“Job Fix” at the School District?


After having personally signed off on Monique Acevedo’s purchasing card expenditures [which led to the $413,000 School District embezzlement case in 2009] Mike Henriquez was again at the center of a “where has the money gone” scandal last year for setting up an accounting system for the HOB day care program that was so loose that nearly $22,000 couldn’t be accounted for.


A first year employee was fired. But Mike Henriquez was merely reprimanded. His dad, you see, is A.J. “Bookie” Henriquez, former 24-year Monroe County School Superintendent, his sister is the Principal of Gerald Adams; his other sister and his wife are also employed by the School District.

School Superintendent, Mark Porter, removed Henriquez from his job as HOB’s Principal in the wake of the HOB daycare investiation, but is now planning to hire him back [for $100,500 a year plus benefits beginning July 1, 2016] and tuck him into a newly created full time position: Coordinator of Alternative Education.

The School Board will be asked to approve the funding for Henriquez’ new job during its May 24th meeting at Marathon High School [5:00 pm].

Here is what School Board member Ed Davidson has to say about it:

The following is Board Member Ed Davidson’s email in full:

After the School District Administration has recently argued repeatedly that the School Board should approve a job description for a Spin Doctor PIO while agreeing to decide later on whether or not to actually fund it amongst other budget demands, Superintendent Porter is now asking the Board to approve a questionably expensive position, with an uncertain job description, to oversee a dysfunctional and ill-defined Alternative Education program that barely exists and may cost many hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  This seems a trifle inconsistent, and ill-conceived.

Specifically, there is an extensive lack of important information regarding the 24 May (tomorrow) agenda’d Alternative Education Coordinator position being proposed for Mike Henriquez after his removal from Horace O’Bryant School; and before being asked to fund this position the Board should be briefed on the following aspects of this proposal, about which the taxpaying public and the media will also no doubt be quite curious:
1.  Since this as-yet-to-be-publicly-defined program is linked to our traditional educational processes, why is this position not only for 10 or 11 months/yr, instead of 12 months?  As I have pointed out in prior Board discussions, the District gets only a little more than a week of additional work for the 12th month of full pay, because the 12 month employee gets year’s worth of accumulated leave entitlement (12 days) that 10 and 11 month employees do not get.  It is worthy of note that amongst all of our school principals and assistants, only the 3 high school principals are on 12 month contractsall the rest are 11 months.
2.  What is the justification for the $100,500 base salary, which (according to the District payroll office) will cost the taxpayers $128,821.90/yr including benefits?
3.  How does this salary compare to that paid to the previous job holders, and what were their actual duties?
4.  Is this in fact a raise for Mr. Henriquez, yet without having to manage a whole school and staff?
5.  Since prior efforts at Alternative Education have been marginally successful at best, surely the School Board should be directly involved in the design of any revitalized alternative program — about which the Board has little information to date, for instance:
       a.  what locations are anticipated?
       b.  what is the nature of those locations — classrooms in existing schools, or separate facilities?
       c.  what staffing levels, and how many faculty teachers, are envisioned?
       d.  what are the total anticipated costs of staffing and facilities — is this a $250,000 program?  $350,000?  $450,000?  More than that?
       e.  what will the criteria be for transfer out of traditional classrooms and into this Alternative Education program?  Who must approve?
       f.   what are the defined goals and parameters of this process — will these be punitive, or curative?
       g.  how will success be defined and evaluated — attaining a high school diploma? transfer back to traditional schools/classrooms?
6.  Accountability in these media-controversial circumstances will be a persistent and valid issue, and the job description for this generously funded position must therefore be rigorous and well-defined.
7.  Because prior alternative efforts have been largely unsuccessful, and because the proposed job description must be extensively re-worked for a program that must be fundamentally re-designed, this is functionally a significantly different job than past efforts, and it should be treated as such and processed by the Board as a new  proposal — contrary to the Superintendent’s intent so far.
I believe most of the School Board and many of the taxpayers would appreciate definitive responses to these as-yet unanswered questions about how much of their money is being obligated, and in what manner, and in accordance with what standards; and I therefore request that the Chair modify the agenda to allocate enough discussion time for the Administration to provide such information before asking for approval.
Capt Ed Davidson, School Board Dist 3

Other administrators expected to earn more than $100,000 in the coming year, include:

Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Theresa Axford — $122,000

Executive Director of Operations & Planning Pat Lefere — $122,000

Executive Director of Finance James Drake — $120,000

Key West High School Principal Amber Bosco — $119,000

Director of Accountability & Assessment David Murphy — $116,000

Director of Student Services Leslie Thompson — $113,000

Coral Shores Principal Blake Fry — $105,000

Marathon High School Principal Wendy McPherson — $104,000

Director of Human Resources Ramon Dawkins — $102,000

Adult Education Coordinator Mike Henriquez — $100,500

Sugarloaf Principal Harry Russell — $100,500


Below is the list showing all recommended professional and administrative position salaries for 2016-2017 school year.


school district salaries page 1

school district salaries page 2

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5 thoughts on ““Job Fix” at the School District?

  1. Job fix? Ha! Ha! Ha! I couldn’t think of a better characterization! Capt. Davidson should be commended for his well-articulated questions. Somehow…I don’t think I’ll hold my breath for the answers, though.

    Mikey needs a job. Get over it, eh? 😉


  2. I told Naja and Arnaud yesterday, besides the obvious bubba influence in the school district, and Henriquez is a bubba progeny, at the root is the school board selected Mark Porter to be its first superintendent of schools, after the voters agreed to end the election of the school superintendent in the wake of the Acevedo scandal. However, Porter himself had been “non-renewed” by his school district in Minnesota, when he was superintendent of schools there. He was out of a job when they hired him, over Ed Shine, rather, Dr. Ed Shine, who had served two stellar stints as superintendent of schools in two different New York State school districts. During his public vetting by the Monroe County School Board in Marathon High School, which I, a school board candidate myself, attended, Dr. Shine made the school board members look like rookies. He was so out of their depth they had no way of him not making them all look like rank amateurs, if they selected him as their first superintendent. During a break in that meeting, school board member Andy Griffiths (now running for his 7th 4-year term on the school board) told Todd German and me that he could not vote for Dr. Shine because he could not vote for any candidate who’d had that much money per student to spend on educating his students. Todd and I told Andy he’d lost his mind, what was he thinking? Andy then ranked Dr. Shine 2nd, behind Mark Porter. It was so sickening to watch them turn down, effectively, a Jesus Christ Superstar candidate, for a candidate who had been fired, that I knew the problems in the school district, of which there were many, could never be resolved from within, and the only possible cure was either the State of Florida took over our school district, or each school voted itself to be a charter school, and thus have its own board of directors who did not answer to the Monroe County School Board, which could then rule over just itself, while, as required by state law, spreading the bulk of the available education funds between each school in the Florida Keys.

  3. The Fix always is in for the Bubbas in KW. And School Board must have superintendent that will do what Bubbas say, not what is good for schools.

    1. Why does the list of school district employees earning more that $100k a year seem to have the same last name as streets in Key West? I’m sure that is just a coincidence. Right?

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