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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Perleberg

My long, heartfelt, overdue apology

Updated: Nov 1, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dear Scottsdale Unified School District Community,

As the Governing Board President, there has been an increasing call for me to apologize for my actions during my tenure on the Board, which in January of 2018 will commemorate my seventh year of service. And even though every measurable statistic as far as the operation of the district is concerned points to failure, I would like you to know that I now completely recognize that the fish rots from the head and that this failure is my failure. Therefore, and without equivocation, I would like to address the following issues with an explanation and an apology for my part in the failures of the District.

1) I have failed to be a good board member because I have a complete lack of any educational qualification and no track record of employment that would make my contributions to the Governing Board valuable.

a. I gave in my list of qualifications, when I ran for the Governing Board, my previous experience as a former compliance officer at an investment fund. I was not candid with the community because I omitted to say that the investment fund, Z Seven Fund, became insolvent after I left the company and my fellow officer in that investment fund was barred for life by the Securities and Exchange Commission from ever being involved in the investment business or operation of any business that deals with securities. This is the sin of omission, not explaining to the community that the firm where I was a compliance officer was closed for fraud.

2) I have failed to be a good board member because I have blamed and bullied teachers, the community, and concerned parents for the problems in the District without any evidence whatsoever that the parents, teachers, and concerned parents were responsible for the district’s problems.

a. Specifically, I have bullied constituents and authorized the bullying of constituents by the disgraced former superintendent of the District, Denise Birdwell, and I am ashamed of my role in that bullying.

i. I allowed Dr. Susan Hughes to be threatened with economic ruination by attorneys paid for by the district in retaliation for voicing her concerns to the District.

ii. I allowed Mr. Loyd Eskildson and his family to be threatened with economic ruination by attorneys paid for by the district in retaliation for voicing his concerns to the District.

iii. In the classic behavior of a bully, I decided to not have attorneys threaten Jann-Michael Greenburg with economic ruination by attorneys paid for by the district in retaliation for voicing his concerns to the District because he has attorneys and can defend his interests.

iv. I allowed Dr. Chomokos, Dr. Ybarra, and Dr. Fuller to conduct a reign of terror on teachers, who I described and classified as the problem with the district in my writings. As a result of my failure to supervise and my willing assent to their plans, I allowed the wholesale firing of all Coronado Educators and attempted to humble them, making them beg for their jobs. As we all know, the end results of this effort, which has been named “The Coronoado Success Initiative”, have yielded no change in our AZ Merit Scores. It has been a failure and I failed to provide leadership and succumbed to being a bully.

v. As more evidence of me being a cheap shot artist and a bully, I pursued and filed a frivolous lawsuit falsely alleging $1.5 million dollars in damages to my reputation for defamation against the writer of a parody site (who wished to remain anonymous) that ridiculed my leadership of the district as a publicly elected official. I undertook this lawsuit at the urging of others to silence and intimidate the author of the site. Then, when I discovered that the writer was an individual of means who would file counterclaims against me for filing a frivolous lawsuit, which would place me in financial jeopardy, I made a public statement that I was dropping the case to focus on the well-being of the District. I was not truthful about my reasons for dropping the lawsuit, and I published my article one day after a fire devastated the Navajo School, placing my need to be petty and vindictive ahead of the needs of the community. Instead of helping to focus attention on the crisis at Navajo and helping the community coalesce around this crisis so that we could all work together, I instead focused my attention on attempting to smear Jann-Michael Greenburg, the author’s son, and a candidate for the governing board, and blame him for his father’s creation of the website. I am again ashamed of my bullying behavior which can be defined as threatening those who cannot fight back, but running away when I have threatened someone who refuses to back down and has the means and will to fight back. I am a bully, a punk, and I am sorry.

3) I am a failure as a board member because I supported, endorsed and agreed to hire Denise Birdwell. With my support, Dr. Birdwell brought to the district widespread criminality, self-dealing, and a culture of intimidation, bullying, bid rigging, graft and corruption. When brought to my attention. I did nothing, and I did nothing because my previous experience as a compliance officer at an investment fund that was shut down for widespread fraud was the only real training I had. Therefore, this behavior just looked normal to me. I allowed schools to be knocked down without any meaningful supporting documentation or the creation of a master plan. The demolition of these schools coincided with vendors involved in the demolition and construction of the schools depositing money into Dr. Birdwell’s joint bank account.

4) I have presided over the district during a time period in which the District has lost 14% of their students. I have blamed this on school choice and ignored board ineptitude that has resulted in the mismanagement of the District, causing the District to be on the brink of insolvency. I have been incurious, enthralled at my power to belittle and humiliate constituents, and I have allied myself with others to do bullying for me while I have allowed the District to deteriorate.

5) I am a failure because I approved and endorsed a plan to stop recognizing the SEA. I did this because I needed a scapegoat for the failures I have presided over. I did not understand that alienating the entire workforce of the District is a management decision rooted in ignorance because I have no real experience in management. I am incurious, and have taken no steps to improve my understanding of how to manage a large organization.

6) I am a failure because I allowed the teachers at the District to be paid wages that are not in keeping with their ability to earn a living wage. I placed the educators in a position where many of them had to take two or three jobs just to be able to survive. I have no real experience in management, I am incurious, and again, I have taken no steps to improve my understanding of how to manage a large organization.

7) I am a failure because I have equated a parody site designed to ridicule my role as an elected official with cyber-bullying in an attempt to gain sympathy for my own bullying. I falsely believed that this would gain me sympathy and people would forget my inadequacies.

8) I am a failure because I have allowed special education students to be terrorized by people hired by Denise Birdwell, which has caused irreparable harm to at least one child, and perhaps others. Rather than admit my mistake, I have overseen the District’s efforts at ruining the family by protracted litigation to attempt to send a message of fear and intimidation through the District.

9) I am a failure because I continue to have problems understanding the First Amendment to the Constitution and I have instructed the District to block access to the parody Twitter account that was set up to ridicule me.

I know I am just scratching the surface on my inadequacies, but I needed to get this off my chest. While I am sorry, I am dedicated to not quitting. This is because there is nothing more important to me than completely finishing my job of destroying the District. And to be sure, as long as I have that gavel in my hand, and as long as image of my Grandfather Otto, tumbling from the guard tower at Auschwitz as he was accidentally choking on a bratwurst, burns bright in the memories of those memorialized at Vad Yashem, I will continue to be inept, insipid, vindictive, and petty and finish my reign of destruction, and I doubt you will ever recall me, and that makes you losers.


Barbara Perleberg, YWK

Governing Board President of SUSD

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