Hello, kiddos. Static is your substitute teacher for the day. Today’s lesson is called Bittersweet Irony of Life 101.
The Fort Worth school district hired Sylvia Reyna as chief of administration for an annual $160,000 plus perks back in 2010. Two years later, Reyna had pretty much made a mess of her job and become a lightning rod in the community.
The buck stopped with Reyna on a $13 million fiasco in which the district hired about 200 teachers who weren’t budgeted — particularly painful in a district already in deep financial trouble.
Reyna also wears shrapnel scars from her role in Joe Palazzolo’s whistle-blower case. The Arlington Heights High School assistant principal’s reports of malfeasance at the venerable school were substantiated, but wrongdoers were allowed to retire or get reassigned quietly while Palazzolo was fired, based mainly on a report from Reyna. She skipped over his exemplary evaluations and support from many teachers and coaches to focus on complaints from a handful of teachers. About $500,000 in legal fees later, the school district is still sticking to its guns, although Palazzolo has won almost every round of his lawsuit while still fighting for his job.
Last week, Reyna resigned from her Fort Worth position to take a similar job at the Dallas school district. Her pay hasn’t yet been announced, but Static will bet an apple that Reyna gets a substantial raise.
No matter, plenty of people are happy to see her go, raise or not.
“On her way out the door we must remember she is the primary culprit in destroying the reputation of Mr. Palazzolo,” said the Rev. Kyev Tatum. “It will be her travesty and her legacy as she leaves this district. Maybe now we can get to the business of educating our children.”
So, kiddos, time for a test. Today’s lesson could be summarized as: (A) Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep; (B) Goodbye, good luck, and good riddance; (C) Life isn’t fair. Fair is where you take your pickles in July; or (D) All of the above.
If you answered D, go to the head of the class. Just don’t expect a raise.