Leader Puff Piece on Crutchley Ignores Scandals

29 Mar

This week, the Leader ran a profile of acting Fox C-6 superintendent Tim Crutchley, who is retiring from the district at the end of the year, taking a $77,000 payout to do so. The article talked mostly about his time as principal of Ridgewood Middle School, and a little bit about his work as acting superintendent. But it omitted a certain portion of his Fox career:

HIS NINE YEARS SERVING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF DISGRACED FORMER SUPERINTENDENT DIANNE CRITCHLOW.

Imagine if a reporter interviewed Hillary Clinton and didn’t mention her private email server. Or if a reporter interviewed Darren Wilson and didn’t ask about Michael Brown. That is the equivalent of what Leader reporter Kim Robertson did in this article (I note that Roberson also failed to ask the hard questions of the city of Arnold during ballotgate in 2013).

Robertson had no questions about the $1,000 hotel room in Orlando for Critchlow that Crutchley booked, or the other outrageous expenses at the 2013 Marzano conference? Hell, Crutchley admitted that he knew district policy limited hotel costs to $110 per night, but says he was merely following orders and has no regrets. Crutchley had his own share of questionable credit card charges as well.

The big questions Robertson should have asked Crutchley were “What did you know and when did you know it?” It is hard to believe that Crutchley could have been blind to all of Critchlow’s scandals. The fact that he was named acting superintendent by the school board when Critchlow was put on paid leave was an egregious wrong, given his unclean hands. Here’s what he said about his time as acting superintendent:

“I’m proud the board trusted me with filling this role,” he said. “It was a really tough year, and I’m proud that I‘ve led the district to a place where Dr. Wipke can take over and move this district forward. We kept the boat afloat long enough to find the new superintendent and get the transition done, setting it up to be successful and pulling it out of the mess it had been in.”

Fox is far from being “pulled out of the mess.” Board member Dan Kroupa was unsurprisingly pleased with Crutchley’s performance:

“And, in the past year, he’s done a really good job as interim superintendent during this transitional period. There’s been a lot of controversy he’s had to deal with, and he has done it well. I think the whole school board is grateful for the job he’s done and we’re sorry to see him go.”

I think most district residents have a not-so-favorable view of his performance.

Crutchley says he is most proud of his time at Ridgewood. Here’s what he told the Leader that “We changed the culture of that building and the climate of that building.” This is ironic because Critchlow and her crew changed the climate and culture of the central office, to one of cronyism, intimidation, and disregard for ethics. Crutchley is also proud of the character education program at Ridgewood. Too bad he didn’t bring that to the central office.

Crutchley says he wants to continue to work (he’s only 46). He says he will likely work in education, possibly in facilities. I hope that his potential employers ask Crutchley the hard questions about his time as a Fox administrator that reporter Kim Robertson chose not to.

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