BOE nepotism - Dr. Bob Todd

Bob Todd's son, Eric Todd, was hired to teach at Rising Starr Middle School with no certificate at all. Eric Todd also got a DUI, but managed to get his contract renewed anyway.

Bob Todd also made sure that his daughter-in-law, Andrea Todd, got a job with the school system.

Once Bob Todd made sure that his son and daughter-in-law had job security in Fayette Schools, he moved on to make sure that both of Andrea Todd's parents and a sister had jobs.

Let's not forget, he got his own wife a job at Whitewater High School.

Bob Todd's whole family works for the school system. Maybe that is why he refused to vote for the Board Member Procedure Manual. He can't be bothered with ethics.

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Submitted by real one on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 7:00pm.

Did anyone watch Gray's Anatomy last night? Some teachers have stayed past the point of productivity sort of like the surgeon who did not realize her time was up.

Many of the recent additions to the Fayette County teaching staff have come to teach as a second career and have advanced degrees in real world subject areas like engineering, physics, communications, foreign language. Because people with teaching degrees have not necessarily been able to translate the curriculum into the real world application, these teachers (at a rate of pay for their education and experience that is almost equivalent to a volunteer position) are giving your children a priceless educational experience.

Perhaps a true performance appraisal as is customary in private/corporate business situations would be a more logical way to determine who stays and who goes.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 8:07pm.

I do not doubt that there are second career people who are good teachers.

They are not the problem, the problem is a BOE member having input into the Rubic that is suppose to be fair, when she has no teaching skills. Worse yet, her only real experience is that she has a kid she got on the payroll as new teacher!

I would like to see us have people with wisdom of experience, that isn't what is going on here.

we need a recall and we need it now. How much more do you guys want to pay for? We have kids of people in power at the BOE as clerks, custodians, and God knows what else.
If you factor in the welfare for family members, what we pay is off the reservation! This is total BS!

Submitted by Andre65 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 1:09pm.

Why were Janet Smola and Renae Ellis writing a rubric (to be used to determine which teachers to let go) that did NOT include teacher tenure as a major role? What was the rationale behind that? Was that to protect Smola's son? Or was it because the children of the Fayette County System will be better served by those teachers with less experience? We all know that the rubric exists and that the lawyers shot it down. As a parent, I want to know why the rubric was written as such.

Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 3:54pm.

I haven't seen it. Where is it?

Submitted by Andre65 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 7:06pm.

Hartley advised against the rubric due to the amount of teachers he projected would sue. Smola and Ellis were working on it "behind closed doors." DeCotis stated that all existing copies had been shredded (ask him yourself), but that all principals had received a draft. Maybe you could ask your principal and see for yourself??

Submitted by lindasnola on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 6:48am.

Seems like Rene Ellis is going to have to explain why she let Janet write the rubic. Hartley advised against because the teachers would sue and Decostis shredded it. Nice, now how much in legal fees did we pay for this behind closed door deal?

It seems the more Janet does, the more she pulls them all down with her. She must be pretty popular by now.

It doesn't matter if the rubric was schredded. The fact that it was written by Ellis and a BOE member with a very junior son teaching speaks for itself.

Submitted by wildcat on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 6:51pm.

I've not seen the actual rubric, but I've certainly been made aware of it. My dept chair mentioned it at several different dept meetings. It was emphasized at said meetings that seniority means NOTHING. It will be the principal's discretion (aided by the rubric) on who stays and who goes at each school. This was not something that was discussed at SMHS? That's interesting.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 7:12am.

no one is going to feel right. The only fair way, the only legal way, I've ever seen is reverse seniorty.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 6:55am.

The teachers must me saints to endure this medling for so long. When will the teachers be let go?

Submitted by lindasnola on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:34pm.

seems to be to talk about provisional certificates. Not direct like Eric T. One can only think it possible he was given a provisional certificate.
Did others apply with certificates in hand? That answer seems not forthcoming. All we hear is that with no past teaching history in fayette he was up for teacher of the year.

That would be a low blow to many good teachers.

