Some board members
disappointed with
Saturday, March 29, 2003

Benjamin Marlin, an educator
not from Florida but familiar with
the state, is the third candidate
competing to become the next
school superintendent of Collier

The former Palm Beach County
superintendent, whose name
was revealed Friday afternoon,
will join educator Vickie
Markavitch and businessman
Jeffrey Friedel in the first round
of interviews today.

But even before the candidates
arrive in Naples, some Collier
County School Board members
were upset with the process.

"I'm disappointed at the quality
of candidates and I wanted to
know more about who was
eliminated and why," board
Chairwoman Linda Abbott said

During Thursday's workshop,
consultant William Attea
presented the board with two
names, Markavitch and Friedel,
and said another candidate,
who turned out to be Marlin,
would be forthcoming.

That's not what board member
Steve Donovan expected.

"I expected a higher caliber of
applicants or more of them," he


Today's interviews will be held
at the Administrative Center,
5775 Osceola Trail, and are
open to the public. The
schedule will be: 12:12-2:15
p.m. board interviews
Markavitch; 2:30-4:30 p.m.
interviews Marlin; 4:45-6:45 p.m.
interviews Friedel; and begins
deliberations at 7 p.m.

But board members Pat Carroll
and Dick Bruce noted judging
someone on paper can't
measure up with interviewing
that person.

"I trust Dr. Attea (on these
candidates)," Carroll said of the
president of the search firm,
Hazard, Young, Attea &

Board member Kathleen
Curatolo defended the job the
search firm has done so far for
the district.

"I think Attea is doing a great job
in guiding us through the
process," she said.

Of the three candidates, local
education activists are already
questioning Markavitch's

During Thursday's workshop,
Joy Jirik asked Attea about his
relationship with Markavitch.

In the mid-1990s, both Attea and
Markavitch were
superintendents in neighboring
districts in Illinois.

But Attea said his relationship
with her was just professional,
and that he may have seen her
in the last eight years or so, but
that they are not close friends.

"Absolutely not true," he said of
their past having any influence
on his presenting her to the

Markavitch began as a special
education teacher in 1969, and
she then spent the next 32 years
rising up the educational chain
at various districts in Michigan
and Illinois.

She held the top job in both
Skokie School District 73½ and
Niles Township District 219,
which are both located in
Skokie, Ill.

In 1998, she left Niles Township
with at least $74,000 in
additional retirement benefits
that were not included in her
employment contract, according
to a published report in the
Skokie Review.

The newspaper reported that
board member Sharon Deemar
said, "To be honest, I kind of felt
we were held hostage." She did
not elaborate.

Markavitch has been a
superintendent finalist recently
in at least two other districts, in
Grand Rapids, Mich., and Salt
Lake City, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune
newspaper reported Markavitch
withdrew her name from
running the 24,300-student
district because of a "a low
salary package."

For the past five years, she's
headed the
Penn-Harris-Madison School
Corp., a district with more than
10,000 students.

Markavitch was unavailable for
comment Friday.

Friedel of Baltimore has a
nontraditional background with
experience in the military and
business worlds. He has
worked to improve various
districts through a private
company called 4GL School
Solutions in Baltimore.

Marlin is a retired administrator
who worked nearly 30 years in
the Montgomery County Public
Schools in Rockville, Md. He
ended his career there as an
assistant superintendent and
became the interim
superintendent for 18 months in
Palm Beach County. It's the 14th
largest district in the nation with
more than 150,000 students.

Today's interviews will be held
at the Administrative Center,
5775 Osceola Trail, and are
open to the public. The
schedule will be: 12:12-2:15
p.m. board interviews
Markavitch; 2:30-4:30 p.m.
interviews Marlin; 4:45-6:45 p.m.
interviews Friedel; and begins
deliberations at 7 p.m.

