Culture of Change?


On Thursday, February 16th, Dr. Wardynski began to make public a process that he started in private in October with the hiring of Bryon Headrick of LEAN Frog. Speaking of the findings, Dr. Wardynski has claimed, “this is what incompetence looks like.” Dr. Robinson, as usual, praised Wardynski for bringing in a “culture of change.”

There are going to be “firings, demotions, and transfer,” and everyone said, “STRONG LEADER, STRONG LEADER” because that’s exactly what Wardynski paid them to say. And when they didn’t say it often enough, he led the chorus himself.

And much of the public buys into the message that our schools are finally going to be run by people who do things the right way, who follow the rules, who don’t just put their friends, regardless of their inexperience or incompetence into highly paid positions of power.

So where’s the evidence that Dr. Wardynski and his administrative team are doing things any differently?

There doesn’t seem to be any, and as Mr. Blair pointed out on Thursday, February 16th, that doesn’t make us feel any better.

Everyone knows that Dr. Wardynski has made a habit of hiring his friends. That’s old news.

Everyone knows that Dr. Wardynski is bringing in TFAers, even though they cost more and there is no shortages of highly qualified and fully certified teachers in the district.

As I said, old news. What have they done lately?

What about these two tidbits of information:

On Thursday, Mr. Headrick criticized the District’s Procurement Process. He claimed that there was “Significant opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse, and legal liabilities associated with non-compliance to state and federal law.”

The bid law is indeed state law. Was this contract with LEAN Frog executed in accordance with the bid law? That the school board approves the contracts that Dr. Wardynski enters into is also a requirement. (And since they’ve approved every single recommendation the man has brought so far, that shouldn’t be too onerous of a requirement, should it?) Was this contract approved by the board? If so, when?

Also who paid for this LEAN Frog evaluation that is offering Dr. Wardynski political cover to do whatever he wants? The first time that the school board voted to approve hiring Mr. Headrick of LEAN Frog was yesterday at a special called board meeting. AND YET, Huntsville City Schools has been paying LEAN Frog since November. Here are the numbers

  • November 2011: ;$2,890.00 (Pg. 20)
  • December 2011: $5,760.00 (Pg. 25)
  • January 2012: $5,760.00 (Pg. 3)
  • January 2012: $5,380.00 (Pg. 9)
  • January 2012: $6,480.00 (Pg. 16)

So, the Huntsville City Schools has paid LEAN Frog at total of $26,270.00 since November 2011, but the first time the board approved hiring of this company was February 25, 2012. I have asked Dr. Robinson about this oversight in oversight, but as of this writing she hasn’t responded to my question.

A culture of change indeed, Dr. Robinson.

What about hiring practices, and the posting of jobs?

On Thursday, February 16th, Mr. Headrick pointedly stated that the Human Resource department was “inefficient” and “2.5 to 3 months behind at time of assessment.” He claimed that HR received “32 hours of interruptions in two days.” (You’ll note that he did not offer any details to put these numbers into context like sharing how many total working hours were performed in that office in those two days. That would be helpful information, wouldn’t it?) Mr. Headrick claimed that the department was having to waste time examining and re-doing work.

Perhaps one reason that HR is running behind is because Dr. Wardynski and his Administrative team aren’t following the standards and procedures for hiring themselves.

Goodness, but wouldn’t it be embarrassing if, say the then Director of Transition and the now Director of Operations were, oh I don’t know, posting jobs that haven’t even opened yet on his Facebook Wall?

That would require some additional oversight and re-doing of work on the part of the HR department, don’t you think?

Here’s a screen shot from Mr. Aaron King’s Facebook Wall. Assuming that he doesn’t lock his Facebook account down in the near future, you can see this for yourself if you wish. Just scroll down to a post on January 2, 2012.

In addition, I’ve “shared” this posting on the Geek Palaver Facebook Page. Here’s a screen capture of the posting for those of you who don’t use Facebook.


I wonder if this posting, “for all positions (directors, coordinators, principals, teachers, etc)” is following the standards established by the HR department, state and federal law? Perhaps the New Employee Orientation Materials that Mr. King received were not current. That must be the problem, right?

Giving your friends a two month head start on applying for state jobs, jobs that must be open to everyone, jobs that were not open on January 2nd, is a violation of the state requirements for hiring. And as Mr. King posted, he and Col. Wardynski, should “take ownership for their decisions.”

