Friday, March 20, 2015

Anne Sharp follows campaign video with $12,000 "incentive" for teachers

They called it professional development.

By the time an hour of "professional development" in the Joplin High School gymnasium was completed February 20, taxpayers had been soaked for more than $12,000 and the public relations firm hired by R-8 Board of Education President Anne Sharp had plenty of footage for her re-election campaign video.

Teachers were told in an e-mail sent a few days earlier by Superintendent C. J. Huff that he would be making an announcement about the direction in which the district was headed and would be revealing the results of a staff survey taken more than nine months earlier.

Huff's major announcement is that the building project was nearing completion and now he can concentrate on education. The results came from surveys filled out by less than half of the staff.

When teachers entered the gymnasium, they saw gift bags lined up along the walkway. Teachers were told that they were going to receive cookies afterward.

In addition to the Huff presentation, the session featured an orchestrated for campaign video performance in which Sharp helped lead teachers in doing the wave. Those photos, along with others of her at the professional development session were included in the campaign ad.

As teachers filed out of the session, they were given Joplin Eagles tumblers, which according to the invoice from Embassy Embroidery, Webb City, which is included in the bills scheduled to be paid by the R-8 Board of Education when it meets Tuesday, March 24, cost the taxpayers $12,095.61. The company also provided $48.43 worth of Bright Futures polo shirts, according to the invoice, for a total of $12,139.09.

The gifts were presented to the teachers by central administration staff and board members, including Sharp, Mike Landis, and Randy Steele.

In the board packet the tumblers are listed as "staff incentives."

The commandeering of teachers' professional development time by the Sharp re-election campaign is only one of the things that has been done in recent days that calls into question whether Sharp has taken advantage of her access to taxpayer facilities as a board member to boost her re-election campaign.

The Turner Report has confirmed that teachers who have had birthdays in recent weeks have had envelopes sent to them that include birthday cards and Anne Sharp campaign flyers. The information about the birthdays and the teachers appears likely to have come from district personnel records.

Sharp also had contact with teachers in the week prior to the professional development meeting, as revealed in earlier Turner Report posts. Teachers received e-mails from Sharp at their Joplin R-8 e-mail addresses asking them to help her with her campaign.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what those incentives were inciting me to do, but I felt like hurling cookies when I looked at the ad and the cost of the day. I didn't need this tumbler any more than I needed last year's salad cup and computer bag. I don't mean to be ungrateful, but we should be better stewards of the public's hard-earned dollars. Every dollar spent should be for very vital things, not nonsense. It didn't buy my vote, any more than last year's gimmick did, or that little jacket that Bright Futures gave us just before the bond issue vote. We are not indigenous peoples bought off with bangles and baubles. Save the money, please, for something...

For Our Kids

Anonymous said...

They didn't even use local stores to purchase the incentives. The tumblers came from a Webb City store and the cookies from Harp's in Carl Junction.

Way to support your local patrons, CJ Huff! You just made sure I will vote for Koch, Martucci, and Roberts.

Anonymous said...

Is it a coincidence that Anne is sitting with such photogenic staff members? Not to say that all of R8's staff aren't stunning, but this seems awfully, shall we say, posed. Surely it's just a coincidence. I hope those people signed a waiver. I would be angry if I were used in such a way without my permission. I feel dirty just for having been there. Being around Huff and Puff Company makes me feel that way, though.

Anonymous said...

Let's see. Twelve bucks a pop for the tumbler. Plus a gift bag and tissue paper. Plus a bottle of water and a cookie and they must have blown around 15 bucks per employee for that day alone.

Want to give me a good incentive to work hard? Send Huff's sorry ass down the road and save the district over 180 grand a year. Throw in all of his accomplices and I might really get inspired. Keep wasting my tax dollars (that increased far more than my lousy R8 salary) and my time, and I can promise you I will repay in kind.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if it's legal that a board member got my number and address if I didn't give it to her. I can't imagine they are googling all of our addresses, since I'm sure she doesn't even know who I am. I would file a formal complaint if I had more information. I don't want to be harassed at home by board members. It's bad enough what we go through on a work day.

Anonymous said...

How dare all of you peasants. You look at my dear Queen Ann's gifts as mere trinkets? Prats the lot of you! God save the Queen!

Anonymous said...

$12,000 for tumblers, cookies and gift wrap? Was this an employee incentive or an honorarium payment for being in Sharp's campaign video?

Anonymous said...