Here are the other applicants
for the Collier County school
superintendent job:

n Ted Adams, superintendent,
Ogden, Utah
n William Bainbridge, president,
Blacklick, Ohio
n Craig Bangtson,
superintendent, Leichfield, Ky.
n Steven Caples,
superintendent, North Canton,
n Otho Tucker, director charter
schools, Sanford, N.C.
n Louis Wangberg, CEO,
Plantation, Fla.

n William Weitzel,
superintendent, Oklahoma City,

n Richard Werlin, deputy
superintendent, San Diego.
Richard Werlin was not
chosen for this position:

Mukilteo pares school
chief slate to eight
By Lukas Velush
Herald Writer

The Mukilteo School
District has narrowed to
eight the list of candidates
to replace former
superintendent Gary

"I feel pleased that we've
attracted some interesting
and seemingly
well-qualified people," said
Geoff Short, Mukilteo
School District board
president. "I'm looking
forward to interviewing

The school board asked
Toothaker to resign last
October after he allegedly
had an affair with a high
school principal he

Candidate Marci Larson is
the only woman on the list,
which was winnowed down
from 24. She's also the
only in-house candidate.
Only three women applied,
and one dropped out

Short said he is pleased that the
list includes out-of-state and
in-state candidates,
superintendents and
nonadministrators, and
representatives from big and
small districts.

Candidates will be
interviewed before the
public on March 25 and 26.
The interviews will be held
at the district's
headquarters at 9401
Sharon Drive, Everett.

The district expects the list
to be narrowed to three
people after a March 27
executive session.

Interviews, which will be
conducted by school board
members, teachers, district
staff, parents and
community members, are
taking place at 3:30, 5, 7
and 8:30 p.m. each days

To be interviewed on
Tuesday are:

Ted Adams,
superintendent of the
Ogden City School District,
Ogden, Utah.

Richard Werlin, deputy
superintendent of the
Chula Vista Elementary
School District, Chula
Vista, Calif.

Richard Gregory, assistant
professor of educational
administration at California
Lutheran University,
Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Marci Larson, executive
director of teaching and
learning at the Mukilteo
School District.

To be interviewed on

Jim Busey, superintendent
of the Lake Chelan School
District, Chelan.

Rick Schulte,
superintendent of the Oak
Harbor School District, Oak

Jerry Wilson,
superintendent of the
Hermiston School District,
Hermiston, Ore. .

Tom Kelly, chief operating
officer for the state Office
of the Superintendent of
Public Instruction in

Reporter Lukas Velush:
425-339-3449 or

Google search
Richard Werlin

Romeo, currently
superintendent for
personnel at Pittsburg
Unified School District,
will replace Richard
Werlin, who resigned
earlier this year [from
WCCUSD in 2007]
- RedOrbit...

West Contra Costa Unified
School District. Board of
Education Meeting Minutes.
September 6, 2006 ...
Vice Principal, Verde
Elementary School. Richard
Werlin ...

SignOnSanDiego.com > News
> Education -- Chula Vista able
to ...In March, Chula Vista
Elementary School District told
431 teachers their jobs were in
... said Richard Werlin,
assistant superintendent of
human resources. ...
9_6m3cvlayoff.html - 22k - Cached - Similar pages -
Note this

Richmond School Employee
Suspected Of Sex Crime
With Minor - News ...Paul
Ehara, spokesman for the
West Contra Costa Unified
School District, said the
school ... Richard Werlin,
assistant superintendent for
human resources, ...
- 47k - Cached - Similar pages - Note

El Cerrito High SchoolDr.
Kaye Burnside Richard
Werlin. Chief Academic
Officer Asst.
Superintendent, Human
Resources. Alan Del
Simone Jeff Edmison ...

RELATIONS ...File Format:
PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View
February 12, 2001, you
attended a meeting with
Assistant Superintendent
Richard Werlin. Association
President Gina Boyd
attended the meeting as
your union ...

ResourcesJob Line:
510.620.2265. Grades: k-12
Enrollment: 31593. Contact:
Richard Werlin, Assistant
Superintendent Mark Miller,
Senior Director, Human
Resources ...