Doesn’t this basically prove that the current witch hunt that Dr. Wardynski is engaged in is politically motivated? I mean, why else would he instruct his XO to talk to his buddies about jobs nearly two months before he discusses any of this with the public? It would seem that he is hoping to take advantage of the public outcry over this issue to place yet more like-minded, inexperienced people into positions of power (that pay well) throughout the district, don’t you think?

See, I’ve gotten a good amount of grief since the 16th of February for questioning our “Strong Leader.” I’ve been told that I should just support what he’s doing to clean up Huntsville City Schools. I’ve been told that these changes, this culture of change that he’s bringing in, will be good for our schools. I’ve been told that ultimately these changes will be good for the system. I’ve been told I should quit being apprehensive and that the whining must stop.

But the simple fact of the matter is that all this talk of inefficiencies and criminal behavior that happened in the past is simply being used to cover up inefficiencies and criminal behavior that is happening right now.

As I said long ago, the new boss is the same as the old boss, and anyone telling you differently isn’t paying attention.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. I disagree the new boss is the same as the old boss. If the old boss was doing this they would be lighting the torches and getting the rope, with the local news media leading the charge.

    1. You have a point there, Redeye. This is particularly true if you compare the beginning of Wardynski’s tenure with the end of Moore’s. We weren’t around here when Moore began her tenure, was she vilified then?

      Either way, my point is that Wardynski is doing the same things that he is accusing Moore of doing.

  2. Again, I respectfully disagree. Wardynski is doing what Moore didn’t\wouldn’t\couldn’t do…put liberals, democrats, minorities, AEA and the ACLU types in their place.

    1. When I say that he is doing what he is accusing of Moore of doing, I am trying to say that Wardynski has accused Moore and her administration of inefficiency, incompetence, and potentially criminal activity (although this has only been hinted at not proven yet), and that he, himself, is also inefficient, incompetent, and with the violation of the bid laws, HR laws, and state code concerning the way that cuts are made to both exceptional and non-exceptional groups, potentially criminal activity.

      That’s the extent of the comparison that I’m trying to make with this point. Sorry if I didn’t make it clearer, but it’s perfectly fine continue to disagree. (Respect is optional! :))

      Thanks for all your support and reading!

    1. That is what the board has said and would say, yes. And yes, I think this is what the board hired him to do.

  3. In reading this I agree with you Russell. Wardynski seems to be trying to stack the deck with Kings help. My husband being a war vet, also in the last few years has worked overseas for long periods, and still works in direct support our troops. This given me insight to military thinking. In a Col. position not many have told him what to do for sometime.

    While I definitely respect him for his years of service. I find that his inability to accept the civilian world, by trying to insure he hires people who will still follow, extremely depressing. Makes me think of an insecure little boy who doesn’t want to break out into the big scary world. Instead he is going to try and make his own safe,small one. To find it necessary to revert to name calling. Whining really? In the military if you call an outranking officer a whiner (now not sure on the punishment, but I am sure there would be one). So in the civilian world don’t we as parents, as tax paying citizens outrank him? I mean I am blonde, but somethings just not right.

    I really wish he would see criticism like yours an aide. Use them to look a little deeper. Make improvements, changes. C’mon W break out into this new strange world of ours! No one is right all the time.

    Military train of thought is different. Respectfully so. I believe it works.

    But in the civilian world constructive criticism, being held accountable can better us. I just hope before his followers/friends take the job they know that no matter what happens, when Wardynski (even if we hold off to vote on it in 6 months)messes up he won’t be accountable for it one of them will be.

    But then again I am probably one of those whiners too. Thanks for listening anyway.

    (Again no disrespect in anyway to our many men and woman, husbands and wives, of the military who have made tremendous, some the ultimate sacrifices.)

  4. (c) The state trade schools, state junior colleges, state colleges, and universities under the supervision and control of the State Board of Education, the district boards of education of independent school districts, the county commissions, and the governing bodies of the municipalities of the state shall establish and maintain such purchasing facilities and procedures as may be necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of this article by complying with the requirements for competitive bidding in the operation and management of each state trade school, state junior college, state college, or university under the supervision and control of the State Board of Education, the district boards of education of independent school districts, the county commissions, and the governing bodies of the municipalities of the state and the governing boards of instrumentalities of counties and municipalities, including waterworks boards, sewer boards, gas boards, and other like utility boards and commissions.

    (d) Contracts entered into in violation of this article shall be void and anyone who violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

      1. The law also specifies that you can not break the work into chunks to get under the $7500 limit. Although Im sure this will be a case of “only one vender.”

  5. You can go to the procurment office yourself. Under state law, they have to keep all the bids and the original advertisement for the bids. Ask to see them.

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