The answer about the rubic for who goes and who stays will be answered when we see who is retained.

Submitted by fayette911 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:01pm.

call Janet Smola and Renae Ellis and ask them if this ever happened? What do you have to lose?
If it didn't happen, then I'm sure we'd all be happy with the truth. This all just sounds/smells fishy if you really stand back and look at everything from an outsiders point of view.

Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:04pm.

I will call them and ask them. Good idea.

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 1:50pm.

Obviously they thought children would be better served by less qualified and inexperienced teachers.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 1:43pm.

Since when is Janet Smola involved in day-to-day school personnel issues?

If this is "policy formulation", why isn't the entire school board involved?

Something is not quite right here.

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 2:01pm.

If writing the rules on how teachers are picked to be laid off isn't promoting them over other teachers then I don't know what is.
I hope all the teachers let all the dirty little secrets out of the bad.

Georgia House Bill 1187 has an anti-nepotism policy which reads:

"Anti-Nepotism Policies

Local boards of education may not employ or PROMOTE any person who is a member of the immediate family of any board member, unless a public, recorded vote is taken on such employment or promotion as a separate matter from any other personnel matter. The board member whose family member is being considered may not vote."

Of Course, this would apply to clerks and custodians too.

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 2:05pm.

when these people consult the BOE lawyers to see if this would fly, they do it on their own dime. I don't think we should pay the lawyers to skirt the laws, if that is what is being done.

Submitted by wildcat on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 10:07am.

Wow...where do you get your information? I had to laugh because you REALLY don't know what you're writing!!!

EricT.'s picture
Submitted by EricT. on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 9:29am.

If you are going to try and drag me through the mud at least have your facts straight. I have held a teaching certificate since day one of my employment with Fayette County before RSMS opened.
Posted below is my certification history from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. Please check the dates and the dates of my employment. In as far as your other charge this incident was over 13 years ago, ALSO BEFORE RSMS OPENED, and was brought before both the GPSC and the Court and Cleared by the Professional Standards Commission. If anyone would like further clarification you know who I am.
Now do you have the Integrity or are you Man/Woman enough to say who you are???
Mr. Eric Christian Todd

Exceptional Children Course: YES

Most Recent Ethics Actions: NONE

The educator's certification level is 4 effective 07/01/1995
Fields in strkeout font with a RED background have expired. IF all fields have expired, the certificate has expired.
Type Field First Issued Current Issued Begin Validity End Validity
T ART (P-12) [FLD764] 01/13/1998 04/11/2007 07/01/2007 06/30/2012
Clear Renewable certificates may be renewed by earning 6 semester hours of college course work or 10 credits of Georgia Professional Learning Units (PLUs) or 10 credits of acceptable Continuing Education Units and completion of a criminal record check. Refer to Rule 505-2-.24 for information on renewal requirements.
T ART (P-12) [FLD764] 01/13/1998 03/29/2002 07/01/2002 06/30/2007
T ART (P-12) [FLD764] 01/13/1998 01/13/1998 08/15/1997 06/30/2002
BT ART (P-12) [FLD764] 10/11/1995 06/11/1996 07/01/1995 06/30/1998
T ART (P-12) [FLD764] 01/13/1998 01/13/1998 08/15/1997 06/30/2002
PAT INTERRELATED SPECIAL EDUC. (P-12) [FLD798] 07/15/2002 07/15/2002 07/01/2002 06/30/2005

Test results are on-file for the following areas...
Description Effective Date
Art (Passed) 03/09/1996
Computer Competency (InTech) 05/15/2002

P.S My former-sister in-law Does not have a sister

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 8:49pm.

to an anonymous garbage poster. They are more common than you could ever imagine, but I commend your openness. Not that you care, but I would ignore the heck out of these types of posters if I were you. If they want to check your credentials, make them take their sorry butts to the school or BOE and do so wearing their face and their name.


Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:35pm.

Was anybody who was ever related to your father, Bob Todd, in-laws or ex-in-laws, related to Kendra Hipps?

