LeavingMyMarc.com FOIAs StaffCo Schools Over Spillman Hiring

Today, LeavingMyMarc.com decided to submit a Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Va. Code Section 22-3700 et seq.) request to get to the bottom of what was actually known when Dr. Karen Spillman was originally hired as an assistant principal in March 2011 and quickly elevated to principal in August 2011 of Colonial Forge High School.

Date: 09/26/11

Stafford County Public Schools
RE: FOIA Request
31 Stafford Avenue
Stafford, VA 22554

To Whom It May Concern:

LeavingMyMarc.com has reported publicly available information, this weekend, on the July 2007 arrest of Karen C. Spillman in Prince William County for public intoxication. The arrest preceded Dr. Spillman’s (2008) acceptance of the Strasburg High School principal post as well as her resignation from the job, fifteen days later for “health reasons.” So, we-like so many Colonial Forge parents, would like to know:

    • When Dr. Spillman applied for employment to Stafford County Schools-to be an Assistant Principal-was she forthcoming about her July 2007 arrest in Prince William County for public intoxication?
    • At the time of her recruitment for the Assistant Principal assignment, did Stafford County Public Schools run the proper [criminal and professional reference] background checks? Did they conduct thorough due-diligence?
    • And this summer, when the principal’s position opened up, did the Stafford County Public Schools re-evaluate Dr. Spillman’s background to replace Colonial Forge High School principal Dr. Lisa Martin, or, did they just rubber stamp Dr. Spillman’s promotion to that role?

Per the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Va. Code Section 2.2-3700 et seq.), we request the following information be provided: (1) Any and all correspondence and documentation related to Dr. Spillman’s hiring for positions within Stafford County Public Schools – including, but not limited to, any pre-employment questionnaires and employment applications, (2) Information regarding who else may have applied for these positions and any consideration given to those other applicants, and (3) any and all employment contract(s) entered into with Dr. Spillman.

This information has a direct bearing on her public duties and therefore should be disclosed.

Thanks and I look forward to a speedy response.

The BananaMan incident and the subsequent fallout has brought quite a bit of attention to how Stafford County Public Schools recruit, vet and hire senior administrators and whether or not the chainsaw approach, led by Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chair Mark Dudenhefer, to the school system’s current operating budget may have forced folks to take time-saving shortcuts to complete critical hiring. This year, Chairman Dudenhefer gleefully reduced the school system’s budgets to the point of utter absurdity. Accountability doesn’t come cheap.

We think Stafford Superintendent Randy Bridges acted properly in bringing an end to the BananaMan controversy, but serious questions remain (we’ve documented them here) – which we have yet to receive answers.

If you have a child at Colonial Forge High School and think this is being overblown, you may be singing a different tune when it is your child facing suspension or expulsion over an expression of free speech or an innocent prank. Do you really want to take that chance?

In our just completed poll, we asked the community whether “Colonial Forge HS Principal Karen Spillman [was] capable of serving effectively, given revelations about her past and her handling of the BananaMan incident”? An overwhelming number of respondents believe the answer is No (94% No, 6% Yes – 215 respondents).

Taxpayers deserve answers and demand accountability. Our children’s futures depend on it.


Posted in 2011 Election, Education, Local Politics, Stafford County, Stafford County Board of Supervisors, Stafford County Schools Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,