Monday, June 15, 2015

Administrator's husband rips Fort, Koch, Martucci, calls me a character assassin

Mike Landis and Lynda Banwart did not give much weight to the 300 plus notarized signatures Jim Kimbrough provided from people who wanted him appointed to the Joplin R-8 Board of Education, but that did not stop them from including their signatures among the 65 who asked the Jasper County Commission to appoint replacements for Landis, Lane Roberts, and Randy Steele.

The petitions and other materials which the Turner Report received after submitting a Sunshine Law request to the Jasper County Commission show the types of pressure, subtle and not so subtle, that the Commissioners received before they made their decision to appoint Gary Nodler, Sallie Beard, and Ron Gatz to the Joplin R-8 Board of Education.

A half dozen people, including blogger and frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame, submitted their names as board candidates, the husband of one of C. J. Huff's administration team ripped into board members Jeff Koch, Debbie Fort, and Jennifer Martucci, as well as the author of this post, and one candidate withdrew his name, saying that Lynda Banwart was the only board member who wasn't crazy.

After Kent Pratt, an official at Leggett & Platt, wrote Commissioner Darieus Adams to tell of his interest, a week later, Pratt changed his mind. "I know you probably did," he wrote, "but please throw my application in the trash...all of these people left (except Lynda) are crazy!!!"

Dean Orem, the husband of retiring R-8 administrator Lisa Orem (one of those who was being cited by state auditors as not being qualified for their positions), praised C. J. Huff and ripped into those who criticize him. In his e-mail to commissioners Adams and Jim Honey, Orem wrote the following:

I have known and interacted with both of you a considerable number of times throughout the years, both for business and for pleasure. I hope that during those occasions I conducted myself with honesty and professionalism. I am sending this note to you both because I am aware that the Jasper County Commissioners will soon be tasked with helping the Joplin School Board fill their three existing vacancies.

I have resided in Joplin since 1975 and have not felt it necessary until now to make my concerns and thoughts known to an outside authority. However, when confronted with the facts regarding a situation I consider to be potentially very injurious to the present and future students of Joplin Schools, I can longer contain myself.

As you both are aware, my wife Lisa currently is employed as Director of Special Services within the Joplin School System. She will retire at the end of June after 17 years in Joplin and an additional 17 in Oklahoma. This note however does not concern Lisa or her observations, at least directly.

During the time Lisa and I have been together, I have met, interacted, and yes, had the opportunity to assess and judge the skills of almost every principal, director, assistant principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent, and school board member in Joplin. During the years since the infamous Joplin tornado this entire team, teachers and innumerable others included, have been faced with huge challenges and constraints. The morning following the tornado I would have bet the house that three things were evident. First, school could not be completed for that school year. Second, school startup would be delayed during the next year. Third, it would be at least a decade before all 10 (six destroyed and four damaged) schools would be repaired or replaced.

As of this date, it appears as if two of my bets were completely wrong and I can report why. Why? Because the superintendent C. J. Huff, the assistant superintendent Angie Besendorfer, the directors Jason Cravens, Janet Earl, Traci House, Lisa Orem, and the entire school board simply would not allow anyone or anything to frustrate or compromise their efforts to identify, proof, justify, and acquire the latest and best technology available to enhance the learning experience for the students of Joplin and do so within a time span nobody but they thought possible.

All of the accomplishments were due to brains, commitment, and constantly working 60 hour work weeks until all the tasks have been nearly completed. For the past four years, my wife has been working a tremendous number of hours as have most of the teachers, administrators, and support staff. To my knowledge, none of this group received, or asked, for additional favors or compensation. They took on the challenge of one of America's most deadly and damaging storms and met the challenge!

 As you consider the appointments that are now open on the Joplin School Board, I would suggest that one question that might come to mind is, Why do the openings exist at this time? From my vantage point, this question has many answers. For the sake of brevity, I am not going to list and expound on each surviving Board member and provide a list of allegations of which I am aware (as) I am sure you both are as well). Briefly, I will say that the agendas of Dr. Fort, Mrs. Jennifer Martucci, and Board President Jeff Koch seem to be at odds with the needs of the children of Joplin. Dr. Fort has shown a strong personal dislike for Dr. Huff since her election and has openly clashed during meetings.

