I remember hearing the proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” as a kid. I turned it over and over in my mind deciding what it meant. Now, I know.
The hiring of Lisa Pinto as Jeffco’s communication director was an act of foolery. She was unqualified, lied on her resume and had a past that made it no big surprise when she ended up embarrassing our district in her unprofessional, nasty and juvenile response to Governor John Hickenlooper’s staff. The hiring of Devan Crean is a second act of foolery, and it’s quite hard to sit by and watch.
Pinto and Crean have each been hired to work in the communications department for our district. Lisa Pinto resigned her post, effective June 19. Devan Crean was ostensibly hired for a different position — marketing and communications specialist — that Superintendent Dan McMinimee has said largely revolves around showcasing schools (supposedly both charter and neighborhood), but the proof is in the pudding.
A new communications director has not been chosen to replace Pinto. Crean, however, was working for Novitas Communications before she came to Jeffco. Novitas, you’ll remember, is the firm that Pinto hired to handle all the communication duties that Pinto apparently couldn’t handle (as explained in more detail here). On her resume, Crean claims she handled much larger duties for the district, including:
- Managing social media content like Facebook and Twitter
- Supporting all daily communications operations for Jeffco
- Provided media relations
- Managed editorial calendar for all publications and social media
If you’re wondering, the answer is yes, she also lists those same points under her current position, though it’s curious that social media feature prominently during the time when Pinto was clearly already devoting plenty of time to social media
snooping research. Surely two full-time professionals didn’t both need to spend that much time managing social media.
Now, let’s do some simple math:
|1 + 1||They are both under-qualified for the position.
They both have past professional experiences that demonstrate their downright offensive professional ethics. For example,
Pinto went on national TV and claimed that single parents have children who “don’t thrive. They commit crimes, they do drugs, they’re depressed….”
Meanwhile, Crean got tied into a scandal about tracking “liberals.”
|= 2||These are political hires.These women were both brought in because they are comfortable working hard to help our BOE3 and McMinimee hide behind acts such as these:
Why is this a problem?
For one, Pinto was given a $120,000 salary (nearly triple what our teachers make) as to work as our chief communications specialist. One of her first moves was to hire Novitas, a Republican communications company, to help her carry out duties that should have been her own. Now, Crean, a Novitas employee, has joined the department. Will Crean be paid by our district twice, as she has contracts for Jeffco to pay her by the hour through Novitas as well as a salaried position starting in June? The Novitas contract is through June 30, but Crean’s own resume shows that she started working as a Jeffco employee in May.
Why else is this a problem? It’s a problem because we actually need a good chief communications specialist. We need someone to help our students who are achieving great things get a megaphone announcement to the community. We need someone who can help us recruit and keep the best teachers out there.
Instead, we’re ending up with people hired for their love of political antics, who merely wordsmith form letters for the BOE3 and superintendent to use in response to our correspondence.
Keep fighting, JeffCo!