Actions of the Hesperia School Board
Call me oblivious, but on a past Friday night was the first time I have heard that there could be a recall of some of the school board members in Hesperia. I normally read the Sun that has said nothing about the recall and I do not usually read any of the local papers. That Friday night, while having dinner at a friend's house, the recall subject came up and on Saturday morning I got up and started reading. Between reading the Daily Press, Hesperia Star, Hesperia Education First and Hesperia School District web sites I sat in front of my computer for almost eight hours and could not believe that so much had been written. There were so many articles, comments and writings. I'm not sure if I even read all of the articles and comments. I don't have children in the school district, but I do vote on all local issues. I don't recall who I voted for school board in the last election, but I think it was the three that got elected. After having the opportunity to speak to some friends that work in the district and sucking up most of my Saturday I am going to make some observations and conclusions what I believe had happened. I have written them in ten major points that I believed were the most important. Bare with me, I have a lot to say.

Number 1, there were some controversial decisions made that continued to be 3 to 2 votes that in turn created turmoil, waste of taxpayer money, collusion, campaign and election improprieties, improper employment changes and questionable contract selections.

Number 2, HTA which is the local teachers union has lied and swayed voters for their own benefit and not the students. The teachers union does not make final decisions and shouldn't in the school district. For Jim Pace the HTA union president to write a letter to the Hesperia Star in support of the new school boards decisions and denouncing the recall was disgusting.

Number 3, Robert Kirk moved to Hesperia less then a year before the election. This is call carpet bagging and it is legal, but not what I want in my community.

Number 4, after nine months only one school has been bid on by the newly elected board and that is Mission Crest, which was put together by the past school board. If this new board said it was going to build a whole bunch of schools, well almost 25 percent of their term is over with no new schools. It appears that all the new board has done is to continue with many of the projects the past board started.

Number 5, I believe that I was also, as many have said, twisted and duped to believe that having four out of five school board members that are or were teachers is a good idea. Well I can see we were all wrong, there is only one business brain and that is the attorney, Bruce Minton. Before we had a businessman, pastor, homemaker, teacher and an attorney. This is what I would call a great balance of minds.

Number 6, delay of the building of the new Oak Hills High School. In a time where it is more important to get the new high school up and running as soon as possible, is not the time to experiment with a new processes of biding and building schools. The school district staff has proven they are totally capable to handing a bid process and construction of the school. The Oak Hills High School is needed by our students as soon as it could possibly be build. The board should have proceeded with the normal staff process to get the high school moving and if they wanted to try another new process do it on a small school first.

Number 7, the process and the selection of WLC and Margaret Sepp was horrifying. How could you possibly vote 3 to 2 to make such a decision is beyond comprehension and then for Jim Pace to say it never happened, because it wasn't signed? The vote by the board are documented facts. How stupid do you think we are? And by the way, Robert Kirk said that he would make the same exact decision again?

Number 8, the logic behind the decision not to continue to use the sixth grade only elementary schools as a great transition to junior high schools, I don't get at all. It was said by the Robert Kirk, Hardy Black and Lee Rogers that, each agreed that it was a good program for the students, but because not all sixth graders could attend it was not fare to the rest of the sixth graders that could not attend. After doing my homework on this one I found that almost 60 percent on the east side of town go to the Oxford Sixth Grade Academy and a little under 50 percent on the west side of town go to Cypress Sixth Grade Academy. I also found out the Cypress has the capability of expanding to almost take the rest of the students from the west side of town almost immediately. No one that I have found has disagreed that the sixth grade only elementary schools have been a more productive year and great transitional move to seventh grade.

Number 9, the firing of all the attorney firms to be replace by one that has never done little to no school law before, I do not understand. I do have a question of why they choose solely the firm of Wagner and Pelayes that from what I have read does business for the county and Robert Kirk's son, Mark Kirk is the chief of staff for County Supervisor Gary Ovitt? I need to learn more about this decision, it is very cloudy.

Number 10, the waste of time, energy and most of all money to try and force the Apple Valley calendar on the Hesperia School District's students and parents.

There are many other items that I believe there are questions that need answers. For example why are we paying for a perfectly good superintendent not to work for us? What's the deal with Lee Samuels? Why do I see his name come up starting with the PERB case against him, the election and campaigning he was doing for the new board members, the rumor that his personnel record was clear at the first board meeting, and the paying him off to retire? Saying there was never a deal with Margaret Sepp, but paying here 281.00 dollars anyway? How is the new school board going to give the teachers a raise caused by the pressure from the HTA to possibly pay them back for getting them elected? Why is there a relationship with Chris Bentley and the HTA teacher union? Why are we looking at changing our elementary schools to "schools of choice?" Where is Excel going to end up in the district?

These are just some of the questions I have come up with during my long, but interesting new discovery from the other night. From what I see, I can conclude that starting the recall was the correct move and that the community should support it and vote to recall Lee Rogers, Robert Kirk and Hardy Black out of office for the destructive nature of the last nine month to Hesperia Unified School District. We then need to make a clear decision on who should be replacing them and because the district is in such disarray I would try to convince first one of the past board members to run for office to bring back what was working before. Then at that point we need to be looking for a balance in our school board and variety will bring great ideas. We don't want all businessmen and we don't want all teachers guiding out district

And I do want to credit the activity the Daily Press and the Hesperia Star have played in helping the community see that important local issues are taking place. I will be killing my subscription to the Sun for not informing the public that there was a recall and looking in to reading the Daily Press and the Hesperia Star again.