Assistant Superintendent
for Human
Werlin, 231-1184. Interim
Assistant Superintendent,
Student Support ...
Richard Werlin has spread his special brand of employee discipline to California's Bay
Area, creating another trauma for children and another embarrassment for his

Werlin was able to keep his name out of the paper.  All the blame, as usual, went to
people below him.  But this time the employers weren't able to keep themselves out of
the paper.  
Werlin talks the talk of a nice guy who cares about kids: even his license plate claims
this.  But he doesn't walk the walk.  He is abusive to kids and teachers, and protects
no one but union leaders, the school board, and their cronies.

Richard Werlin's Facebook page says he "retired" from CVESD in 2005.  Could
he really retire when he was 51 years old???  Or does he simply want to
pretend that he didn't spent six months at WCCUSD?
Richard Werlin was an
understandable choice for
Assistant Superintendent of
Human Resources for West
Contra Costa County Unified
School District, the district that
clamped down on the Downer Five.

But it turned out that Mr.
Werlin was too aggressive
even for WCCUSD.
Richard Werlin, former asst. supt.
CVESD and WCCUSD (Richmond, CA)
Richard T. Werlin spins another school district (WCCCUSD) out of control.  The
warnings given on this website about events at
Castle Park Elementary in
CVESD proved prophetic.  (As did problems in New York, Florida and Texas.)
Did these school
districts dodge a
Obviously, there are bullies at Sheldon Elementary, but not all of
them are children.  The adults involved are very reminiscent of the
adults involved in the Maura Larkins case in Chula Vista, CA.  In fact,
two individuals were involved in both cases!  They are Richard
Werlin and Pixie Hayward- Schnickele.
CTA director Pixie Hayward-Schnickele, who is, co-incidentally, a
teacher in Jenny Mo's district, approved the actions of
CTA in
covering up violations of law, including crimes, in Chula Vista.  

(Or maybe it's not a co-incidence that Werlin came to Pixie's
district?  Maybe Pixie was influential in Werlin's hiring?  Often
there are teachers on the interview committees for administrators.  
Pixie helped cover up Rick Werlin's (and CTA's) crimes and other
violations of law committed  in Chula Vista Elementary School
District from 2001-2003.  
See: CTA lawyer Hersh tried to trick
court regarding Obstruction of Justice in the Maura Larkins case.)
No, the problem is not Richmond schools in particular, although the
superintendent of West Contra Costa County Unified School
District, Bruce Harter, apparently disregarded this site when he
hired Werlin in 2006.  He flunked Google.  (Or maybe Rick Werlin
was exactly what he wanted???)  
Werlin did the same thing at Castle Park Elementary in Chula
Vista Elementary School District.  Fortunately, the teacher in
Chula Vista was at home, so the police left empty-handed.  
Werlin's testimony under oath has been contradicted by
teachers on more than one occasion.  To put it simply, Werlin
has a habit of making foolish decisions, then making up false
stories to justify his decisions.
In January 2007, Richmond, California second-grade teacher Jenny Mo
was arrested in front of her students when she spoke out about
children bullying other children at the school, and then refused to be
silenced by Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Rick
Does the name Werlin sound familiar?  To readers of this site, and
people in an assortment of school districts across the country where he
has worked, Mr. Werlin's name is indeed familiar.   
Werlin most likely got an okay from Gail Mendez before he took
action against Jenny Mo.  Gail Mendez is known for her attacks
on teachers who speak out.
Recently, parents have been asking if those in charge of Richmond,
California schools have gone" nuts."  
Richard Werlin seems to have developed a habit of telling
principals to call the police when a
teacher even threatens to go
to the media.
Richard Werlin and the arrest of 2nd-grade teacher Jenny
How does he get rehired?  First, because anti-teacher board
members and superintendents think people like Werlin are just
what they need--apparently even though  his actions tend to
result in legal bills costing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer

But let's not forget the enormous help Werlin gets from California
Teachers Association.  CTA works with people like Werlin to
protect CTA leaders from responsibility for wrongdoing.  Werlin
received an enormous amount of help from the California
Teachers Association when he was covering up wrongdoing by
himself and a small group of politically-connected
(politically-connected means connected to the union) teachers in
Chula Vista Elementary School District from 2001 to the present.  

