Monday, June 01, 2015

C. J. Huff recommendation letter: Joplin is "unengaged, apathetic community"

C. J. Huff is not only leaving the Joplin R-8 School District with $262K, plus a $50,000 consulting fee, but  the separation agreement calls for the district to provide Huff with a glowing letter of recommendation,

And not just any letter of recommendation, but one that was provided by Huff and once again praises his "heroism' following the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado and refers to Joplin as an "unengaged, apathetic community."

"The district will provide to Superintendent, within seven days after the revocation period in paragraph 13 has passed, a letter of recommendation signed by the school board president in the form set out as Exhibit B." (The letter is shown in the photo accompanying this post and can be enlarged by clicking on it.)

The letter reads as follows:

To whom it may concern,

I am honored to have this opportunity to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of the Joplin Schools Board of Education for Dr. C. J. Huff. I have known Dr. Huff since his arrival in Joplin in July of 2008.

When Dr. Huff was hired as the superintendent of schools by the Board of Education, he was hired tackle several challenges the District had yet to overcome. The primary issues included an unacceptable graduation rate that hovered between 72 and 75 percent and an unengaged, apathetic community that was not intimately involved in the life of our schools. Within a few short years, Dr. Huff successfully tackled both challenges through the development of a comprehensive dropout prevention program resulting in graduates rates exceeding 86 percent, as well as a nationally recognized community engagement framework known as Bright Futures that has been replicated by 35 communities in seven states across the country.

Unfortunately on May 22, 2011, Dr. Huff was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight as a part of the recovery effort following the most costly tornado in our nation's history. On that day, Joplin Schools lost seven students, one staff member, and six school buildings. Four other school buildings sustained damage. Over the course of 87 days, Dr. Huff led his team and the community through an amazing recovery effort resulting in the scheduled opening of school on August 17, 2011.

Through that incredibly challenging time, his focus on what was best for our children, our families, our teachers, and our community did not waiver (sic). His commitment to the rebuilding effort and the personal sacrifices he has made to see our school community through this unimaginable disaster has resulted in state of the art school facilities for our children, but more importantly, 21st Century academic programming that has been recognized as a model of innovation for the state and national level, as well.

It is without hesitation Joplin Schools Board of Education recommends Dr. C. J. Huff for a position in your organization. He has consistently demonstrated he is a capable leader and a man of commitment, character, and integrity.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Today the word of the day is lickspittles.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this will help him a whole lot. So far he has had no luck whatsoever in getting a job, and all a future employer has to do is a Google search and it's all over. A few posts and comments might be blown off, but the evidence online is overwhelming. So he can enjoy his letter all he wants. He does live in a fantasy land of his own making, after all.

Signed,
An Apathetic and Unengaged Citizen

Anonymous said...

I'm ready for the state to take over. This is unreal. Lie, cheat, steal and get paid lots of money and write your own letter of recommendation.

Now I have no faith in Jeff Koch. I wouldn't have signed this short of a gun to my head. But knowing CJ and his friends on the Board, that may have been the case.

Anonymous said...

I hope all of CJ Huff's supporters are finally comprehending what we (district employees) have suffered at the hands of this self-inflated, arrogant tyrant for the last seven years. His public persona is all smoke and mirrors, full of false tears and BS "for our kids" tag lines. He has all but destroyed this district. I am angered and sickened by his "retirement" payoff, but so very happy at the prospect of new and better leadership for our district. Next, let's get Bright Futures out of the admin building so none of us have to look at CJ Huff's face ever again. Good riddance!!!

Anonymous said...

My ass hurts.

Anonymous said...

Very modest too!

Anonymous said...

Did someone say CJ Huff Executive Chair of BFUSA! The $500,000 annual salary is a bargain!

Anonymous said...

Guess there won't be any raises again this year. I wonder how many other people, besides the poor custodians that are busting it hard enough already, are being laid off so this good Christian man can have everything he wants.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting... Politics at its best. or WORST. how could anybody sign their name to that.

Anonymous said...

Ok...does anyone STILL think he wasn't fired? He is a liar right to the end. "I'm retiring to spend more time with my family".

