Friday, May 27, 2016

Joplin R-8 Board accepts Tina Smith's resignation

When the Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved the first-ever collective bargaining agreement between the district and its teachers Tuesday night, it appeared to be the best news teachers could have.

Though the $1,000 raise is nowhere near what needs to happen to bring the district in line with other area school systems, it is still better than the teachers have seen in quite some time and the teacher negotiating team also won some concessions on a number of areas that should improve things for an important group that was sadly neglected during the C. J. Huff Administration.

With all of these things going on, the best thing that could happen to faculty, past, present, and future, occurred before the regular meeting. During a closed session, the board accepted the resignation of Chief Operating Officer and former human resources director Tina Smith.

Smith, who earned a reputation as the attack dog for Huff and his assistant superintendent, Angie Besendorfer, resigned effective June 24. Reportedly, her resignation, voluntarily or involuntarily, was going to happen at some point in the near future, so Smith is leaving two steps ahead of the posse.

Smith, like her former boss, Huff, has been a magnet for controversy.

Her exploits were written about in previous Turner Report posts, including the following:

Despite safety concerns, C. J. Huff ignored whistleblower's letter

Documents: C. J. Huff, Tina Smith ignored charges of lawbreaking insurance fraud

Million dollar lawsuit filed against Joplin R-8 School District

The books that got me fired

During Tina Smith's reign, those who wanted to report harassment in the workplace, or problems with superiors were dealt with harshly, while those who were the subjects of such accusations, especially if they were employees who were close to Huff or Besendorfer, remained unscathed.

During my termination, Smith interviewed me for four and a half minutes, gave me no chance to explain myself, then asked my students questions that were designed to make them think I had done something inappropriate with one of their classmates. (Nothing of the sort was even suspected and there were no such allegations against me, but by asking the questions, Smith made sure the thought was placed in the students' minds.Then at my hearing, she made the claim that the way my students all supported me showed signs of "grooming."

Performing that kind of service for C. J. Huff enabled her to join a number of other members of Huff's team who were promoted far beyond their abilities. Smith, who was a poor excuse for a human resources director, was promoted to chief operations officer and while she was responsible for studies that made sure workers in the R-8 School District remained underpaid, she was receiving $86,000 a year and thanks to a going away present from Huff, had three clerical workers hired to help her.

In the space of a year, we have seen the departures of Huff, Curriculum Director Sarah Stevens, East Middle School Principal Bud Sexson, and now Smith.

Though there are still remnants of the Huff team in the district, many of those who caused the most damage to the district's credibility and wasted millions in taxpayer money, will no longer be taking the taxpayers for a ride.


Grateful said...

The very best news the school district has received since Huff left. She thought she was smart, in reality she was manipulated, just like the rest of the stooges, by the greatest manipulator of all, Huff. Now they've all been exposed and their careers are ruined all because they listened to the ramblings of a crazy man hired by a lonely heiress.

Anonymous said...

Not all of them are gone.... Jennifer Doshier, Jason Weaver, and Jason Cravens are still around. And the TLCs are being placed back in classrooms (where many of them failed which is why they were made TLCs). Things still aren't "right". This, however, is a step in the right direction. And, one that gives us hope. Just hope that spring cleaning continues through the summer!

Hooray!! said...

Ding Dong, the witch is dead...
Which old witch?
The wicked witch.
Ding Dong...the wicked witch is dead...

Hold up... said...

The good news is we still have King Johnson ruling the non-teacher employees. The millions in pending lawsuits directly against him and the unknown (reportedly over a million) already paid show that he must be worth both taxpayer money and community embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Johnson will be shown the door soon. Paul Barr is the next of the corruption that needs to be investigated and given the option to resign or retire. I am sure he has saved enough from his overblown salary and $15,000 stipends to retire comfortably. Those salaries are enough to help give staff and teachers a little more of a pay raise that won't be entirely eaten up by the increase in insurance.

Anonymous said...

Johnson, Dozier, Warren, Price....all must go
Throw in Barlass.......don't like him

The Price is Wrong said...

Price-what a waste, not even sure what she does besides post on FB and I'm pretty sure Huff hired a minion to do that for her because she didn't have the skills. Imagine the raises the teachers could have when all of the worthless positions are eliminated. By then we will have lost all of the great tenured teachers that honestly cared whether the students were educated or not though. Too little, too late.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 1:08.
4:57--Not all the TLC's failed in the classroom. Just enough to make you think all of them did.
Some of those that were successful in the classroom are also successful in stepping on others, doing that informant/spying that went on and just being mean to other people.
All should take an oath to do no harm.

Anonymous said...

Kickbacks, Bribes and Lies. Oh My! Kickbacks, Bribes and Lies. Oh My!