Saturday, October 11, 2014

"The School Messed Up"

Assistant Superintendent Mike Morris (far left) Calvin Terrell (multi-colored cap), none too happy parents (right) 10/3 meeting which Terrell thought was an "emergency meeting"

A friend and l-o-n-g time reader likens my school posts to, "distant underwater tremors that turn into 30 foot waves breaking on the beach."

Amherst Public Schools "Media Climate & Communications Specialist" Carol Ross

My boots on the ground coverage of last week's (10/3) "Coffee hour with the Principal" took a few days to catch fire, but as of now the Comments are fast approaching the limit allowed by Blogger, a barrier previously broken only once (school related of course) out of over 3,368 posts published.

 Today's Gazette editorial:  (go to Google News and search using the headline)

While it took the Gazette almost a week to catch up to the shocking story of race/anti-bullying "motivational" guru Calvin Terrell terrorizing our children, they now seem to be making up for lost time. 

Today for instance, in the highest circulating edition of the week, the venerable Daily Hampshire Gazette presents a very thorough editorial decrying the sorry affair.

Although in their typically diffident manner they fall short of demanding the schools exterminate their relationship with Terrell.

A glaring oversight. 

 Last year Terrell was paid $2,700 for one day gig


Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Geryk been fired yet? She should step down voluntarily. So should anybody else that voted in this horror show of an "expert"

Anonymous said...

What does this administration do well, other than write deft, political apologies? Ross is articulate, intelligent and a shield. Why can't the adminstrators talk directly with parents and students? Why can't they deliver on our kids' education?

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts.......

The only hope for meaningful action is for the RSC to step up and force accountability and action on all this money they are allowing to be poured into central office personnel and initiatives. They should also take into account the recent research that says central office should be taking the opposite approach..... They should be putting the power into the hands of the teachers and principals on the ground floor and support them in their initiatives, not central office initiatives. This would not have happened with building based control. Mark Jackson has much more experience and expertise than Maria Geryk in this and many aspects of school progress and management. I hope those that are writing her are writing to their school board reps as well. The next meeting is this Tuesday, Oct 14th.

Second thought..... I have tried to find Terrell's background/resume. It is nowhere on the web that i can find. His site is a lot of glamour about him and all the presentations he has done. I want to know what education he has had. Does he have training in the theory on how you change climate in schools? Does he studied and understand child development? Based on what he thought was appropriate, I am guessing not. Has anyone found more about him? Does the school have to release a resume for him? It is standard procedure to get resumes from consultants.

Larry Kelley said...

Disadvantage of having a Superintendent without a PhD: perhaps she doesn't think it's all that important.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, she doesn't even have a Classroom Teacher's Certificate -- everything she has is in SPED.

But you really want a Superintendent who has an EdD and not a PhD, the same way you want a Physician who has a MD.

Dr. Ed said...

To all the parents who are (legitimately) outraged about this, I have but three questions:

1: Where the hell were you when Catherine Sanderson & Steve Rivkin could have really used your support?

2: Where the hell were you when Larry Kelly and I made a fuss about a "R"-rated high-school play that, amongst other things, glorified statutory rape. That had 14-year-old girls screaming a word so vulgar that I'm not even going to use it here...

That was more than a decade ago now -- where were you then?!?!?

3: OK, we all can be wrong -- I once campaigned for Gary Hart -- but what are you going to do NOW?

You now have a school committee that is rubber-stamping the actions of an out-of-control Superintendent who is running into shoal water at full throttle with impunity.

What are you going to DO?

Anonymous said...

Past comments made it look like Terrell was paid by Amherst College. From the response it looks like tax payers footed most of the bill for this unqualified individual.

Thanks Maria. Keep up the quality work.

Larry Kelley said...

No, Amherst College is picking up the vast majority -- if not all -- of his exorbitant fee ($38K for 10 visits).

But that is still money that could be going to other more worthwhile things.

Anonymous said...


Doesn't the note from the school say that ARPS paid $1,900 for Terrell and $500 from Amherst college?

Dr. Ed said...

Anyone know if the psych issue that triggered the MS lockdown was TRIGGERED by Terrell's stunt?

If he got half the kids crying & otherwise traumatized, it wouldn't be unexpected that one or two of the more vulnerable ones might be pushed completely over the edge...

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 12:52
That was from LAST year for his initial appearance, which was about a month before the racial graffiti problems started with Carolyn Gardner.

Anonymous said...

" his exorbitant fee ($38K for 10 visits)"

And the starting pay for a police officer or firefighter is?

I know they "cost" more because of benefits and such, but isn't this more than the first step on their contracts?

And how many days (excluding overtime) do they work in a year?

Edddie? said...

" Dr. Ed said...
To all the parents who are (legitimately) outraged about this, I have but three questions:"

You did it all Eddie.

You did it all.

-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Grunt.

Anonymous said...