Martucci has been opposed to the school boundary changes since their inception (due to students moving after the tornado) and also seems to hold Dr. Huff responsible. Today's "confusion" regarding School Board members Koch and Martucci regarding the process of "The Swearing In" of Jim Kimbrough is an example of the huge disconnect that now exists.

In my view, something appears to be festering beneath the surface as the three newest School Board members seem to be attempting an end run on the public, and most importantly, on the children of Joplin. I do believe that the rumored threats against Randy Steele (leading to his resignation) the rumored misstatements and public releases regarding Dr. Huff's private personnel file, in violation of his terms of employment, and the ever expanding pool of scum provided by the fired former Joplin teacher Randy Turner, who has most recently been, through is blog, assassinating both the character and qualifications of School Board member Lynda Banwart and anyone else willing to stand up to Fort, Martucci, Koch, or Kimbrough are an orchestrated attempt to subvert the results of the most recent election.

I am not familiar with the statutes that bring the Jasper County Commission into the Joplin School Board election process, but I pray that your involvement does not further empower The Group of Three who seem most intent on the pursuit of personal agendas at the expenses of Joplin's schoolchildren.

Thanks for your time. Your friend, Dean Orem

And then there was Anson Burlingame, who sent four e-mails to the Commissioners sharing his knowledge with them. I will post his comments later tonight.

(Complete disclosure- Mr. Orem's wife, Lisa Orem, is the one who filed the complaint in April 2013 that ended up getting me fired.)


Anonymous said...

Orem lives in Newton County...these are not his elected officials. I dare to question if his wife actually worked 60 plus hours a week since the tornado....she took more vacation and medical leave than any school administrator--- rarely working a month without interruption.

Anonymous said...

Well it's official....Mr. Orem doesn't like it when you post facts on this blog. Damn it Randy, you biased trouble maker you.

Anonymous said...

Look at the message the voters sent to the boe. CJ did not bailout for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Keep doing what you are doing, Randy. The entire truth needs to be told. If I had to rely on Joplin's newspaper for the truth, I would have to live to be 200 years old.

Anonymous said...

Don't kid'd be 200+ years old and still believe C.J. did a good job.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Sure wish they would give credit where credit is due! Fort, Martucci, and Koch, are not responsible for the uprising, we the people are! They have no hidden agendas, they just want to do what is right for the schools, the teachers, the staff, and, most importantly, the kids! They were voted in by us, the people of Joplin, to do just that! The ones with the hidden agendas are the former board members and administration and we will not tolerate it any longer! The roots of corruption have been allowed to grow so deep that it boggles the mind, but no more! Credit goes to Randy Turner for getting the facts out here for all of us to see. Be sure, we are not going away!

Education is too important to leave to "teachers" and politicians said...

Looks like the Good Ol' Boy Network and the Lyshenkoist Teachers Union is locked in battle to determine who gets to diddle the brains of the latest generation of nippers and to spend the last tax dollar purportedly for their indoctrination into drones.

Why can't we simply go back to the one-room schoolhouse and less than six years of publicly taxed and financed basic education in basic literacy? Why leave anything much for you tax feeders to waste or fight over?

You want to see what the fighting is all about, look at the pictures of vultures fighting over a zebra or gnu carcass, and put in the names of your favorite faction, be they of Randy Turner or CJ Huff. At least the vultures don't bother to claim that they are doing it all for the "good of the dead carcass" they are fighting over.

The excess funds are gone and all that is left is debt. When the carcass is nothing more than bone splinters the vultures will leave quick enough.

Anonymous said...

This letter is as tacky and pretentious as Ms. Orem's ostentatious desk in her office. These people have money made off the misery of others, but no decorum and no sensitivity. Please withdraw to your million dollar house or move on to Mexico to your two million dollar house, but do leave. You've gleaned enough from the miserable and the tax payer. Let us move on without you. Proof once again of the words of Christ when he said the rich will never get to Heaven. They've had theirs already.

