true Jim, as both you and Roy
have observed. Power does corrupt. The current Osceola County School board
is just one more example of this never ending truth.

Jim wrote:

My point was did George really

believe he could change it.

Change what? The outcome of the current superintendent selection? Of course
not. That was never my intention.

What I hope to help change is the future makeup of the school board Jim.
This can only happen by exposing the truth about these folks, their ways and
their serious flaws. What kind of people do we want representing us? That is
the question that we must all ask ourselves every time we vote. Our vote has
serious consequences, and this sad outcome of the superintendent selection
process clearly proves this.

Here's another old adage. All politics is local. If we don't start electing
people with honor and integrity at home, how can we expect politicians
anywhere else to be any better?

Jim wrote:

However, they had obviously already chosen their
candidate, but wanted to be assured they had the right
person by running through the process.

Was it the right way to proceed?? probably not... Did
they achieve the right solution for the position,
yes....

IMHO, this position is indefensible. But instead of arguing this point now,
I would suggest that you let me start and finish the "Due Diligence" thread
so that all of the facts are on the table first.

spberube

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 7:38:21 PM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
While I won't comment on George's position, I think the underlying problem(s) is/are starting to be noticed by the community at large...I say that because in today's News-Gazette there is an editorial penned by Sheri Leonard of St.Cloud entitled: "Community alert on Osceola County School Board"...

Her letter echoes many of George's thoughts and opens up a few new areas for scrutiny....and under the current leadership, I believe that more public scrutiny is indeed a good thing.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
>From: Geo <IIDIMG...@spammotel.com>

>Sent: Jul 23, 2011 7:01 PM
>To: harm...@googlegroups.com

Roy Sampson

unread,
Jul 23, 2011, 11:44:03 PM7/23/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
No I cannot speak for George, but can he change it ? No he cannot but in my opinion he is being brave enough to bring it to the public's attention and by him doing that maybe the public just might remember at election time. And I am well aware that it does'nt matter what party you are affiliated with they are about 90% a bunch of thieves and they will stop at nothing to fill their pockets.
 
> Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 19:38:21 -0400
> From: spbe...@earthlink.net
> To: harm...@googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: [HarmonyFL:1130] Re: Subtle Little Lies

Jim Warren(Home)

unread,
Jul 24, 2011, 8:55:02 AM7/24/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Glad we agree...

however, I must note that whilst I also agree with your comment " What I


hope to help change is the future makeup of the school board Jim.
This can only happen by exposing the truth about these folks, their ways and
their serious flaws. What kind of people do we want representing us? That is
the question that we must all ask ourselves every time we vote. Our vote has
serious consequences, and this sad outcome of the superintendent selection
process clearly proves this."

You had in fact been a firm supporter of at least one school board member
prior to this debacle..... Does that not show that whilst we can always
strive to vote and provide the best candidate. Once elected they are never
held accountable to their promises or required to up hold them.... Sad isn't
it????

-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com] On

Behalf Of Geo
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2011 7:02 PM
To: harm...@googlegroups.com
Subject: [HarmonyFL:1129] Re: Subtle Little Lies

Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

Both parties lie, cheat and con their way to power....My point was did
George really believe he could change it.... What do you think?

Geo

unread,
Jul 24, 2011, 9:01:05 PM7/24/11
to harm...@googlegroups.com
Since this really belongs on a separate thread, I will start a new one:
"School Board Member Supporter". Please respond there Jim.

Geo

unread,
Jul 25, 2011, 6:49:43 PM7/25/11
to gg
To finally close this thread, I almost forgot to include an important piece
of support documentation.

As was mentioned earlier, Tom Long refused the bear witness to Dr. Selleck's
personal phone records. These are the same phone records that prove that
Cindy Hartig and several others never attempted to call Dr. Selleck,
contrary to their public testimony.

Tom Long is a public official accountable to the citizens of Osceola County,
yet he was unwilling to personally bear witness to the truth (in a fair and
reasonable way).

Yet I did find a credible witness to substantiate the facts that Mr. Long
refused to even look at.

Before the data disappeared from the "Sprint.com" website, I asked Orlando
Sentinel Reporter Jeannette Rivera-Lyles to witness it from her own home
computer. She agreed.

Note: email addresses and the last 4 digits of phone numbers where removed.

I wrote:

From: George Schiro
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:44 PM
To: Rivera, Jeannette
Cc: Roberta Selleck
Subject: Dr. Roberta Selleck's Phone Log
5-7-2011 through 5-17-2011

Jeanette,

Attached is Dr. Roberta Selleck's phone log from
5-7-2011 through 5-17-2011. This is all of the data
currently available from the Sprint.com website through
May 17th. Please keep this information private.

Please acknowledge that you have reviewed the same data
directly from the Sprint.com website yourself tonight
on your own computer by using the account credentials
provided to you for the cell phone number (ie.
303-915-xxxx) found in Roberta Selleck's resume posted
on the HarmonyFL newsgroup on Google (ie. Candidate
16).

I have reviewed this phone log in detail over the time
span of 5-7-2011 through 5-17-2011. A summary follows.

Florida phones found:

321-234-xxxx - George Schiro
407-414-xxxx - George Schiro
407-569-xxxx - Jon Arguello

Florida area codes found:

321 - ORLANDO,FL
407 - KISSIMMEE,FL

Non-Florida area codes found:

202 - WASHINGTON, D.C.
206 - SEATTLE, WA
303 - DENVER,CO
319 - CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
480 - PHOENIX,AZ
602 - PHOENIX,AZ
623 - PHOENIX,AZ
630 - ROSELLE,IL
708 - ROSELLE,IL
719 - CANON CITY,CO
720 - DENVER,CO
775 - SILVER CITY, NV
858 - SAN DIEGO, CA

All area codes from the call log have been accounted
for above. The only Florida area codes found are 407
and 321. The only phones that have one of the Florida
area codes belong to either Jon Arguello or myself.

Please confirm that there are indeed no other Florida
area codes found and that the 407 and 321 area codes
found match only one of the three Florida phone numbers
listed above.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

George Schiro

Jeannette Rivera-Lyles responded:

From: Rivera, Jeannette
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:03 PM
To: George Schiro
Subject: RE: Dr. Roberta Selleck's Phone Log
5-7-2011 through 5-17-2011

Hi George:
This corresponds with the records I reviewed.
Thanks,
Jeannette


-----Original Message-----
From: harm...@googlegroups.com [mailto:harm...@googlegroups.com]On
Behalf Of Geo

Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 7:43 AM
To: gg

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