Apparently the first thing Werlin did when he got to WCCCUSD
was to cultivate union president Gail Mendes, who had a personal
relationship with Werlin that included calling him on his cell
phone during vacation.  
Rick Werlin, who has been pushed out of district after district (in
Texas, New York, and California), always seems to get rehired.  
This teacher went "off message" when she talked to outsiders
about bullying at her school.  Just as happened in Chula Vista,
Jenny's fellow teachers were just as interested in silencing her
as the district was.   
CTA does not take kindly to teachers who
speak out.
A remarkable characteristic of the
Downer group is their willingness to
speak out:

Rigid drive for literacy burdens some

Teachers Stand Up for
Professionalilsm Update on Downer 5

by Eduardo Martinez

The Downer 5 has now increased to the
Downer 10.

This time administration has decided to
intimidate the Downer staff by using the
evaluation process. Six teachers who
have supported the Downer 5 in staff
meetings and who are being evaluated
this year, have received unsatisfactory
with recommendtions to not be rehired.
I am one of the six who got a bad
evaluation. The union will fight these
evaluations, mostly on technicalities,
ignoring the real issues.

Unfortunately for me, the administration
followed the timeline more or less.
Fortunately for the issues, the union will
focus on harrassment when dealing
with my evaluation. Below is an
example of the nonsense this district
has put me through.

The following, written the day after it
happened, is my remembrance of what
transpired at an
Open Court unit
planning meeting held for me and me
only. I had meant to send it out at the
time it happened just because it was
such a bizarre experience, but I send it
out now to help illustrate how my
evaluation is part of a punitive
campaign to silence my advocacy for
my students and my school.

In my unsatisfactory evaluation this
incident is referred to in the following
recommendation for improvement: "Mr.
Martinez neds to maintain a professinal
tone of voice and manner when
discussing issues with his peers (Make
up Unit Planning Session 2/10/06)." I
must add that Ms. Melodia, my
evaluator, was not at the unit planning
nor did she ever talk with me about the
incident. I am also the only teacher that
was given a special two-literacy-
coaches-for-one-teacher make up unit
planning session although several
other teachers have missed these

Comments in brackets are added for

[The times are approximations, but very
close to the exact times.]

Fabulous Friday, February 10, 2006

As many of you know, I missed an Open
Court unit planning session because I
had a doctor�s appointment. To make
sure that all the fifth grade teachers
were �on the same page� and
knowing that the fifth grade teachers
could not possibily retain and pass on
the information imparted during the in
service, the literacy department or my
principal or the head of personnel,
someone (although administration
wants accountability, no one has been
able to tell me who is responsible for
the whole or even a part of the Downer
situation) decided that I was worth the
extra money and that my students can
do as well with a sub for a day.

My day started with an observation of my
ELD lesson.

The principal, an administrator from
downtown, my substitute and my vice-
principal showed up in my room even
before the morning announcements
began. I was finishing up with
directions for a sponge writing activity
so I could do my usual morning
paperwork. Before the announcements
or the pledge, everyone but the sub
walked out. I was a bit confused since I
was told that I would be observed for my
ELD lesson.

Later in the principal's office, I learned
that the downtown administrator
thought that my sponge activity was my
ELD lesson. I was lucky to have had a
chance to talk to her before she went
back to the downtown office.

At 11 AM I went to the library to for my
Open Court training. I showed up with
my video camera, but without my Unit 3
teacher�s edition. [I brought a camera
as a imparital observer. The literacy
coaches had been rather heavy handed
with their Open Court propaganda and
were not inclined do discuss pedagogy.
I just waned to insure that any attempts
to have real discussions would not be
twisted into the negative statement that
it has become. Also the principal had
come into my classroom during
instruction time to inform me that I
voice and the fact that she interrupted
my lesson to inform me, led me to
suspect that this might be more than a
simple inservice, that it might be a test
of my commitment to stay in the
classroom with my students.

