(Community Matters) I had lunch this week with an old friend who I haven’t seen in ages, Elizabeth Gonzales. Elizabeth is a board member of SW Key and East Austin College Prep. She’s absolutely convinced both do outstanding work (while acknowledging the growing pains at the school). I’ve mentioned before in previous postings that when I toured SW Key facilities in Dallas and Houston in the early 90s, I was impressed with their work. I even helped them secure a sizable bank line of credit. Elizabeth also assures me Juan doesn’t have any equity interests in vendors or contractors doing business with SW Key or the school.
A couple of months ago, I had lunch with Leo Ramirez who’s gone to work for Juan Sanchez. I have incredible respect for Leo and his integrity. And, today Leo told me his dad might be doing some work for the school. For those who don’t know, Mr. Ramirez is legendary. He was a math teacher in McAllen who nurtured, cajoled and mentored many Valley students to go on to Ivy League colleges.
Where am I at with SW Key & East Austin College Prep? I’d like to believe the boards have thoroughly vetted the concerns about lack of financial transparency. I’m impressed that Elizabeth, Leo and his dad are involved. I remain sympathetic to the concerns expressed by parents and past & current employees to me directly or through this blog. I am encouraged but not yet endorsing nor willing to support funding.
For the sake of not accusing Mrs. Gonzales from trying to miss lead you, I am just going to assume that she only knows what they (SWK) wants her to know.
East Austin College Prep has a handful of wonderful administration and staff. I am glad to know Mr. Ramirez is working for EACPA. I am however disappointed that their first choice for Principal at the elementary school was Priscilla Terrazas from El Paso. I guessed they changed their mind after parents found out about Terrazas; she is accused of participating in a test-cheating scheme at El Paso ISD. Unfortunately, she didn’t go far, she now works for Southwest Key and somehow manages to act as the vice principal for EACPA. The current principal Mr. Sal Vega also has past which caused his resignation as superintendent from Flantonia ISD. Why would Southwest Key hired individuals, who are known be the opposite of Mr. Ramirez?
Student, not only at EACPA but also at all schools need more people like Mr. Ramirez.. Thank you to Mr. Ramirez for being there and mentoring our future.
What EACPA needs is remove itself from under Juan Sanchez’s thumb, and be govern by it’s board as it should be. They board shouldn’t be going to Southwest Key for “consultations”.