All I am trying to establish is that many people associated with Board Member Todd have benefited from employment with the school system because lots of ugly things are being said about a colleague of mine whose mother is on the school board.

I will keep blogging about these employees as long as people are dragging my colleague through the mud.

If your dad calls off his dogs, I'll call off mine.

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 8:52pm.

Attack dogs didn't work out too well for Mike Vic, and I don't think they'll work out well for you. Best bring those dogs back in your yard, and entertain them with milk bones.... before they end up biting their owner.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 10:41am.

We respect your father and Ms Key. Everyone knows that your father didn't get you the job.

People have issues with the clerical/janitorial/ allowance salaries people we are finding.

It also remains to be seen if someone child had their teaching certificate ..when they were hired/applied and if there were other people more qualified looking for the same job.

panther has done nothing but try to smear your father and Ms Key since they started posting. Everyone knows Dr Todd and Ms Key are a thorn in the side of other members of the BOE.

Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:41pm.

I don't respect Dr. Todd.

I believe that Dr. Todd is a bitter, jealous, old bully. We was about to get demoted from the county office to an elementary school many years ago, so he retired and ran for the Board. Dr. DeCotis was eventually promoted to the position that Dr. Todd had always wanted, superintendent. Dr. Todd has set out to destroy Dr. DeCotis and will try to destroy anyone who supports his enemy.

Many, many people I've worked with since I started have never, ever liked or respected Dr. Todd.

Submitted by Andre65 on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 9:19am.

Dr. Todd was not the one that was demoted to an elementary school. That was a former principal of Braelinn from years ago.

Submitted by pantherpride on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 9:02pm.

Dr. Bob Martin & Dr. Bob Todd were both at the county office and were both being moved to elementary schools. Dr. Bob Martin went to Braelinn until he retired. Dr. Bob Todd retired and then set out to make everybody miserable.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Mon, 02/16/2009 - 9:28am.

You are right Andre-that was "Dr. Bob"-different man!! I remember he worked at FCHS in the 80's. Once the bell system was broken and he would get on the loudspeaker and say "Dang, dang, dang-the bell to first period has just rung!". Thanks for bringing back that memory and giving me a laugh this morning!

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 8:56pm.

that he knows you should have said "We were about to get demoted..."

Come on!!!! You tried to insinuate that a man is teaching without certification. At least do so using proper English. I'm just sayin.....

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 9:01pm.

I'm just guessing here but, I think he meant "He was" not we were, and maybe you meant Pantherpride not Panthrepride.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

diva's picture
Submitted by diva on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 9:15pm.

I had to read that three times to figrue it uot. Trsut me, I'm not dirving tongiht. Laughing out loud

Submitted by fayette911 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:46pm.

What in the world are you doing? Please stop before you just sink to another new low.
"many, many people I've worked with ....." what does this mean or accomplish? Please!

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 10:20am.

This poster is ridiculous-keep your head held high!
Everyone knows that your dad and Marion Key are the only
ones on the board who try to do the right thing for Fayette County Schools!

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 8:32pm.

First of all, what is the official policy on "nepotism" in the Fayette County school system? School systems are required to have a policy that explains their stance on the hiring of relatives and most often these policies prohibit board members, Superintendents, Asst. Super's and others who are in a position of authority, from hiring and/or promoting relatives within the school system.

Georgia House Bill 1187 has an anti-nepotism policy which reads:

"Anti-Nepotism Policies

Local boards of education may not employ or promote any person who is a member of the immediate family of any board member, unless a public, recorded vote is taken on such employment or promotion as a separate matter from any other personnel matter. The board member whose family member is being considered may not vote."

HB 1187 LINK

And according to the American Association of School Administrators:

"To control nepotism, every school district is required to adopt a policy on the subject. In addition, the school board’s lawyer is required to investigate whether potential employees have relatives working for the district. The mandate also requires us to ensure the district is not violating privacy laws. The law itself does not eliminate nepotism by school boards, but it does help to control it."


So, does anyone know what the FCBOE's policy on nepotism is??