Anonymous said...

10:23 and Burlingame need to meet up somewhere. It would be a dual for the title of biggest bullshitter. A regular title fight. Winner takes all.

Anonymous said...

This following is suspicious in some ways. Does anyone else have any ideas about who might be responsible?


Elections don't matter. Neither do voters who don't know how to vote for the right side.

Especially not when the voters turf all our Friends and Family and the smart people! Uppity fools thinking their votes count! I found a quote "Smash the gang of four" but here it should be "Smash the gang of three." I'm still looking for a gang of wreckers quote.

There should be no doubt that we are all on the same page. Strong means are necessary! The ends justify the means. Firm action must be taken to strike down the infidels! There ought to be a codename for this operation. It needs to be concealed from Turner and all seven of his readers. Turner can be sneaky about finding things out. Could he have some moles burrowed in deep?

"Our Little Putsch"... That will show them who really runs things- and also that the reason we are the real HMFICs is because we are smarter than the average voter and taxpayer.

Except that Putsch has some bad connotations associated with it. It's too accurate a label to use. Could we call it something like "Our Little Thing?" Doesn't that sound nice? We could get even some t-shirts made to wear to Board meetings to show our support for the new regime.

Why do we even allow everyone to vote? Wouldn't it make sense to check that they will vote correctly BEFORE allowing them to vote? Seems like that would simplify things a little and get us back to unanimous decisions. Nip the dissent in the bud. "NIP THE DISSENT IN THE BUD!" I like the sound of that! Another EXCELLENT t-shirt idea.

In awe. said...

The JPC/CART/Globe/etc. shit all over everyone and then cry foul when someone says it stinks. Reporting someone's clandestine (and some overt) actions is not character assassination. At best it is character assisted suicide.

In awe. said...

To answer your legitimate question, if we did return to the one room 1800s' education we would have a society of people exactly like you.

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart Mr. Orem you thought your wife was working 60 and more hours a week when she was actually shopping with her lady friends, lady administrator friends, that is. Those shopping trips were an open secret. She and all the others have been overpaid for all of the years she has been in this district. C. J. Huff alone has been paid much more than his counterparts in larger districts.

Dean Orem is right! said...

Yes. It was unconscionable of Fort to attack Dr. Huff by ruthlessly allowing him to rant about his opinion of her time as a principal. By not engaging in a defensive posture she let him look truculent, insubordinate, hateful, uninformed, and foolish. Shame shame shame. I don't know how she can live with herself. A real lady...a real christian would have ripped him a new one. But no... she just let him destroy himself. Let us just hope that our leading citizens can save us from ourselves...a courtesy Fort refused to extend to this city's greatest historical figure.

Anonymous said...

That was funny and made me cringe all at the same time.
Hail Huff.

Anonymous said...

Jim k is just still pouting that he got passed over for a principals job years ago that he wasnt qualifed for but seems like he felt he was entitled to get. Sorry Jim you have to earn it. We dont need 2 school employees on the board one is enough. We

Jay Dub said...

It seems obvious that voters have wanted a change. I do not follow everything that goes on concerning the school and board changes. However, as a voter and concerned tax payer it seems to me that a lot of money has been spent by some people for a position that pays nothing, which makes one wonder why? There is the old saying "follow the money." A lot of money came in as contributions due to the tornado and the fact that it passed though "Bright futures" and thus avoided being a part of the school audit raises my suspicions. The inadequate budgeting and drop in reserve bothers me. Paying for a stupid ribbon also raises questions concerning who has been watching the cash flow. Where there is a lot of money vultures seem to circle whether in city finance of school finance. There also appears to be on the surface a seemingly "old boys club" of those with vested interests. I am glad the last school board election brought a partial change. Why are some struggling so hard to hinder the will of the voters, is there some past arrangements that some would prefer to not see the light of day?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, earn it like some of the current employees of the district.