Anonymous said...

Do you suppose the payoff was conveniently the same Public Schools Retirement Fund penalty fee imposed for taking an early retirement? That would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

5:22-
Maybe the family couldn't stand the thought of it and told him to get back out there. That would have been my first inclination. But I would never stoop so low as to marry that lowlife, not for all the houses and clothes in the world. Or vacations to Florida...I hope they leave soon and stay away a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

I don't despise the payoff as much as the letter, for some reason. Paying to get rid of him was almost bearable, but to be forced to praise the bastard is just over the top disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the point of having this letter written was. Only a totally incurious, or shall I say, "unengaged, apathetic community" would hire him without doing the trivial research that as 5:04 PM points out would reveal the true story.

Perhaps he does have a point, in that what, other than an "unengaged, apathetic community", would have hired him from his old job, which at least the old Globe was able to find out about, although I suppose not in time to provide input to the school board.

Anonymous said...

Integrity
n. noun
1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
a leader of great integrity.

I'm ashamed that I once displayed Jeff Koch's campaign sign in my yard. Apparently his words mean nothing. He talks out both sides of his mouth. I think we are in better hands with the County Commisioner, after all.

Anonymous said...

Before you all get too excited about new leadership, you need to remember it will only be better if Lynda Banwart's stunt doesn't work. If she is successful in getting her business partner and county commissioner friend, Dareius Adams, to place a bloc of three voters like herself on the Board, it will only get worse. They will continue to control the superintendent's seat, there will be no investigation into missing funds, and they will all continue to get away with no repercussions. Cj can stay in town and still continue to control them all from his arm chair.

For this letter and his payoff, I'm sure he must have something that he is holding over their heads that they don't want to get out in public. If you want to know what it is, then you must see to it that the Board gets a fourth vote against the old board members. Push for it, or be ready for a district even worse than what you have.

Anonymous said...

I think we should stay abreast of what and where Mr. Huff is looking to be employeed at and let them know personally what they could be in for if they hire this 'man'.

Anonymous said...

Amen! You are not alone....truly, INSULT added to injury.

Anonymous said...

5:42 PM: Martucci and the 3 replacement board members will be up for re-election in April 2016, so even if the county commissioner gambit is successful, it will probably only delay resolution until then.

As messy as things are, as disgraceful as this is, we need to remember that things are getting better. For example, each of the last two elections defeated a sitting school board president, and best of all, Huff did resign.

Anonymous said...

In God's eyes a lie is the same is killing some one. A sin is a sin. I would not have signed the letter.

Anonymous said...

I understand, I think, why Koch did this and the severance package. As disgusting as it is for those of us who don't live in Huff's fairytale, if it gets him out of here then that's the way it is. What Koch might not have known was coming was the commissioner stunt. That is where our concerns need to lie right now. If we can keep that from happening and get Kimbrough on the Board, we can keep Banwart and her future accomplices from dragging the district on down. Let the anger and disgust go for a bit and focus on keeping Banwart and Co from controlling the Board. It is imperative.

Anonymous said...

6:21 is correct. These things are done deals, and let's face it, done under a type of duress. Give Huff what he wants now and be done with him, or keep him and waste more time and money in a bloody fight to get rid of him. Shift your focus to getting new BoE members who will serve the public instead of a false idol, and help those people hire a good leader for the district. I hate this letter and the payoff, but the future is the most important thing. Let's help our new BoE members win over the old, and that might lead to a very great victory in the end.

Anonymous said...

6:14

Next April's election is nearly another whole school year away. We really can't afford another year of this craziness. As an employee, I would like to walk away right now, but it is too late. I've already signed on. Only those who work for R8 can truly appreciate how bad it is. Some of us have stuck it out all this time, but this business with Banwart, Landis, and Steele is just the last straw. It's just not worth it if all we are going to get is more of the same, or worse. What if they put someone in like Cravens? He sticks it to the staff and panders to parents every time. WE can't wait until April and hope things will get better. Pressure on the BoE is a must. Call Banwart. Email her. It's "for our kids."

