BLYTHE, Calif On Tuesday, December 13, The Desert Independent received several documents made available by the Palo Verde USD via a California Public Records Act submission. The first of these was a copy of the in-house email sent to the Board and staff from Superintendent and alleged human being Charles Bush regarding changes in administration at Palo Verde High School. The first of these e-mails reads as follows, grammatical errors and misspellings intact:
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that I have received and accepted resignation of Brandy Cox as the principal of Palo Verde High School. Brandy's last day with us will be December 31st. We will miss Brandy and wish her well in her future endeavors. Over the next couple of weeks as she finishes her tenure with us, please take the time to wish her well and thank her for her efforts on behalf of the kids we serve.
In the coming weeks there will be significant changes at PVHS. Chris Burton will be joining us as the new Assistant Principal to replace Del Drummond who is moving to the District Office. Mr. Burton is currently working in another district so we have not yet determined his start date. I am hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later so that he may have some time to debrief and transition while Ms. Cox is still here.
Also next week we will be flying a principal position to try seek a replacement for Ms. Cox. I would really like that timeline to be short so that we can bring someone on as quickly as possible, but with the Holidays coming up, I am not sure that we can develop a transition plan that is quick and efficient. Choosing a leader for our high school is not a trivial matter and we need to ensure that we choose wisely, and while I want to be sure that we move through the process as quickly as we can, I also want to be sure that we select the perfect candidate.
Over the weekend, I will be contemplating how to balance our need for speed and efficiency with our desire to appoint the right person who can and will lead the high school for years to come. Above all else, we need our leaders to care about kids, care about our community, and be committed to the process of improving education for the families of Palo Verde Unified School District.
Once I have a plan in place for how we are going to move through this process, I will share it with you. In the meantime, please send Brandy your well wishes, and be sure to thank her for all that she has done to move PVHS forward.
Charles D. Bush Superintendent Palo Verde Unified School District
What a load!!
Where would a person in a position to know begin to dissect this unpleasant bowl of verbiage?
First Apparently Mr. Bush believes that Ms. Cox would be moving on to distant shores after December 31. That's not going to happen. Ms. Cox will not be missed because she would not be going anywhere. She has long been a tenured teacher prior to being vaulted into administration and would simply move into a position in a classroom or otherwise that she is qualified for.
Second This is following a pattern established in Fort Bragg with mid-year changes with the hiring of FOC (Friends of Chuckie). He claimed he was hired primarily because of his ability to bring up test scores at Fort Bragg and, with that mandate, fired the Middle School Principal and Vice Principal at mid-year. This was done to an administrator that had been in place for ten years and was very well liked and respected. He stated to a source that this was done because the Middle School was in its fourth year of Program Improvement and fresh blood was needed. With that, he hired an old acquaintance to come to Fort Bragg with a boyfriend that was a teacher. The boyfriend was well liked by the staff but the Principal was not. She resigned at the end of the year and moved on.
Currently, the well-respected Principal fired by Mr. Bush is suing the Fort Bragg USD. He has proved to be very expensive to that district. I will report more on that in later articles.
There is no record of any perceptible improvement in test scores at that Middle School he ravaged.
Third So is this unknown Chris Burton another FOC (Friend of Chuckie's)? This would follow the pattern of favoritism and nepotism established by him in Fort Bragg. As a matter of fact, he hired his wife to a bus driving position in his second year, bringing her down to join him from Sacramento. Does this not sound like Dr. Alan Jensen placing his son and relatives in various positions without benefit of required fingerprint tests or competitive interviews?
Fourth Ms. Cox stepped up to the plate twice in her administrative career and succeeded wildly. In the first instance, she became the Principal during the "Time of Missing Textbooks. Only in PVUSD can certain lurid happenings happen. The prior Principal had made arrangements with a book buyer in Los Angeles to come to Blythe and cart away outdated textbooks. She took the master list of HS textbooks, highlighted the ones she wanted to sell, and faxed the list to the bookbindery. That's where the problem appeared. Yellow highlights do not appear at the other end on any faxed document. As such, the book buyer assumed that he was to pick up every single book on the list and, to make a long story short, he did just that. Phone calls were made demanding the return of the perfectly usable textbooks to no avail. A week later the District received a check from this gentleman for $3,000. The opening of school was weeks away and orders went out for replacement textbooks everyone used at the High School. Teachers had to start the school year without texts while boxes of recycled and rebound texts came in to the library to be checked in. As the librarian was checking in some math textbooks, she recognized her daughter's signature in one of them. We had bought back our own textbooks. The bill was over $160,000. Wild profit margin! Needless to say, the Principal was placed on leave and Brandy Cox was put in place as the Principal.
In the second instance, while the Middle School was closing down and only the 8th grade remained in place, the Principal there accepted another job in San Francisco a month into the year. Rather than hire another administrator, Brandy Cox was told to take over responsibilities over BMS in addition to her own at PVHS. Again, she stepped up to the plate and performed admirably.
Fifth Ms. Cox has been very well perceived by school boards for the last several terms and, in particular, by Board President John Ulmer. The Desert Independent does not know why she submitted a mid-year resignation and has not inquired. This is because sources in Fort Bragg have informed The Desert Independent of his penchant for vindictiveness and we do not want to endanger her career while Mr. Bush's shadow still darkens our doorsteps.
In a meek missive disclosed by another CPRA request, Mr. Bush backtracked and denied ever asking for her resignation. It follows:
In a meeting this morning with Mrs. Cox, she asked that the letter of resignation be rescinded. Because I know she has the support of the School Board, and because I was not seeking her resignation in the first place, (Right!) I have agreed to pull the resignation from the Board meeting agenda. For all intents and purposes, it is as if she never submitted it.
I hope that the conversations generated by this event, and it sounds like there were many, help the Staff and Faculty of PVUS (sic) work together more effectively and aid in the effort to create a student centered environment where teachers and staff are empowered to make the best educational decisions possible for our kids.
Charles D. Bush Superintendent Palo Verde Unified School District
It sounds like Mr. Bush and the Board President had a sincere wall to wall conversation. His last sentence empowering teachers elicited pronounced snickers from sources in Fort Bragg where the staff learned the hard way to keep heads down and mouths shut.
Unfortunately, his infamous activities have not ceased. The Desert Independent has learned that the there are two very important voids in the Business office. Again, we have not inquired as to do so would possibly put some wonderful people at risk for more disservice. Did you read that, Mr. Bush? We have not inquired.
In other matters, there must by many more FOC out there. At last count, 14 new teacher's aide positions have been created by him as well as a new Asst. Principal position at Twin Palms Community High School. This in a year when the CBEDS nose count has dropped below 3,000. Go figure.
In the last article, we called the School Board to task for the lack of a background check and demanded they protect the students, faculty and staff from Chuckie's depredations. The current board make no mistake is made up of some very moral, well-meaning and good people, with the possible exception of Dr. Guith. They need to shed their political naivetι and nail Chuckie's feet to the floor the minute he comes to work, lose the telephone, computer and radio. Pry him loose at the end of the day to return to whatever lair he inhabits. Perhaps in this manner, the District might well survive him until the end of the year.
The opinions expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of The Desert Independent, LLC.