Unfortunately for my students, fortunate
for me, I capitulated. The inservice was
to be on that very same day but they
could not get a substitute, so it ended
up taking place on Friday.]

11 - 11:20 I sit alone in the library
waiting for someone to come start the
inservice. Finally one of the literacy
coaches comes out of her office an
notices me. She tells me that I need my
Unit 3 and >that the inservice will take
place in a room off the library.

11:20 -11:30 I go to my room to get my
Unit 3 teacher�s edition. My students
delay me with questions.

11:30 - 11:40 The literacy coach tells
me that session will be only the two of
us since the other coach had a medical
emergency. Pleasantries are
exchanged and we begin the inservice.
(I decide that I don�t need the camera
as witness since there is only one of
them. I keep my camera in its case.) I
immediately begin taking notes to
capture all the wonderful information
which will be shared with me.

The first tidbit I start to copy down is a
testimonial of a second grade teacher
who is amazed between the fantastic
improvements in the students from the
year before and the current students.
This teacher doesn't know if it is the fact
that the current group of students is the
first cycle of "totally trained on Open
Court kiddies" or....what else could it

She begins to give me a couple of more
testimonials, but notices that I am
taking notes, (Maybe it's also the fact
that I am asking her to repeat certain
parts so I can write it down correctly.)
and blurts out that I can�t quote her on
anything that she�s said. I don�t
understand why I can�t quote what has
been said to others before me and ask

Because I don't want you to.

Why wouldn't you want me to qu...

It's none of your business. If I don't want
to be quoted, it's my right to not be

If I'm attending an inservice in a public
place on school time, I can quote
anything I hear.

You're making this a hostile work
enviromment and I don't have to be a
part of it!  She walks out of the room and
leaves me by my lonesome.

11:40 - 11:55 I wait for someone to
continue the inservice.

11:55 - 12:10 She returns. I ask if she is
ready to resume. She says yes and sits
down. Immediately after, the second
literacy coach shows up like the calvary
to the rescue. We exchange
pleasantries about her family and I
begin to take out my camera. (Now
there are two of them). I try to explain to
them that I will be filming their inservice,
but before I have a chance to finish my
explanation, the newly arrived literacy
coach, firmly says NO! I insist that I
must and she says, �Read my lips...
NO!� at which point I state that we have
a problem. She says that she doesn�t
care what my problem is and that I can
go talk to the principal if I like. I tell her
that I would like to very much so and
walk to the principal�s office.

12:10 - 12:45 In the principal�s office, I
explain the situation, asking for an
impartial observer. Ms. Uribes agrees
to find one for me and has me wait in
her office while she goes search for

12:45 - 1:05 The principal returns with
someone from the ELD office. I begin
asking her questions to see whether I
can trust her to be an impartial observer.

She tells me that she did not come to
be interviewed, >but to be an impartial
observer. I tell her that I >need to ask
the questions I am asking to feel
assured that she is in fact an impartial
observer. She understands my position
and lets me continue with my
>questions. The questions lead to a
discussion of pedagogy and I am
assured that she will be a fair observer.
We return to the site for the unit

1:05 - 1:15 The observer announces
herself and her role. Everyone agrees
that this is okay. Before we can get into
anything of substance, the coach who
arrived late (family concerns kept her
away from school) announces that she
hasn�t had lunch and it is now time.
She suggests that we take 45 minutes
for lunch. I accept. She stands in
doorway looking at me. I stay in my
seat. She repeats that we are having
lunch and I have to be back in 45
minutes (not in a pleasant tone). I say
okay. She continues to stand in
doorway. I continue to remain seated.

She informs me that whether or not I
want to take lunch, she is going to take
hers, then she leaves. I turn to the
observer and ask her if she can figure
what that exchange was about. She
says she will speak to the literacy coach.

1:15 - 2:00 I do not want to go to my
room and disturb the classroom. I go to
the teachers� lunchroom and sit.

2:00 - 2:10 The observer and I wait for
the literacy coaches to show up.

