Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sonja Bailes - from the frying pan into the fire

Word is that KTBS anchor Sonja Bailes is leaving to work for the Bossier Parish School Board.  I haven't seen an official announcement, though there may be one out there. 
Apparently she will serve as the Ed Baswell/Mark Natale of the school board. 
She is a graduate of Airline High School and has a degree in journalism from Louisiana Tech.

66 comments:

  1. What the hell is one more non essential job created in Bossier at the tax payers' expense? Is there so much earth shattering news coming out of the Bossier Parish School Board that couldn't be handled by one of the assistant superintendents, so they have to create a position for a public relations spokesperson? Is the creation of the spokesperson position and the rumor of building new school facilities happening at the same time a coincidence?

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  2. A complete waste of money. Just like graduation coaches.

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  3. Suck it up and quit your whinning! You do not have a say in the matter! We will do what we want, when we want, and how we want in Bossier City and Bossier Parish! Get that through your thick head!

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  4. Bossier Tax Payer Who is tired of the B. S.November 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Anon @ 2:57, I'm sorry, I forgot my place.
    Anon @12:50, can you explain what a graduation coach is? I think the general tax paying public needs to know what one is to show how frugally their money is being spent.

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  5. I did a blog post on that last year, they were adding three positions. This is what I said then:

    1. Graduation Coaches
    2 Behavior Coaches
    3. Response for Intervention Coaches
    I know I'm old and that things are quite different now, but I wonder if they really have to be?
    When I was in school it was this way.
    1. Graduation Coaches - were called teachers
    2 Behavior Coaches - were called parents
    3. Response for Intervention Coaches - See #2

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  6. A graduation coach is a created position where the person monitors the teacher to ensure they're doing their job. They monitor at risk students to ensure they're doing their job. So basically, they're doing the job that a counselor, a teacher, and good principal are probably already doing. But, if you're related to someone who is a somebody at the school board, you can be a graduation coach, too.

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  7. Having taught in the Bossier Parish system, I can assure you that the graduation coach had no idea how I was performing as a teacher. If I did not do my job, the principal was responsible for motivating me to do so or fire me. I never saw a great need for the graduation coaches.

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  8. Just where in the strata of supervision do graduation coaches fall?
    First there are department heads in each school who are responsible for their content area within the particular school.
    Secondly, there are parish supervisors who are responsible for their content parish wide.
    Thirdly, there are the principals and their assistants who are responsible for ensuring the teachers are putting out the content within their particular curriculum.
    There is the superintendent and his assistants who have some sort of responsibility to ensure the teacher is doing his/her job.
    Then there are the counselors whose job it is to evaluate tests to see where a student is in his/her learning and to get that student the help needed in order to graduate.
    So, where is the necessity for a graduation coach?

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  9. Why in the world does BPSB need a public relations person? Would they need one if they weren't about to ask to public to approve a huge bond issue? How often will she need to speak to the press and about WHAT? Seems to me like the Bossier Tribune already does a pretty good job covering Bossier schools.

    I just wonder what her salary will be. And benefits? Must have been a pretty good offer to get her away from KTBS.

    Ridiculous.

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  10. If this is true, it may be the stupidest thing this board has ever done.

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  11. When I was teaching, I worked at Benton High. I got a call from one of the coaches a few minutes ago and he says the hire is a done deal.

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  12. 5:44 - thanks, that is what I heard.

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  13. Was this job advertised? I didn't see this job posted on the BPSB website, but I could have missed it.

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  14. I can't beleive that Sonja Bailes is lowering herself to go to work for the BPSB. I bet before this is all over she will wish she never left channel 3. I know Sonja and like her a lot. Sonja! Don't join that crooked bunch!

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  15. I watch Channel 3 because I am a huge fan and they announced her 2 week notice, oh, about 2 weeks ago on air and said she was going to the BPSB. Either I am gonna stop watching Channel 3 or stop paying my taxes....someone call Sonja and tell her I'm about to lose my house if she doesn't go back. She is an awesome anchor and the LAST thing she needs to be is a waste of taxpayer money.

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  16. Anon 4:34 hit the nail on the head. Sonja is being hired to "sell us" on the need for the 450 MILLION in new taxes! Hopefully the citizens can see through this. But I doubt it. They will use our tax dollars to promote their agenda against us!!!!!!

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  17. 9:41 - I looked for anything on KTBS website about it but couldn't find it. Thanks for the heads up.

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  18. Lets see D.C. taught her in school. All you need to figure out now is who she is related to.

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  19. Like anon@7:26 I'm wondering if this job was advertised. The BPSB has a dedicated page for job openings. I wonder if it was ever on there or was it another political deal this Parish is famous for?

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  20. Does anyone know what her salary is gonna be. I'm pretty sure she was making a nice salary at KTBS. So I'm figuring she wouldn't leave unless it was worth it.

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  21. They are giving Sonja a "going away" party on TV 3 this morning (Monday 11-28). They said this is her last day.

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  22. She is an exempt employee at a salary of $105,000 a year. 4 weeks vacation, retirements, and normal benefits.

