Along with Pearson’s hire of disgraced former Fox superintendent Dianne Critchlow to do MAP oversight for DESE, there are some other recent examples of problem administrators getting themselves hired in new positions.
The first is right here in JeffCo, where Andy Arbeitman, who was paid over $200,000 to go away when he was De Soto superintendent, and then hired by Critchlow as an assistant superintendent at Fox before waltzing away after less than two years with a $66,000 payday, has been hired as athletic director and assistant principal at Grandview R-2, reports the Leader.
Arbeitman’s career is slowly circling the drain, as he has received another demotion and will be making only $55,000 in the upcoming school year. That is less than half of his Fox salary, and about 1/3 of the almost $180,000 he was making only three years ago at De Soto. So that’s a bit of consolation here.
How dumb is the Grandview school board? Let us count the ways. First, board president Randy Wakeland said “we hired the best-qualified candidate.” It is hard to believe Grandview has that much trouble attracting applicants. Not only that, but the assistant principal job is a new one. Just what every school district needs, more administrators. Wakeland also said he believes the contract runs from year-to-year. Um, shouldn’t you have checked that, especially given that Arbeitman will probably bail on you guys in just a couple of years? Anything other than a year-to-year contract opens Grandview up to a big payout. I don’t know what he knows about education administration, but Arbeitman is clearly quite skilled at extracting free money from school boards.
I can’t find a solid answer, but it sounds like Arbeitman’s 2-3 years as superintendent at Twin Rivers school district ended on a sour note as well.
In a non-local but highly egregious example of pass the trash, Caruthersville School District in the Missouri bootheel made the shocking move of hiring fired St. Joseph superintendent Fred Czerwonka as its director of school services. That’s right, he was fired, and we in JeffCo know how hard it apparently is to fire a school administrator. A state audit of St. Joseph found “$40 million in unapproved stipends, no-bid contracts, nepotism and a string of Missouri Sunshine Act violations.” Czerwonka also accused the district CFO of sexual harassment when the CFO blew the whistle on these schemes. Caruthersville put a cherry on top of this ridiculousness by hiring Czerwonka’s wife, too. I hope the idiots on the Caruthersville school board made sure that Czerwonka’s contract does not award him pay when he gets hauled off to jail (the FBI is investigating him), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
It is noteworthy that there are no e-mail addresses listed for board members or their secretary on the district website, so we can’t tell them how we feel. I have to assume they don’t have internet down there, either, and were thus unaware of Czerwonka’s record. Why else on earth would they hire him?
With all this, I think we need to brace ourselves for Dianne and Jamie Critchlow’s eventual return to education. I have no doubt there is a school board in this state stupid enough to hire them.