Questionable contract removed – business was linked to superintendent | Local news


A contract to hire an educational consulting firm affiliated with then-Cody Superintendent Peg Monteith was removed from the Cody School Board’s agenda in early June after board members received information about the personal relationship.

The contract, worth up to $ 40,000 between the Cody School District and Goble Brown & Associates, should be presented at the special board meeting on Tuesday, Jan.

Chairman Brandi Nelson said on behalf of the Cody School Board that it was the third straight month that Superintendent Peg Monteith had put the contract on the provisional agenda. The board had removed it the first two times because they wanted more information.

The contract would have hired Goble Brown to help the district write grants and provide coaching for professional and subject teachers in the district.

“The Goble Brown & Associates contract was included in the preliminary board of directors’ agendas prepared by the superintendent in April and May 2021,” said a board statement. “The CEOs, Chairman Nelson and Vice-Chairman (Stefanie) Bell, withdrew the contract in both months and requested additional information. In the absence of additional information, the board of directors then requested a presentation from Mr. Goble at the June 1st meeting, including contributions from CHS Administration and CHS Career Technical teachers. This presentation would have preceded the Board’s deliberations later in the meeting. However, after receiving additional information on May 29, the presentation and the action item were removed from the June 1 agenda by the Executive Board. “

The agenda with the contract was released on Friday, May 28, the day before the graduation of Cody High School and the massive internet outage that devastated government computer systems of all kinds, including the grade reporting system of the Cody School District. However, the internet outages didn’t stop community member Tim Brus from seeing the agenda, and he had immediate concerns about the proposed contract with Goble Brown. Brus’ wife, Patty Brus, just finished her senior year as a longtime Cody CTE teacher.

The contractual conditions would have merged the circle and the company from May 2021 to August 2022.

In an email dated Saturday 29th, Monteith appeared to have a personal interest in the company and Brus claimed that Monteith and company founder Craig Goble had a longstanding personal relationship.

“Craig Goble has been a friend of Peg Monteith’s since they did 4-Hs together as young teenagers,” Brus wrote in an email on May 29. “They have a pre-existing relationship and it seemed that she just wanted to hire a friend and business partner. This LLC is less than two months old since it was founded in March 2021.

“Please do what needs to be done and deny this type of behavior.”

The Cody Enterprise made a public record request between its agenda entry and Tuesday’s meeting to receive emails related to the contract and its discussion.

That Monday, Memorial Day, Brandi Nelson, chairman of the Cody School board, emailed the rest of the board to say the contract and its presentation would be removed from the agenda the next day.

Monteith abruptly resigned from her position as superintendent on July 23. The news of Monteith’s retirement came less than a month before the start of the school year and about a year before her contract was about to expire. Several attempts to reach Monteith for comment on this story went unanswered, and she declined to comment on her resignation over the summer.

Little is known to the public about Goble Brown & Associates. As of September 30, the company had no website or Facebook page. All mentions of the company on the internet were limited to websites indexing registered companies.

Records from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, which registers the company in Wyoming, showed that two companies, both linked to Monteith, were formed in quick succession in March. The first “G&B Education Associates” (including spelling mistakes) were founded on March 18th of this year. Goble and Monteith are listed on the registration records as organizers and directors of the company, with Monteith’s name listed as “Peggy Brown Monteith”. The company’s address is that of Monteith’s private residence as listed by the Park County Assessor. This company had no potential school district contracts for the Enterprise to track down.

The second company, Goble Brown & Associates, which had a potential contract with the district, was incorporated on March 26 of this year, eight days after the first. This company also listed Monteith’s home address as its company address, although Monteith himself was not on the list of organizers.

When asked why the company had the same address as Monteith, Goble told the company that he had used Monteith’s home address because he had not yet moved to town and was recommended by someone “highly in professional training.”

Patty Brus said CTE teachers met with Goble repeatedly in April and May to discuss CTE issues. Brus also said that it felt like Goble had already been hired for the job.