Anonymous said...

Rest assured there is one thing on which CJ, Anson, the old and new BOE, Turner, and every person in the district can agree: Joplin does not deserve CJ Huff.

Anonymous said...

Huff is so enamored with himself that he screams out his owm name during coitus.

Anonymous said...

As others point out, sometimes you do have to do these kinds of things to get of someone is a position of status. When Debbie Linnes left St John's, there were similar lines about wanting more time with family. This is routine for these kinds of events, and because of that, you can be assured that others in positions of authority and experience are able to read between the lines. It won't take much googling on Huff to turn up the controversy, and even if he has a glowing letter of recommendation it doesn't mean much in light of that controversy. People can rationalize all they want that making big decisions means controversy is unavoidable, but it also remains true that no matter how many bad decisions a prominent leader makes there will always be defenders. Nixon, for instance, always had defenders, but the size of the controversy still points to real problems, and it is that legacy that will follow Nixon throughout history. Be assured, friends, that Huff has a similar association.

Anonymous said...

Dear Leader Huff must have his attributes. If he can't get them from true progress and success, he will get them through duress. That is what this letter is. A product of duress. It is nothing for anyone, especially Huff, to be proud of, even if he did write it himself. I don't think it will do him much good in the job market, actually. Researching his name brings up many issues along with the documentation to refute what is in the letter. It simply serves to buffer the ego of this pompous ass.

I feel sorry for the man who had to sign it in order to remove a menace from his school district. Let's get past our immediate anger and start supporting those Board members who are trying desperately to enact change. Lynda Banwart must feel our disdain for her actions and must be convinced that the direction she is trying to take is the wrong one, despite what she is hearing from her friends on the JPC. She needs to remember that they are few and we are many, and she must live with the many as well as the few. It's our community, our schools, our children we are defending. Let her hear from you, and do support those who are trying to fend off the egomaniacal Huff and his supporters.

Anonymous said...

This guy knows he is through in education, two strikes and you are out. As a consequence he needs enough cushion to carry him through the period of time it takes for David Wallace to find him a Consulting job. Face the fact that you all got worked over by a great con artist and prepare yourselves for the next con artist who is waiting in the wings to get his hand on some of the residual money that has not already been bled off.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Huff has left a wake of destruction wherever he has been. So sorry that Joplin has experienced this disaster. The town he lived in prior to Joplin is just now starting to be revived. We too felt relieved when he announced his move, because we so wanted our town to be put back together.We lost over 30 teachers in one building in one year thanks to his wonderful leadership. We did however feel sadness for Joplin because we knew what he was, but we were hoping that maybe he would actually change his ways, and really do what he says he will do. He is a disgusting human being, and one day all of these things will truly bite him in the rump. Bid him farewell Joplin he is to big of a coward to stay there, so lick your wounds and look forward to a brighter future....

Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily agree with the severance package, but I do know Jeff Koch, and he is very fiscally minded. More than likely they were faced with the possibility of a lawsuit which would have cost the taxpayers way more money in legal fees and payouts!

On another note, (and I'm a parent of three Joplin R-8 kids)...this community IS "unengaged and apathetic"!! Most people sit behind their computers, criticizing, instead of actually getting off their a**es and doing something. Do you attend Joplin Eagles sporting events? Plays, band, orchestra or choir performances? Where were all of you when the PAC opened? The auditorium wasnt even close to being full! I come from a small town where the citizens support the KIDS, despite what is going on at the admin level. They go to athletic events, plays, academic competitions etc. These kids need your support no matter what your political affiliation is or how you feel about CJ Huff or the administration. Get it together Joplin!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jeff Koch must have felt as if he needed a shower after signing such a letter. He really didn't have much choice and we can thank Ann Sharp and Company for setting up this golden parachute for Huff. Huff must have seen the handwriting on the wall and told Ann and the rest of his puppets to extend his contract. Although this is a lot of money and I hate to see CJ get any more than what he has already soaked us for, the money can be quickly made up by getting rid of the overpaid, under-qualified jackasses he hired or promoted at Admin.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that half of the people commenting on this even know what the word "apathetic" means. After looking over these comments I can say that as someone who hopes to be a future educator that I am reluctant to take a job at Joplin, mostly because of all of you who are acting, honestly, pretty asinine. Can any of you even give a specific reason as to why you don't like C.J Huff? And besides, "He's evil! He don't care 'bout our kids! Dey tuk our jobs!"