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  23. Sonja is a great person and will do well whereever SHE chooses to work. The job was advertised and to my understanding there were many applicants who applied, why would the BPSB not choose the most qualified and well respected to represent their organization.

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  24. It's not a question of choosing the right person to do the job. The question is why is there a need for a public relations person for the Bossier Parish School Board?

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  25. I agree, no one is questioning her background and abilities, just the need for that position.

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  26. Well this is the kind of crap that the people of Bossier want because they keep voting these dumbass people into office. They will complain and complain but when election time comes they re-elect them everytime. When you try andcwarn people about this foolishness, your ridiculed and told to move to Shreveport.

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  27. I think that Anon 1:37 is correct.

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  28. Anon @ 1:37, just keep sounding the alarm. I think more people are hearing the call, but sadly not enough.
    There is a deep seeded belief in Bossier Parish that if you're not from Bossier you're not qualified to do anything.
    Well, that kind of thinking is putting Bossier Parish and Bossier City in the toilet. With that kind of thinking we ended up with a $23million parking garage at a shopping venue that is going into the tank. And we ended up with a cyber innovation center that nobody wants to move into.
    Not to mention the MPERS predicament, the BPSO tax boondoggle, etc, etc, etc.
    But if you listen to the @$$#OLE$ that got us into these problems the will tell you everything is fine.
    Now they are wanting to cram a $450million (that's close to a 1/2 a billion) tax down our throats.
    But you're right, the dumbasses will probably go along with it and scream and cry later that they're being screwed.

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  29. When somebody gets paid over $100,000 just to talk to the media, and teachers get paid less than half that, well, there's something wrong with this picture.

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  30. Some facts amid the speculation:
    1. Media liason position was advertised as per state law.
    2. Multiple people applied, and were interviewed for the job.
    3. The selection committee's decision was announced at the Oct. 20 regular meeting of the BPSB.
    4. When Sonja Bailes was announced as the person selected, the people present at the meeting gave her a standing ovation; school personnel, administrators, board members, AND PRIVATE CITIZENS. Everyone recognizes she is a very talented lady who will do a great job.
    5. Major part of her job will be to dispel all the misinformation and misconceptions floating about. Such as the "$450 million tax!" BPSB is requesting renewal of existing tax, that would generate around $120 - $130 million. The $450 million was a fix-all, do-all wish-list estimate.....If every principal and administrator could do everything they wanted, which is not realistic. Nothing but an estimate.
    6. I, for one, am glad Sonja will be on the job. She will insure my children, and your children, get the recognition they deserve for all their hard work in the classroom and extracurricular events.

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  31. If the people could not spread doom and bloom all around, they would not have anything to grip about! Someone has to be a bad guy so we can complain about them!!!!

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  32. Anon @ 1:37, I see you're right.
    Anon @ 6:07, It's our tax money that is being spent and as long as our money involved we have a right to "grip."
    Anon @ 5:39, no one is "gripping" that the job was advertised. There was a question wondering if it was advertised. No one is question Sonja Bailes' qualification. You've explained everything about the job except why was it necessary. That's the main question everyone is asking.
    Once again, with the people who defend the actions of Bossier officials. If you can dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with b.s.

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  33. why? That's a silly question. It's cause DC said so. Got to drink that kool aid.

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  34. 5:39,
    Which dumbass school board member are you? There is no need for public information spokesperson. Especially one that cost 105,000 a year. If you guys weren't so incompetent and blow money on frivolous crap then people wouldnt complain. Let's not forget the millions you guys got scammed out of by a convict who claimed to be an air condition business man. Plus the others that were involve who just happened to be the son of a police jury member. You've never needed one before but now all of a sudden you do. It makes no sense.

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  35. Anon @ 5:39,Ok,you attempted to explain how the tax payers are about to be screwed using this blog, and it didn't cost us a thing. Why do need to pay someone $105K a year to tell us how we're going to get screwed?

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  36. It's for the children? Are you sh**ing me? So, my child will get recognized for the work he does? Really? If that's one reason Sonja is taking the job she should have stayed a Cannel 3 and become the educational reporter. She could be reporting my child's good grades and it wouldn't cist the tax payers one red cent.

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  37. Why can't Scott Smith or Sally Namie be the spokesperson for BPSB. They are already on the payroll and both are well spoken.

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  38. To Anon @ 9:20, Because having Sally Namie or Scott Smith would be too amateurish. By God we're Bossier, and we like spending large amounts of money on worthless crap, and if you don't like it move to the other side of the river.

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  39. It doesn't matter if we discuss the school board, city council, or U.S. Congress when you are able to spend other people's money, you are not too careful how it is spent. I'm sure that Sonja will do what is asked of her and do a good job, but it is a created position that I don't believe is needed. I hope voters have a long memory.

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  40. I totally agree with most of these posts, yet try to stay middle of the road and try to see both sides of all local politics. BUT!!!!, perhaps if these coaching positions are becoming open simply because of growing populations and overworked and overwhelmed existing employees, more duties and more responsibilities with no raises.

    In the words or the the great philosopher Alfred E. Newman, The only good thing about living in the past is the rent was cheaper.