What she did is just wrong. And as I taxpayer, I am livid that my dollars are used this way. Shame on you Huff and Sharp

Anonymous said...

Descriptor Code: BBF

Select Language​▼
Print Policy

Members of the Joplin Schools Board of Education accept the responsibility to improve public education in the Joplin Schools. To that end, all Board members will:

1. Remember that the first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of all students attending the public schools.

2. Obey the laws of Missouri and the United States.

3. Recognize that individual Board members have no authority to speak or act for the Board.

4. Work with other Board members to establish effective Board policies.

5. Delegate authority for the administration of the schools to the superintendent.

6. Encourage ongoing communications between Board members and stakeholders.

7. Render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment rather than succumbing to the influence of individuals or special interest groups.

8. Make every effort to attend all Board meetings.

9. Become informed concerning the issues to be considered at each meeting.

10. Improve boardmanship by studying educational issues and by participating in in-service programs and training.

11. Support the employment of staff members based on qualifications and not as a result of influence.

12. Maintain a process of regular and systematic assessment of the educational system, in order to provide accountability for the school district.

13. Avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof.

14. Refrain from using their Board position for the benefit of family members, business associates or themselves.

15. Express personal opinions but, once the Board has acted, accept the will of the majority.

16. Refrain from divulging confidential information presented during closed sessions, except when required by law.

Anonymous said...

Descriptor Code: BBFA-1

Use of Confidential Information

A Board member shall not use confidential information obtained in the course of his or her official capacity in any manner with the intent to result in financial gain for himself or herself, any other person or any business.

Anonymous said...

Descriptor Code: AF

Select Language​▼
Print Policy

The Board accepts ultimate responsibility for all facets of the operations of the school district. Because it is accountable to the patrons of the district, the Board will maintain a program of accountability that will help to accomplish the following objectives:

► Clearly state expectations and purposes as these relate to district operations, programs, departments and positions.

► Provide necessary resources and support to enable the professional and support staff to achieve stated expectations and purposes subject to the financial resources of the district.

► Evaluate district operations, programs, services, and instructional activities to determine how well expectations and purposes are being met.

► Evaluate the efforts of the employees of the Board and of the Board itself in accordance with stated objectives. The first purpose of personnel evaluation will be to help each individual make a maximum contribution to the goals and objectives of the school district.

The superintendent shall implement procedures to ensure continued progress and improvement of the district operations through a program of meaningful evaluations and assessments, including compliance with annual districtwide reporting requirements set forth by law.

Anonymous said...

Descriptor Code: DI

The superintendent shall be responsible for receiving and properly accounting for all funds of the school district and implementing the accounting system. As specified in state law, the Board of Education shall establish funds for the accounting of all school moneys in the district. The treasurer of the district shall open an account for each fund, and all moneys received by the district shall be deposited in the appropriate fund account. All financial transactions shall be recorded in the revenue and expenditure records, and appropriate entries from the adopted budget shall be made in the records for the respective funds.

Anonymous said...

Anne has always sent birthday cards to staff. Often with a gift card.
She has to be getting the addresses from R8 land. I'm guessing that's how she got the cell phone numbers she texted asking to put up signs.

Anonymous said...

To 11:00AM
Board Policy BBF

14. Refrain from using their Board position for the benefit of family members, business associates or themselves.

Anonymous said...

While I do agree that spending is out of control within the Joplin R8 school system, I don't think this is a fair example of it. Anyone who works in a professional profession, knows this is a standard business practice. It is nothing more than a moral booster. Our teachers don't get many extras, I thinks this is more than fare.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 4:32. The cups are more than "fare"! More fare than I want spent on teacher moral. LOL

noun: fare; plural noun: fares
1.the money a passenger on public transportation has to pay.

1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice:

Fair & Fare are homophones. You see they sound the same, but they have different meanings.

Anonymous said...

My cell phone number, my home address, and my date of birth have been given to this candidate. I don't know her. I have not given those things to her. I feel very intruded upon and I am angry at my district. If I thought we could pull this off, I would start a class action law suit for violation of my privacy. I have a feeling yet another law has been broken in giving away this information. I am guessing that once again, nothing will happen. I am saving the evidence, however. Maybe it will come in handy.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the postings of Board policy as they related to the Board and to Huff. I give a straight F grade to all of the above. Every policy seems to have been violated by these people or their little minion.

Anonymous said...

4:32 and 6:47

I believe the word you are both needing is "morale", not "moral". Whereas the staff overall has low morale, their morals seem to still be intact, unlike that of the Board and upper administration.