2:10 - 2:40 We begin the inservice with
a discussion of my successes and
challenges in the classroom using
Open Court. By the time I finish sharing
what I do in the classroom, the literacy
coach announces that it is the end of
the school day and thanks me for

I thank the impartial observer for her
help and leave with all the invaluable
information gleaned from this special

— Eduardo Martinez
from Susan Ohanian's blog
WCCCUSD and the
Downer Five
The Downer Five
Eduardo Martinez,
Elizabeth Jaeger
Michael McDonald
Thomas Prather
Linda Prairie
But the union's refusal to
respond to the attack on
teacher professionalism is
also reprehensible. When
teachers are punished for
standing up for pedagogy,
their punishment should not
be treated as a technicality.
Teachers who remain silent in
the face of pedagogical
assault lose their
[Maura Larkins note: It should be
noted that Susan Ohanian is outraged
when teachers are attacked for
promoting her special pet project,
getting rid of standards and
standardized testing, but Susan
seems to think that CTA's abusive and
illegal tactics are fine at other times.  
Susan wants to keep CTA in control,
but she
clearly wants to control CTA.  
Susan doesn't appear to be interested
in making CTA a democracy, nor is
she interested in demanding that CTA
obey the law.]
Bruce Harter, Superintendent of West Contra Costa County Unified School Districtin
Richmond, California, seems to have flunked Google when he hired Richard Werlin.  
Who Should be allowed to
talk about school reform?  

Apparently only people who
agree with
Susan Ohanian
and CTA.
Letter to Dr. Gil re Werlin
Offer to meet with Dr. Gil
To Dr. Gil regarding ban
To Werlin regaring ban
Apr 3 01  to Werlin
Apr 4 01  from Werlin
Castle Park Elementary
Werlin acted on this report
Werlin at CVESD
San Diego Education
Report Blog

Why This Website

Stutz Artiano Shinoff
& Holtz v. Maura
Larkins defamation



Castle Park Elem

Law Enforcement



Stutz Artiano Shinoff
& Holtz

Silence is Golden

Schools and Violence

Office Admin Hearings

Larkins OAH Hearing
[Maura Larkins note: This article is from
Susan Ohanian's website.  Susan
Ohanian won the 2003 NCTE George
Orwell award for distinguished
contribution to honesty and clarity in
public language.]
Ohanian Comment: I have
posted several items about
the mistreatment of the
Downer Five. The story
continues. Of course the
behavior of the school
personnel is reprehensible.
The Downer 5 has now
increased to the
Downer 10
Richard Werlin deposition
Sorry I'm slow in scanning it.  It will be one page at a
time, starting with page 40.
Link: CTA's and Richard Werlin's Chula Vista
Robin Donlan is part of an investigation
the FBI, SEC, IRS and DOJ
I don't have a
picture of Richard
Werlin, but here is
the next best thing I
have to offer. I have
long suspected that
Mr. Werlin was
separated at birth
from former United
Nations ambassador
John Bolton.
More about Richard Werlin
Werlin and Bolton share the same kiss-up, kick-down
personalities, and the same history of fits of anger and
abuse of employees. The last time I saw Mr. Werlin, he
was sporting a full head of hair and a mustache
identical to Mr. Bolton's, but he has bright blue contact
lenses instead of glasses.
Jailed teacher defends her actions -- Challenged
Bullying and ended up In jail
by California Coalition For Workers Memorial Day
Saturday Feb 3rd, 2007 7:57 PM
PHOTO OF JENNY MO-- A teacher in the Richmond CA school
district who tried to stop bullying of her students was harassed and
jailed by police.

Posted on Sat, Feb. 03, 2007

Jailed teacher defends her actions
By Bruce Gerstman

MARTINEZ - Jennie Mo, the teacher accused of illegally detaining 18
of her second-grade students at Sheldon Elementary School in
Richmond, insisted Friday that she held none of them against their

She said she was protecting them from bullies.

"I believed my students were in imminent danger ... of being hit with
stones, possibly of being knifed, possibly of being strangled by rope,
of being bullied in the bathroom, of being exposed to somebody's
sexual organs," Mo, 57, said before she was to be released from
County Jail on Friday night. "And this is what I was trying to protect
my students from."