My guess is that most of you have a problem with authority and have found someone (Turner) who is a rabble-rouser, therefore giving you an outlet in which you can get a sufficient amount of your angst filled, while feeling smart because Turner can use complete sentences. The fact that NONE OF YOU can plainly see the obvious vendetta the Randy Turner holds against Huff and the school board is incredible! How can you take self gratifying, bias filled trash and feel vindicated? It's truly unbelievable.

No one is without blame, this school district and Mr. Huff are not without fault, and criticism is an essential part in establishing an efficient school system for our children. But when ignorance is tolerated on such a high level, it is truly disheartening and I am worried for these future kids.

Anonymous said...

@2:29

You are an arrogant jerk, but I expect you know that and take pride in it. You are more in the Anson Burlingame column of people. I hope and pray that you never become an educator anywhere, and I especially hope that you do not come to Joplin.

By the way, you hope to be a "future educator"? Are you teaching about the future, or are you hoping to become an educator? Please, keep us updated on your choice. I've never heard of a "future educator" before. Sounds fascinating.

Anonymous said...

The Huff exit and the school board coup have been in the works for months. Faced with a poor state audit and losing control of the school board, Huff, Sharp and Landis made arrangements to extend his contract in the 11th hour (February). That 5-year extension was egregious. But they knew it would put Huff in a better bargaining position once his day of reckoning came. The contract extension, the school board resignations, the horrible and exorbitant severance for Huff -- all of this was orchestrated so that a few could try to salvage their control of the Joplin Schools. It may just work.

Anonymous said...

Why should we care if our host is pursuing a vendetta against Huff and company, as long as he speaks the truth, and most especially truths no other local media are willing to say (unless it gets really out of bounds, like Huff's pre-election attack on Martucci)?

Yes, he's not exactly a nice guy, but good journalism doesn't require nice guys, in fact requires a certain toughness of mind and spirit.

Anonymous said...

You want specific reasons future educator? Good god have you not been paying attention? I doubt seriously that you have what it takes to be a future, present OR past educator.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Yes please stand behind our kids........Its not their fault any of this happened. You don't have to go to a school board meeting to show support for our kids.....They could care less.....but show up at a game, concert, or art show and see what is actually right with Joplin Schools. Enough with taring down JPS....Its time for the people of Joplin to lift it up. I'm am not a fan of Huff or Turner. Just a Joplin man that wants to see pride brought back to the students and out of the shadows of the board and administration . The board and admin should be like a great umpire......not noticed till he is handed the ball after the last out in the 9th inning.

Anonymous said...

Why would the school district pay huff a bonus!!! He was a failure and why would you want him telling a new Superintendent anything. This district is doing the worst in the history of Joplin. He should have been fired!!!!!!!! There was no retirement just another way he justifies things to himself.

Anonymous said...

What's done is done. We need to stop looking back and begin to move forward again. Anyone concerned about criminal actions should be speaking with the attorney general's office. If there is anything to it, it's their job to handle the situation. Our job is now to look to the needs of our kids. Whining about the past actions will only do harm. It's time to clean up any damage done to JPS. Let's give the new board members a chance to do their job without burdening them with past grievances. the board needs to select new members, accept the outstanding resignations and surge forward.

Anonymous said...

@2:29
"... I can say that as someone who hopes to be a future educator that I am reluctant to take a job at Joplin", please, do not take a job at Joplin. We need people for whom teaching is a *career*, first of all. Secondly, your comment has shown that you're quite ignorant and probably emailing from your recliner while chain-smoking cigarettes instead of tending to your online classes from an internet university. You certainly do not sound like any 'future educator' I'd like my child to have. @4:11 and @4:33 have it right. So, yes, please be 'reluctant' to take a 'job at Joplin'. We do not need you.