Please see the Governor’s reaction to a call by Sen. Tommy Morrison and former Sen. Chris Duenas to find out how the Education board went from lauding Jon Fernandez’s efforts to lead Guam DOE (hence the renewed contract) to terminating him at 10 o’clock at night. The Governor wants to hear from students, teachers and others in the community.
I want to thank Sen. Morrison and former Sen. Chris Duenas for calling on Sen. Nerissa Underwood to get to the bottom of the sudden firing of Jon Fernandez.
I do not know why the Board of Education made the decision they made. Whatever it is that Jon is accused of having done, I know him as an effective manager, a darn hard worker, and the best superintendent we’ve had in a long time.
He put students first. That’s much more than we can say about his immediate predecessors. They were much more concerned with central operations, hiring left and right, and wasting the taxpayers’ money. They nearly lost $100M in school construction funds, and did nothing about raising standards and graduation rates. There were weekly fiscal crises. Schools were unsafe. They were closing down one after the other. Teachers were cheated out of their pay. Retirement contributions were held.
Jon, leading his team, cleaned up all of that mess. Yet, one of his predecessors who created the problems gets to be a senator who suddenly points the blame at him. The other gets to run all of the money at DOE without any note of accountability. And the only one who is terminated is the guy who actually did his job. Something isn’t right here.
This problem is bigger than Jon Fernandez and is more important than my opinion. Unfortunately, there is a leadership vacuum at DOE with no permanent leader on board. At the very least, as your governor, I am of service to those most affected by this instability. I want the students, teachers, principals, and staff to know that I’m all ears to their thoughts, concerns, questions, and complaints.
I understand that many within different school communities are upset about the Board’s decision. I encourage all within our public schools to let me know your thoughts on my Facebook page, via email at email@example.com, or by speaking to me or any member of my senior staff at 472-8931.