Castle Park Principal Ollie Matos
The Castle Park Elementary site council and PTA "heads"
who slammed their principal in this story were Felicia
Starr and Kimberlee Simmons.
Within a year after the Chula Vista Star-News published
this article, Castle Park Elementary discovered that $20,000
was missing from its PTA accounts. PTA president Kimberlee
"Kim" Simmons was arrested for the embezzlement.
Neither the Star-News nor La Prensa published this information,
to my knowledge, even though they had both published stories that were negative toward
principal Ollie Matos. The San Diego Union Tribune was also guilty of slanted reporting by
editor Don Sevrens.
Kim Simmons was elected in 2004 because Felicia Starr wanted someone she could
control in charge of the PTA. Starr, a parent representative on the site council, made sure
that Latino parents didn't get a vote. She engaged in hostilities with Latino parents who
had innocently tried to nominate a candidate. Starr and her teacher allies were so
desperate to have a PTA president who would be hostile to the principal that loyalty to
them was the one and only criterion they had for a candidate for PTA president.
As a result of the embezzlement (the second discovered at Castle Park Elementary within
6 years), there has been no PTA at the school from mid-2005 through mid-2008. Parents
have begun to organize themselves through ACORN.
The Star-News failed to tell the full story about transferred teachers Robin Donlan and
Peg Myers, a story involving $100,000s of school district money to defend these
teachers. Star-News publisher Linda Rosas Townson knew the truth, but revealed only a
small part of the story to the public.
"Nonprofits easy targets for thievery
Little or no oversight leaves school, sports groups at risk"
San Diego Union Tribune
By Leonel Sanchez and Brent Schrotenboer
August 26, 2007
"CHULA VISTA: The former president of the Parent Teacher Association at Castle Park Elementary was
arrested in November on suspicion of stealing up to $20,000. No criminal charges were filed. Castle Park's
Peg Myers statement about "Hispanic community"
Peg Myers helped Linda Watson and Robin Donlan and others severely damage the bilingual program at
Castle Park Elementary. I doubt that she was aware of the irony of her statement to a La Prensa reporter:
September 17, 2004
"Approximately 40 teachers, parents and school children protested at a Chula Vista Elementary School
District School Board meeting on Sept. 14 because of a recent transfer of five veteran teachers from
Castle Park Elementary School. The controversial transfer has been perceived by some as a mere
power-play by Superintendent Lowell Billings — with the net result being a lower quality of education
for the largely Hispanic school. “They still don’t have a credentialed special ed teacher, teaching
special ed class; they’re just rotating subs,” said one of the transfered teachers Peggie Myers. “There’
s not a whole lot of learning going on there.”
"Billings does have the right to make an administrative transfer with certain conditions, according to
Myers, but she believes Billings has misinterpreted his rights. “If the board gets away with this, they
will do this to other teachers,” she said.
"The transfered teachers had over 50 years of teaching experience between all of them. “We need to
get this out to the Hispanic community,” she said. “If this had happened at Allen, Sunnyside, Tiffany, or
Hedenkamp we wouldn’t be standing here right now.”
Photos by J.D. Hawk.
Peg Myers also spoke to another reporter from La Prensa about the first day of school at Castle Park after she was transferred.
Stephenie Parker-Pettit is also quoted in the interview.
[Note: In fact, Castle Park Elementary test scores went up after Peg Myers and Robin Donlan left the school.]
San Diego Union Tribune
"This is in response to "An important story found way into print," a letter by Lisa Shannon-Torgerson on
"She mentioned that a community newspaper should be unbiased. I couldn't agree more, but her
insinuation that Linda R. Townson, publisher of The Star News, is biased in any way stems from her
personal bias, that her fiancé, Michael Burgess (which she failed to mention), was let go from the
"Townson might not have a background in journalism but her 17-year record in publishing speaks for itself.
"By the way, I work for The East County Californian and The Alpine Sun, sister papers of The Star News,
and am also Linda Townson's niece. So, yes, I am very biased, but at least I am honest enough to admit it."
polled out of
about 40. How
were those 17
Former president of PTA is arrested
November 17, 2006
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE
CHULA VISTA – A former PTA president at Castle Park Elementary
School has been arrested on suspicion of embezzling thousands of
dollars from the school, a police spokesman said.
Kimberlee Simmons, 43, of Chula Vista was arrested by Chula Vista
police Nov. 3, said police spokesman Bernard Gonzales.
Gonzales said Simmons is suspected of stealing $10,000 to $20,000
from the school. Simmons visited police headquarters for
questioning and by the end of the interview police decided they
had enough information to arrest her, Gonzales said.
Simmons was booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility but
released the same day, a jail spokesman said.
Police have submitted the results of their investigation to the
district attorney's office.
A deputy district attorney said yesterday that no charg-es have
been filed against Simmons while his office considers the case.
– Chris Moran
|San Diego Education Report
How "deceitful" and "evasive" were
reporter Kelley Dupuis and
publisher Linda Rosas? I (Maura
Larkins) spoke to Dupuis in person
and gave him documentation of
the court case for which CVESD
spent $100,000s to represent
Robin Donlan, Peg Myers,
Stephenie Parker-Pettit and Nicky
Perez. But Dupuis didn't breathe a
word of the background story when
he wrote this piece.
Pt. Loma of Nazarene
Class of 1992 · ·
· Incomplete/30hrs+ ·
San Diego, California
Class of 1984 · MA ·
School Administration ·
Fort Collins, Colorado
State University of
New York at Oneonta
Class of 1975 ·
Elementary Education ·
Ed/Spanish · Oneonta,
Class of 1970 ·
Jamaica, New York
New York, New York