About this time two years ago, Jefferson County Public Schools cleared house after an independent curriculum management audit led to a restructuring of administrative support operations.
One of the most high-profile names on the 17-name termination list was Lauren Roberts, who had been JCPS public information officer for more than a decade, through some of the toughest times for the system.
Christi Lanier-Robinson, whose title was executive communications director, picked up some of Roberts’ duties.
Now, Lanier-Robinson will be leaving June 30, the end of the fiscal year, said Ben Jackey, JCPS communications specialist.
JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens notified staff two weeks ago that leadership “is going in a new direction,” Jackey said. All communications personnel will report directly to Hargens until Lanier-Robinson is replaced.
Why is this news? Two points.
First, you might be interested in this position because Lanier-Robinson’s annual salary is $135,195. Not bad.
Lanier-Robinson’s job has been posted and the deadline for applying is Friday, May 16.
Here are some of the details:
Five (5) years related work experience
Ability to articulate vision of best practice for instructional programs
Understanding of systems management
Demonstrated leadership ability within diverse groups
Master’s Degree or equivalent years experience
Leadership experience in implementing operations in school district
Second, there’s a backstory. (Isn’t there always?)
Lanier-Robinson got the job only after another candidate imploded.
Before Lanier-Robinson, JCPS announced Jamilah Fraser would be the chief diversity, community relations and communications officer, as well as a member of Hargen’s cabinet.
Fraser had been chief communications officer at the Philadelphia Public School District where she had an, ah, interesting, albeit brief, career.
Our iPhones started ringing off the hook with tidbits about Fraser, including calls from inside JCPS. Fraser was coming to Louisville after a wild 10 months being in effect the personal publicity person for Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, the Philly superintendent, though technically speaking, taxpayers were paying Fraser to promote the system.
Apparently, no one at JCPS had bothered to Google Fraser’s name. Had they, they would have found out she’d been the shill for a superintendent running a system with a 44-percent dropout rate (JCPS is 25 percent) and a $629 million deficit.
Fraser’s boss was given about $900,000 to leave Philly. Before that, Ackerman had gotten $375,000 to leave San Francisco … plus unemployment. Fraser herself did well in the deal, getting one year’s salary in severance to leave Philadelphia.
Fraser was hired in Louisville in February 2012, then was out by May after IL broke the Philly story, then other media picked it up.
Fraser was replaced by Lanier-Robinson. Who is out now. We’d like to tell you about her, but unlike Lauren Roberts, Lanier-Robinson never returned our calls.
We always say, “The next person will be better.”
She exits at a time when JCPS is moving aggressively to deal with major issues as the threat of a takeover by the state education cabinet looms.
Today, The Courier-Journal’s Toni Konz reported the Jefferson County Board of Education voted last night to close Myers Middle School in Hikes Point, redirecting students to other schools. Konz reported Myers’ 2013 test scores showed only 11 percent of students are proficient in math and 23 percent in reading.
No one in JCPS or on the Board of Education had a fix, so they shut ‘er down.
This is in a system where about one out of seven students is functionally homeless, drifting between relatives’ homes and shelters.
Are you sure you want Lanier-Robinson’s job?