Submitted by fayette911 on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 6:52pm.

I just wish anyone who is going to post stuff on here of a VERY personal nature would please stop and think. Am I 100% sure that all my information is correct. Is bringing in a board members son on completely off subject topic fair? If you ran a criminal records report on the county office or administrators or board members, do you think it would be clean of mistakes like DUI 10/15/20 years ago. What about your bankers, lawyers, do you get to look at any of their laundry and see how it holds up?
This is just sinking to a new all time low in my opinion. This community is so quick to jump on, stomp on, and judge in the nastiest way. Everyone take a deep breath and try to be respectful and remember that words are as hurtful when used as weapons.
I don't know either of the board members but I know having their family drug through the "mud" is not the best way to solve these problems we are having with our school system. Please try and get out of the ditch. Talk about the issues, scream about the issues, blog like a crazy nut about the issues, but please leave family out and make double sure your info you post on here about them is correct.

Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:03pm.

Is it fair to post lies about someone because you don't like his parents? This all started because bloggers were jumping on, stomping on, and judging someone in the nastiest way. Just because a family member of a board member is an employee doesn't mean anybody did anything wrong. A whole lot of nasty and untrue things were said about a young teacher.

They said he wasn't certified; he is.
They said he wasn't qualified; he is.
They said his mother got him his job; I don't think she did.
This young man is doing a fantastic job, but is having mud thrown at him because his mother has political enemies.

Where was all your outrage about that?

Submitted by fayette911 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:15pm.

and that was the purpose of my post. If he WAS qualified when he was hired and his mother didn't try to get that rubic in, then you are right. He has been drug through the mud just like you did Mr. Todd. Either you are here and blogging for the truth or you are just looking to hurt families. Make the call or better yet, you can even call the professional standards and they are legally required to to respond; (I am almost certain this is the case)

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:09pm.

were you certified before taking the job. That is a very simple question. We have heard the teacher of the year, object of some teachers paper about smart kids, he had better grades than those that applied. You seem to know a lot.

The question is still the same. Were you certified when you applied? Now that isn't hard is it?

Submitted by pantherpride on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:27pm.

I was qualified, that's why I was hired. I wasn't completely certified until I jumped through some certification hoops. I have been a teacher in Fayette County for over two decades. When I was hired, I had graduated from college with a double major: education and my specialty field. AFTER I was hired, I had to take a Teacher Certification Test and pass certain observation evaluations to be awarded a Clear Renewable Certificate. We had three years to complete those observations and pass the TCT. Many of my colleagues since then have been hired without degrees in education, so they had to complete a similar process with the addition of courses in education. Very seldom would a brand new teacher right of college enter that job with a clear, renewable certificate already in place.

Is that answer simple enough for you? The process and names of the tests and evaluations have changed somewhat since the mid-80's, but it is still similar to what it was then.

Submitted by fayette911 on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 4:33pm.

I think he was assuming you were the guy this post is about and was asking if he was certified when he was hired. I may be wrong, just standing on the outside watching two conversation.

Submitted by dontmakemesay on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 7:13pm.

nothing but smear Key and Todd as if to compare them with the Smola's! That is a travesty.

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 3:06pm.

The reason Dr. Todd didn't vote on the ethics manual is that it restricted the public with access to info. Why does a board member need permission from Dr. D to go visit a school? They are public citizens. That is completely wrong. Developing the manual was a product of Smola and Smith.

Submitted by pantherpride on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 3:16pm.

I just listened to that podcast and read the manual...they don't have to have permission...they were just asking board members to have appointments scheduled instead of dropping in on people and micromanaging.

And, do you really think any public citizen go walking around in a school just because they sign in at the front office?

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 3:38pm.

So I guess they need an appt so that the school can put on the dog and pony show. Isn't that how you all do it??

Submitted by Brooks Parent on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 1:41pm.

Thank you Smola's son for your personal slant. You are still not certified by the GAPSC.

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 1:37pm.

Thanks for posting this, pantherpride.

I think I am going to get sick.

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