You've done it, Larry, better get ready... the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

Anonymous said...

The school could have just hired Al Sharpton to come in to speak with our children. At least he has some credentials.

Dr. Ed said...

"I have tried to find Terrell's background/resume. It is nowhere on the web that i can find."


OK, it is a right-wing website, but how difficult would it have been for Maria G to have called any number of people out there (e.g. Principal, Supt, AZ State Dept of Educ) and asked "if any of this stuff is true?" -- and in light of what happened in Amherst, it probably is....

And folks, this was six years ago -- Maria G didn't do her homework -- less than 2 years ago, he in this state and talking about the Sandy Hook shooting -- see:

"At an anti-violence presentation at Swampscott High School, speaker Calvin Terrell reminded his audience that the children killed in Newtown were a small percentage of the children who die every day...."

And Team Maria is really surprised that he did the same thing again??? Really?!?!?!?

As to his bio, well:



People who actually *have* college degrees tend to mention that sort of thing in a bio. My guess is that, umm....

Anonymous said...

ARPS uses the line "Amherst College is paying for it" quite frequently- but the bill always gets transferred to the town (prior to Terrell it was the Community Partnership/ Party Planner position)

Anonymous said...

Didn't you have a contact at Fox news? Why don't you shoot them an e-mail and see if they will pick up the story.

Anonymous said...

How many signatures does it take to call a special town meeting?

While it would only be psychological, a formal vote of "no confidence" in Maria Geryk might encourage her to look into "retirement."

Larry Kelley said...


Anonymous said...

Only 10 signatures needed for a citizen petition article at next spring's Annual Town Meeting.

Alternatively, any Town Meeting member at the Annual Town Meeting could move to reduce the school budget by the amount of the Superintendent's salary.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Terrell's recent problems are still hiding on page 2 of his Google page.

I'll bet he knows how to manage that situation.

Anonymous said...

That dude don't care. He says whatever to GET PAID. & get paid he did. You fools (who hired him) padded the pockets of a liar. Riddle me this: what are his qualifications? What makes him an expert on all things of race? Fools. The whole lot of ya who sponsored this a$$hat.

Anonymous said...

"And folks, this was six years ago -- Maria G didn't do her homework"

Ha! Homework? Does everyone know how the last principal for Fort River was chosen?

After the crack administration vetted the final three candidates they were presented to the town as the three finalist and a meeting was called so parents could ask questions of the candidates.

Wait, scratch that, or should I say scratch one of the finalists. After the invite went out:

A notice went out stating that one of the finalist had dropped out because she was taking an office position in a nearby town? Really?

What the administration failed to tell anyone was that they made a rather big mistake. Would you believe they failed to do a proper background check it seems. Their candidate of choice had a conviction for a serious DUI in CT. Now how could you vett a person and not find a criminal background. I have to pass a CORE just to go on a class trip, yet Geryk and her crack team of researchers failed to find what anyone could pay $4.95 and get in a web search.

So Amherst was down to two well researched candidates.

Ummm... well not exactly. Seems no one bothered to look at some history records and reviews of the second candidate, reviews that stated she was difficult to deal with and get along with aka a real nightmare, but she was offered and it took parents about ten minutes to tear her to shreds.

With all those administrators including Monica Hall, former puppet, um excuse me, principal of Fort River (Note: she works in the dark abyss of the administration and has never been seen since), no one seemed to really bother to do any research.

As fate would have it Fort River ended up by default with candidate number three, and thankfully so. She is not only young and energetic, she is smart and personable. She will earn her wings unlike most of the social miscreants in the system now.

What someone ought to tell her is that her second in command (a clone trooper of Geryk) is a direct pipeline to the administration so she ought to watch closely at what she says.

And the real kicker to all of this? With all the promises we have heard from everyone from Monica Hall to Maria Geryk to continue their education and obtain the degrees they are required to have to be in their position, the current Principal of Fort River ACTUALLY IS continuing her education and she's attending a real college (Boston College) to do it, all while STILL being the principal of Fort River. Cheers to her. Thumbs down to Maria Geryk.


Time to clean house and stop the horrible system that is the Amherst school administration. There are now enough people to make a difference. Isn't it time.

You can waste all the money you have shopping at Whole Foods thinking you are keeping your children healthy. What about their minds? What about their future? Here's a secret, in the real world everyone doesn't get a trophy for being good just because.

Walter Graff said...

And now you may know why you have a strange feeling you saw a guy just like Terrell in a suit selling men's ties or giving out samples of after shave.

Terrell's background? Originally from Missouri, his list of accomplishments and stated educational background is on his Google page.