Before Wednesday's incident, the West Contra Costa Unified School
District had placed Mo on administrative leave because of erratic
behavior, district spokesman Paul Ehara has said.

Mo arrived at school Wednesday to pick up her paycheck, she said.
Her students had been moved to the library, and she headed there
instead of her classroom, police say.

Police arrested her after she refused to leave school grounds.

The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office has declined to file
charges unless prosecutors see more evidence that supports false
imprisonment counts, deputy district attorney Nancy Georgiou said.

"I haven't ruled it out," Georgiou said Friday.

Mo said she did not know that prosecutors had not yet decided
whether to charge her with a crime.

Mo said the standoff Wednesday came after she had been telling her
superiors for about two weeks that other children at the school were
intimidating her students. She said she had not witnessed the
incidents of bullying that her students reported to her, but she took
the allegations seriously enough to contact the principal and

She said that within days of her reports, the school district placed her
on administrative leave.

Ehara said Thursday that the district has a policy for handling
disciplinary issues. He would not comment directly on whether Mo's
allegations of bullying at Sheldon are being investigated.

"I don't want to be a martyr," Mo said. "I'm not trying to be a martyr."

She declined to discuss most of the details of her arrest, preferring
to read from statements she wrote on scraps of paper. She said she
is proud of her students and her value of standing up for what she
believes in.

"I feel the spirit and encouragement of all those who have fought for
justice," she said, mentioning Socrates, Rosa Parks and Nelson
Mandela. "I do know they have suffered much, much more than I did."

Parents at the school have expressed support for Mo.

"I'm very happy that she's being released; however, that happiness
isn't going to preclude my unhappiness with the school," said Juanita
Chavez-Gordon, the mother of one of the students who witnessed
the arrest.

Chavez-Gordon said school officials ignored Mo's and others'
complaints about bullies, and she is concerned that the district still is
not addressing the issue. Several parents plan to submit complaints
to the district, she said.

Mo said she appreciates the support she has received.

"I feel a great deal of gratitude in being able to teach these
students," she said.

Was it worth being arrested and taken into custody in front of her

"I don't know," Mo said, shrugging her shoulders, raising the sides of
her mouth in a grin.

Staff writer Kimberly Wetzel contributed to this report. Reach Bruce
Gerstman at 925-952-2670 or bgerstman [at] cctimes.com.

Jailed teacher to go free -- no charges filed
Police to continue looking into incident with second-graders
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, February 3, 2007

Contra Costa County prosecutors declined to file charges Friday
against a Richmond schoolteacher accused of using one of her
second-graders as a shield and rallying her class against the
principal after being placed on leave.

Jennie Mo, 57, of El Cerrito was expected to be released from
custody late Friday following the decision to send the case back to
Richmond police for further investigation, including interviews with
many witnesses, said Deputy District Attorney Nancy Georgiou.

Mo had been jailed since Wednesday, when police said she refused
to leave the library at Sheldon Elementary School, where staff had
taken Mo's 18 students while she was supposed to be retrieving her
belongings from her classroom.

In a jailhouse interview with The Chronicle on Thursday, Mo said she
went to the library to say goodbye to her class, and she denied
holding students against their will. She said it was school officials who
locked the doors to the library. She said some of the children cried
and clung to her after she told them she was ordered to leave the

Mo likened herself to Rosa Parks and said she told school officials, "I
will not be silenced -- I'm not leaving," when asked to leave the
library. She said she didn't remember using a child as a shield as an
officer approached.

Police arrested her on 18 counts of felony false imprisonment, as
well as battery and trespassing, both misdemeanors.

Mo, who was held in lieu of $900,000 bail at Contra Costa County Jail
in Martinez, was allowed to be released because she wasn't charged
with a crime within 48 hours of her arrest. She could still face
charges at a later date, pending the results of the police
investigation, Georgiou said.

