How Well Does Colville Know Superintendent Pete Lewis?

Lewis

It’s important to know the people taking care of the safety and education of our children. That’s why school districts do background checks on their employees. So as parents, we should know as much as we can about the number one person in charge of our children, Superintendent Pete Lewis.

Last Position Held before Colville: Superintendent in Fairbanks, Alaska

June 9, 2014 Lewis was FIRED from Fairbanks North Borough School District

  • “… he exhibited a total failure of leadership leading up to the sexual abuse of a student on school property.” (Link)
  • “demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to perform the duties expected of a superintendent, which has resulted in potential liability to the district …” (Link)

Fairbanks School Board President Haas went on to say Mr. Lewis had knowledge of:

  • 1. significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students
  • 2. failed to ensure others took appropriate action; and
  • 3. took inappropriate action himself.

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The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation, Haas said.

Lewis allowed an employee to routinely work mornings and nights without being paid, putting the district out of compliance with federal wage and hour laws, Haas said, and fostered an attitude of disrespect toward the board that has permeated down to other staff members, Haas said. Link

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Mr. Fowlkes has been convicted of 3 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and is now serving time in jail. Fowlkes has also been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor regarding allegations made by a student at Hutchinson High School in 2014. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has agreed to pay $920,00 to the family of this student.

*****Heidi Haas Video

Here is a video of the Fairbanks School Board Director talking about the Investigation of Claude Fowlkes III and showing her concern that the Colville School Board did not contact them for information about Mr. Lewis before hiring him. Link to Video

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June 11, 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Interim Superintendent (only two days after he was fired from Fairbanks).

December 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Superintendent. Normally a school district will keep an Interim Superintendent for a full year before hiring them full time. It is a curious thing that our Board chose to hire Mr. Lewis early.

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Superintendent Pete Lewis Fired from Previous Position in Fairbanks

Fired_stamp_commons.wikimedia.orgThis post is informational for the good people of Colville. I believe it is important for this community to understand as much as we can about our new Superintendent. I find it important for people to know that Mr. Pete Lewis was fired from his last position in Fairbanks, Alaska for

“significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”

handcuffs-294516_640To put it more bluntly, an employee named Claude Fowlkes III was arrested for allegedly raping a student multiple times on campus.

Prior to this, Mr. Lewis was made aware of multiple complaints that Mr. Fowlkes was grooming students. The action Mr. Lewis allegedly took was to transfer Mr. Fowlkes to another building without informing the principal of his past behaviors. This action by Mr. Lewis is what allegedly led to the rapes and to Mr. Lewis’ own firing.

Here is an excerpt from a Fairbanks article written on the KSL.com website  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=29870313

The board cited a “total failure of leadership” by Lewis in the investigation and retention of employees, including Claude Fowlkes III, 34, a tutor at Hutchison High School who was arrested in March and charged with six counts of abusing a student at the school.

“Significant allegations and observations of ‘grooming’ and other alarming behavior with students were either not understood or were not dealt with in a serious manner,” Haas said in a statement signed by all board members.

Problems began at Fowlkes’ previous assignment at another Fairbanks school, Haas said, but the Hutchison principal was not made aware of them, Haas said.

Fowlkes from 2008 to 2014 was the subject of at least three complaints regarding conduct toward male students or minors. He violated district policy and engaged in inappropriate behavior with a male student at Tanana Middle School, the board said, but remained employed.

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation [by Mr. Lewis], Haas said.

You can find links to more informative articles at the bottom of this page.

5222712198_a24e1ba298_b_flickr.comQUESTIONS

– Do you as a parent feel our school board was honest with us in every way?

– Why did the school board hire Mr. Lewis two days after he was fired from Fairbanks, AK?

– Why did our board feel the need to rush in a superintendent to our district that had been fired for “significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”?

– Should this community have been properly informed of Mr. Lewis’ past mistake before he was hired?

– Did our school board do a thorough hiring process, or was Mr. Lewis rushed in? (See post ‘Questionable Interm Superintendent Hiring’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/questionable-interim-superintendent-hiring/ )

– Did our school board skip the steps in their own policies that require them to inform the public of a superintendent or interim superintendent search? (Once again, see “Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring post). If so, why?

– Did our school board rush Interim Superintendent Pete Lewis into a permanent position without a proper Superintendent search (according to school policies) before the public could be informed of Mr. Lewis’ past? (See post ‘Superintendent Hiring Procedures’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/superintendent-hiring-procedures/ )

– Do you, as a parent, feel comfortable with Mr. Lewis in charge of your children?

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Documentation for Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring

This post contains additional documentation showing proof of information in previous post.

April 7, 2014 Pete Lewis was put on paid leave in Fairbanks, Alaska.

http://www.k12northstar.org/sites/default/files/14-0407-minspmtg-employmentclaims.pdf

Here is the text of the meeting minutes that is applicable:

Lewis Placed on Leave Fairbanks MinutesMay 13, 2014 Michael Cashion announces resignation to ESD 101

2014-05-13 Cashion resignation email to ESD copy

May 15, 2014 Michael Cashion writes resignation letter

– Letter is placed in the Statesman Examiner and you can view it here http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9KCTP35D6902/$file/Resignation%20Letter.PDF

May 16, 2014 Michael Dunn from ESD 101 sends Sid Green Pete Lewis’ resume and contact information.

2014-05-16 Dunn to Green PL Resume copy

May 16, 2014 Sid Green responds to Michael Dunn saying he went online and read all the information about Pete Lewis.

2014-05-16 Sid response to Dunn PL resumeContinued conversation from Mike Dunn to Sid Green Continue reading