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NUDE PHOTOS ON SCHOOL COMPUTER: El Rancho Unified Board to Hire Superintendent Search Firm With a History of Bad Choices

Sunday June 9, 2019, 8:20 a.m.

BY BRIAN HEWS

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has learned that the El Rancho Unified School Board, during a special board meeting called for tomorrow, will move to hire a search firm with an extremely questionable track record of choosing school Superintendents.

The firm is Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), a company that current ERUSD Board Member Jose Lara heavily criticized in 2015 in the search for the LAUSD Superintendent, yet now endorses as the district’s primary search firm.

Since 2014, HYA’s methods have been called into question nationwide, with the most simplest method of vetting – background checks – being ignored by a firm that routinely earns over $70,000 for a search.

In April 2018, HYA recommended Floyd Williams Jr. for the Des Plains Elementary School District 62 in Illinois.

HYA failed to do simple due diligence when it was discovered that Williams had resigned from his previous position in Wisconsin when nude photos were found on his district-issued computer.

Williams eventually resigned after being accused of sexually harassing five female employees, collecting his remaining $127,000 in pay.

In 2015, according to the Tennessean News, HYA recommended John Covington as one of four finalists to lead Metro Nashville Public Schools.

HYA wrote in its recommendation that Covington “had over 29 years of experience in addition to integrity, courage and commitment.”

Yet Covington abruptly resigned his previous two positions.

In 2011, Covington dropped a bombshell on Kansas City school board members when he unexpectedly resigned at the start of the school year.

Later, Covington reportedly told board members he did not interview elsewhere in connection with his resignation, but signed on as the Superintendent of a new Michigan education system several days after the resignation.

A subsequent Detroit news report showed that Covington spent $240,000 for the district on employee travel, gas and IKEA furniture, with at least $10,000 spent “for Covington’s chauffeured car.”

The district denied Covington ever had a chauffeur, but a spokeswoman told the Detroit Free Press he had a “special assistant” who drove him in addition to other duties.

Covington resigned that position in June 2014, before the end of the contract.

Another controversial HYA recommendation, according to the Coast News in San Diego county, was Sergio Paez for superintendent of the Minneapolis School District.

The Minneapolis district rescinded its employment offer to Paez when a Disability Law Center investigation uncovered abuses that took place at a Holyoke, Massachusettes school during Paez’s term.

According to the Boston Globe, the report claimed that staff, working in a program for emotionally disabled youth had locked students in unlit closets, slammed them against walls, slapped them, and committed other acts of excessive force and psychological abuse.

According to an article in the Star Tribune, the withdrawal of the employment offer left Minneapolis schools with a long and expensive search that would cost over $200,000.

The Minneapolis district paid HYA half of the firm’s initial $80,000 contract and hired a different search firm and consultant.

Lastly, according to Chicago’s Daily Herald, other candidates recruited and recommended by HYA have been accused of lavish spending, bid fixing, resigning abruptly and,  making false statements about degrees held.

 

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One Response to NUDE PHOTOS ON SCHOOL COMPUTER: El Rancho Unified Board to Hire Superintendent Search Firm With a History of Bad Choices

  1. Proud Parent

    June 9, 2019 at 10:59 am

    And then there was ignorant Aguilera-Fort for El Rancho USD. Incompetent, without scruples and integrity. This fool along with Lara, Orosco, and brainless Ibarra have destroyed the district and hurt many good people. They all have to go!