"We take our job seriously and our responsibility seriously," the
prosecutor said. "We don't rush to file any kind of complaint before
we unearth the facts that we need to make an informed decision."

Mo told The Chronicle that her actions Wednesday helped draw
attention to her complaints about recent incidents in which some of
her students were bullied by other children at the school, punched,
hit by rocks, choked with a rope, degraded with epithets and
name-calling, and had their pants pulled down.

Mo said her goal was to protect her class from the bullies, and that
her complaints to superiors, including Principal Cynthia Swainbank,
went ignored. Swainbank has declined to comment.

School district officials have said they responded to her concerns
and that her behavior Wednesday justified summoning police. They
declined to say why she was placed on leave, but police said it was
for "erratic behavior" in the past two weeks.

Juanita Chavez-Gordon, whose 8-year-old daughter is in Mo's class,
said Friday that she was heartened that prosecutors didn't file
charges, because she believes Mo did nothing wrong.

"But in no way is it going to deter my focus on getting the answers I
need to ensure my daughter's security," said Chavez-Gordon, who
along with other parents intends to write a letter of complaint saying
the school ignored Mo's concerns and mistreated her.

In the jailhouse interview, Mo said, "I took a stand. They told me, 'You
have to leave, Mrs. Mo.' I said, 'I'm not leaving.' I don't want to stand
up when the administration tells me to stand up."

Mo began crying when told that many parents supported her. "That's
why I'm a teacher," she said.
April 9, 2003
Mukilteo weighing 4 candidates for schools leader
By Tina Potterf
Seattle Times

...Rick Werlin

Deputy superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District in Chula Vista,
Calif., since 1997; previously held administrative positions at school districts in Texas.
Age: 49
Family: single.
Education: bachelor's degree in elementary education and English literature from the
State University of New York, Geneseo; master's degree in education administration
from Texas Southern University; post-graduate work at Harvard Law School.
Interests: scuba-dives, swims, water-skis and "loves all sports."
He is active in community service, including the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and Rotary

As deputy superintendent of Chula Vista Elementary School District, the largest
elementary district in California with 26,000 students, Werlin said he knows the critical
role the community plays in the success of a school system.

It takes the input of all stakeholders — from students and staff members to parents and
administrators — to make a district prosper even with staggering budget cuts, said
Werlin, who has worked in Chula Vista since 1997.

The commitment to student learning is evident in Mukilteo schools, he said, and
attracted him to the superintendent job.

"When I look at the vision and value of the Mukilteo School District, I believe my core
beliefs are aligned very closely to those areas that Mukilteo has embraced," Werlin
said. "It appears to me to be a very student-focused environment. Decisions are really
student-based, rather than adults-based."

Goals are achievable, Werlin believes, when districts work with the community to get
things done. In Chula Vista, voters approved $96 million in construction bonds, and
parents and district residents regularly sit on budget committees.

In Mukilteo, Werlin would "continue to build that team approach and that focus on
student achievement," he said. "It takes place in the lunchroom, on the basketball court,
in the community and (in) my modeling of instructional leadership."
Nov. 20, 2011
Rick Werlin is working as a design consultant:

The Studio
Cece Zavala

CeCe is an incredibly artistic and client-focused partner in any project she
takes on. Her astute abilities coupled with her sensitive and individual
approach to her clients have brought her much success. She is an absolute
delight to work with.

--Rick Werlin - Design Consultant
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Rick Werlin and the
Castle Park Five
June 16, 2008
Maura Larkins
Nov. 8, 2007
Atty. Ray Artiano
lasted 6 hours
Deposition lasted 2
hours, then Mr.
Artiano walked out
Nov. 29, 2004
Peg Myers
Robin Donlan
Linda Watson
The Castle Park Five and
Principal Ollie Matos
SDUT article about $20,000
embezzlement by PTA president
who worked closely with the
Castle Park Five
A. S. Report
L.W. Report
J.H. Report
Principal Carlos Ulloa
Castle Park Elementary
M. S. Report
Nikki Perez
OAH hearing
Rick Werlin design consultant
Rick Werlin spoliation of