WARNING: Please fasten your seat belts before you read any further. (none of his education is verified but easy to check on)

Calvin Terrell
Lives in Phoenix


Gundlach Elementary School (Missouri)
Black Jack/Keeven Elementary(Missouri)
Kirby Jr. High(Missouri)
Hazelwood East High School(Missouri)
University of Missouri St. Louis
Ottawa University

Employment (Present)

Social Centric
Justice Speaker/Facilitator,

Past Employment:

Red Lobster (listed in no particular order or importance)

El Mirage Elementary School
Wig Wam Resort
Lombardi's Italian Restaurant
Acclaim Elementary School
Saks Fifth Avenue
Robinsons May
Breckenridge Hotel
National Conference for Community & Justice
Upward Bound/Arizona State University

I would think such a popular and moving speech maker would have a few more than 10 followers.

I digress...

He certainly has a sales background.

Oh no, pardon me, the cat just got out of the bag. I'll be right back.


Anonymous said...

Climate communications specialist.....are you kidding me?

Schools talking to kids about race....are you kidding me?

Endless school administrators (and budget to pay them)....are you kidding me?

Good thing there are no homeless or underprivileged in Amherst. Imagine how many govt workers we would need then, it could get out of control.

Anonymous said...

People are missing a really important situation by focusing on the a Calvin T. issue, as bad as it is. What folks really need to be paying attention to and writing their SC members about is the probable recommendation of the ETF to do away with all honors and AP classes. If the SC goes along with that recommendation all kids, black or white or brown or red or whatever will be shut out of going to many prestigious colleges. The proverbial throw the baby out with the bath water.
Pay attention to this folks. Keep on top of SC agendas to see when the recommendations will be discussed. Begin writing now to the SC to let them know how you feel. And remember it is the ETF who will be responsible for making this ridiculous recommendation. Who knows what other damaging recommendations they will make. The SC does not have to accept any of the ETF's ideas but in this climate of Amherst is a hot bed of racism the SC just might accept some very bad ideas to keep the crazies at bay.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:27

You really have to embrace the SC voting to eliminate the AP classes. That will be the tipping point. It will cause the SC and the Administration to be ousted. That is why it is the necessary sacrifice for several years of Amherst kids.

Why should the likes of Rick Hood care. His kid graduated. His kid got AP courses. He wants to bring harmony to ARPS and this is the next step. His race relations friends tell him so and the whites, who want to keep AP are racist anyway, they just don't know they are racist.

Anonymous said...

At what point does the whole mess implode?

Anonymous said...

I don't want the SC or administration ousted. I think Maria is doing a great job. She does not want honors and AP classes eliminated. It's Shabazz and Baptiste and their gang who want them eliminated.

Anonymous said...

I will be very surprised if Rick Hood were to vote to eliminate honors and AP classes.

Let's see what happens and not jump the gun.

Anonymous said...

If Maria was doing a great job, you wouldn't have a whole bunch of traumatized Middle School students....

Anonymous said...

anon 12:40:
I've never seen anything from Shabazz or Baptiste that say they want AP and honors classes eliminated. There are some people on the ETF and in the community that feel that way, but it's a long way between them expressing that opinion and it ever being implemented by the schools. Even whatever recommendations the ETF makes are just suggestions. They would need the approval of the School Committee & the Central Office to be adopted.

Mommy, are you stupid? said...

"Let's see what happens and not jump the gun."


God damn are you an idiot.

-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Are you drooling?

Dr. Ed said...

Actually folks, the School Committee is rather impotent in the best of times -- Education Reform gave the Supt the authority to run the schools and I believe she could do this on her own.

Of course you could always refuse to fund the budget, and even my friends in Malden aren't exactly sure what would happen then...

Particularly if you were to, oh, deduct her salary and fund the rest...

Anonymous said...

You would think our 5 college area has a wealth of resources and professionals the schools could utilize to address issues-that would know how to present them to children

Why hire someone (without a clue) from across the nation?

Anonymous said...

There are some very hard people commenting on this blog.

Anonymous said...

True, Sharpton was an informant for the Mob and FBI

Anonymous said...

No, "hard people" would be outside Maria G's office with pitchforks & torches...

Hey Larry, any idea who still sells pitchforks?

Anonymous said...

Why hire someone (without a clue) from across the nation?

Why hire a Superintendent with neither a clue nor a Doctorate?

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 10:09

Amherst Farmers Supply (may even have torches).

Dr. Ed said...

"Their candidate of choice had a conviction for a serious DUI in CT."

I never quite understood why this was an issue when you have a guidance counselor who robbed a bank with a GUN. One may be a felony if serious enough, tho other is a serious Federal offense. I believe that the FBI gets involved, or at least used to.

Of course this is the same school district that once hired a principal who liked little boys a little bit too much...

But seriously, I'd be more concerned about the guy with the GUN....

I have to pass a CORE just to go on a class trip

CORI. CORE is something else....

Anonymous said...

Larry can you create a new post listing the names and contact information for the Amherst School Committee?

It's time that M Geryk leaves.

Here's a poll:

It's time to vote!

Anonymous said...

The names and contact info for the regional school committee members is listed on the ARPS web site: