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FOIA request shows Shaw has no resume

Published: Friday, July 22, 2011 9:47 a.m. CDT

At the District 54 Board of Education work/study session on July 11, either Mrs. (Teri) Shaw or the attorney for the BOE speaking for her indicated that many school districts are welcoming school leaders entering the field of education from alternate career paths.

I remember hearing examples such as former military officers, business CEOs, engineers or leaders in the field of finance and banking. Well, leaving aside the question of whether this supposed trend is widespread or widely accepted, the implication is that Mrs. Shaw’s experience is equivalent to people in such careers and makes her a good choice to assume the leadership in our schools.

Curious about what actual experience in any field Mrs. Shaw has acquired, I placed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for her resume listing previous work experience. Not being granted a resume, I asked Mrs. Shaw why. She replied that “no such document exists in her personnel file.” Being familiar with the careful way which one must phrase questions to Mrs. Shaw, I asked, “Does your resume exist anywhere other than your personnel file?” She told me it does not, and even if it did, it would not be “foiable.” In other words, she says she has no resume, but even if she did, she wouldn’t show it to me.

This situation presents several bothersome questions: How can one become superintendent of an entire school district without ever having presented a resume listing previous job experience and education to anyone, especially when she has been given a five-year contract with a starting salary of $135,000 per year with the possibility of bonuses?

Why was another district administrator’s (Special Populations Coordinator Todd Gierman’s) resume given to me upon my request when Mrs. Shaw says resumes aren’t “foiable?”

According to the D54 Directory on How to Obtain Public Records, “Disclosure of information that bears on the public duties of public employees and employees shall not be considered an invasion of personal privacy.” How does Mrs. Shaw’s previous work experience NOT bear on her current position?

Leading a school district does not require simply an ability to crunch numbers; a leader of schools, teachers, and students must have the skills and experience to lead people effectively.

Mrs. Shaw assumed her position in an unethical manner. Because she acted unethically, her original hire as District Administrator and all subsequent agreements the BOE has made with her should be considered void.

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