Monteith mentioned in an email dated May 18 that Goble will be helping the district evolve its CTE program to match the profile of a district graduate 11 days before the contract should be signed before school plank.

“I started the company to expand my educational consulting expertise,” Goble told the company.

Goble’s background in educational counseling could not be found through online research. His LinkedIn page lists a degree in Agricultural Education from Colorado State University, but for the past 18 years he has worked as a relationship manager for various financial institutions, most recently for the Dutch Rabobank, where he worked in Modesto, Calif. Goble said his role as a relationship manager was similar to that of a loan officer. The LinkedIn page does not list any experience of working in education or government education grants, which are a key component of the services listed in the proposed contract.

Goble said in an April 20 email to CTE staff that his “preparation and background is in education, more specifically in the CTE at secondary and post-secondary levels. I also have extensive experience in the business world. “

“The business world is gaining a new understanding of the importance of these programs and that recognition is being filtered not just from a standards perspective, but possibly more importantly from a funding perspective,” wrote Goble. “Of all the districts I have worked with, Park 6 is uniquely able to be a shining star in the field and, to paraphrase the FFA Creed, I intend to have an impact on my home and my community exercise, which in turn will be solid in this inspiring task. “

The email was sent the day after Monteith took CTE staff and several administrators to dinner at Millstone Pizza to discuss “additional support” for the CTE programs. It’s not clear what relationship Goble has with Park 6 or when he has worked with other school districts in the past.

In July, shortly before Monteith’s resignation, Goble told the Enterprise that “we are still in the middle of negotiations there and I am not used to negotiating in the press.” Goble also noted that he was the only executive member of the company.

“My approach has always been not to use people per se, but I’ve used analysts in the past and that’s on a piece basis so it’s a different type of pay structure,” he said. “There are no full-time employees”

When Brus, the wife of the man who had alerted the school authorities to his concerns about the Goble Brown contract, returned to work after Memorial Day to finish school grades, she was surprised that she was surprised by her E- Mail account locked out at school said she had to drop her things off at Cody High School.

“Mr. (Jeremiah) Johnston said, as soon as my grades were ready, I should hand over my keys, hand over my computer, I was done,” said Brus and told about her conversation with the CHS director on June 1st.

Brus was a teacher in the district for nearly four decades, teaching a variety of CTE courses and practicing a number of sports over the course of her career. She had decided to retire after the 2020-21 school year and end her tenure as the district’s teacher and Perkins Grant coordinator, a role that resulted, among other things, in reporting year-end dates to the State Department of Education for CTE- Funding purposes in addition to reporting on grades.

Brus said she had until June 2 to enter her grades, a standard extension for teachers. However, her work as a Perkins coordinator should continue until the end of June. Only in the following week could the data entry still to be done as part of the funding process for all of the district’s CTE programs begin.

On June 3, Brus filed a complaint with the school board and stated in a letter to the board that whistleblower protection had been violated and it was possible that Monteith had violated board and state guidelines. The board of directors ‘attention led to retaliation, Brus said, including “salary cuts and lost hours” in connection with Perkins’ work.

“I asked about scholarship work to complete by the Wyoming Department of Education (CTE) deadline on June 15,” she wrote. “It was made clear that I was ‘done’.”

The district has a standard complaint procedure that this complaint has not followed. The procedure also does not allow the filing of complaints related to employment status. Nelson responded to the complaint on the afternoon of June 8, noting that Brus had died on June 28. Brus said her additional mandatory contract to complete the data entry was only verbal at the time.

“We appreciate your taking the time to raise your concerns on this matter,” wrote Nelson. “We do not intend to respond to your letter at this point.”

However, three hours before Nelson’s email, Brus received an email from Monteith apparently granting temporary employment so Brus could complete the data entry.

“Please regard this email as a revocation of my previous edict,” wrote Monteith. “I understand that it will take you time to remove 38 years of material from your classroom, Patty, and to ensure that the CTE data is correctly submitted to the WDE. The end date for all of this work is June 15th. “

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