    The Spokesperson position position is simply a P.R thing to promote the acceptance of future $450 million in millage rate increases. Please correct me if I am wrong. JUST RIDICULOUS!

    One mans opinion.

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  41. Yep. I saw the her last show. They were saying good bye because she was leaving for Bossier Schools.

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  42. Anon @ 5:15. the graduation coaches positions have nothing to do with relieving current employees with current workloads. They actually add work. They are doing the work that is already being done by others: teachers, counselors, and principals.

    Look, I don't begrudge the school board the tax money they need to keep up with the growth. It's the waste, like the "wish list" Anon @ 5:39 is touting. A wish list? For what? Why not a necessity list first and foremost?

    It's the "wish list" and the need for D. C. Machen and school board members to see their names on new school buildings that bother me.

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  43. I believe that Sonja's mother worked for a former supertendent.

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  44. You did light a fire with that one Jim.
    Alex

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  45. I'm glad that Jim brought this up. Most people do not go to school board meetings and this was a done deal before we knew about it. I do not consider this position to be worth what the lady will be paid. Same with graduation coaches.

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  46. If she could really open it up and provide information to the public it would be great. That won't happen. She will just be spinmeister for Machen.

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  47. I don't know why all the crying over all of this. All you posters had a chance to replace lots of these school board members last year and you didn't do it. It's all your fault! You get the government you deserve! I don't blame the loser BPSB members as all of you voted them in! Reap what you sow!

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  48. 7:42,
    Good post. Maybe people will start listening but I doubt it. But I do have one question. How do you get D.C Machen out of his position. I know the board selects him but is there any way to get him out of there?

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  49. Questions for Sonja in her new job?
    1) how much was DC hired for? How much pay increase has he received? What about other employees? Have cafeteria workers got the same raise?
    2) how much has has been spent on paid vacations for central office and school board?
    3) how many coaches and athletic directors do we really need? What do they cost?
    4) what the heck is a graduation coach?
    5) how much restitution has been recovered from when they were scammed by a.c. Contractors and school board employees? What has been done to make sure this does not happen when they get millions in new taxes?

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  50. I have looked at the blog archives and tried to find posts concerning the last school board election. I seem to remember that I was concerned how little interest was shown regarding the candidates so a lot were reelected without much trouble. I hope we remember some things next time and question the candidates more closely. We are paying for a lot of people who are not needed for a good school system.

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  51. Kartman, go to the right sidebar and scroll down to 'labels', there is one for Bossier Schools - it will take you to every post about the school system.

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  52. They also now have "curriculum coaches" as an administrative position. They help teachers set up their curriculum. Now, as I understand it, unless the book changes each year, the curriculum should be the same from year to year. Why do we need another administrative position for that? These "coaches" have the same benefits as a teacher in the classroom.

    In my humble opinion, we pay plenty "per student" but there are so many administrative positions that have been created over the years, the money never makes it to the classroom. There is no need for the teachers or parents to have to provide paper towels, vis-a-vie pens, and many other supplies that the teachers need to conduct class. If we did away with all these administravite positions and put that money into the classroom where it belongs, there would be no need for this "tax renewal".

    It is crazy what these elected officials think is important...and the need for a "spokesperson" for the BPSB is just absurd!

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  53. I think Sonja is so refreshing and smart and genuinely cares about helping or making a difference. I too hate to see her swept up in that controlling system. And what the heck is going on with that Ano nov 27 2:57, I know this to be true but they are not usually that bold and overbearing, they usually keep a low snake in the grass profile.

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  54. Instead of hiring more all of these non teaching positions, they should hire more teachers. My wife is a kindergarten teacher in Bossier Parish. She has to teach more than 30 kids in one class. That is crazy!

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  55. Jim, can you research who the financial supporters of past and present elected officials in Bossier Parish are. I think it will show that the same "old" and "Big" money people are listed on almost all the winning candidates from Sheriff on down

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  56. I can't disclose my name or I would be fired. I work in the system and know for a fact that Sonja has a salary and benefits package of over $160,000.00. It is $30,000.00 more than the Superintendent makes! She gets summers off, four weeks vacation, fully paid benefits, and an automobile. The next hire on the agenda is for her to have a secretary and small staff.

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  57. If this is true then the citizens of Bossier Parish need to bring pitchforks,torches, tar, and feathers to the next school board meeting.

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  58. I don't know if that is true or not. Even if it isn't I think that $105,000 is her salary which is a lot for a position that is not needed. A complete waste of money.

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  59. JC on Dec 2, that's a good project. I'll work on it.

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  60. I stumbled upon this site and find it amazing to read how one bit of false information can cause a firestorm among a bunch of folks with nothing better to do. PR folks are always having to defend their jobs and yet aren't people like you always asking for "transparency"? Sonja's number one priority will be to ensure that the public has timely access to information. The school system is a major employer and it makes sense that they have someone like her. I can assure you she won't be making more money than the Supt or taking 4 weeks of vacation or driving a parish car. If you're an employee who is that concerned (i.e. jealous) about it, go to a board meeting and voice your concerns there. Don't spread hateful lies that do nothing but hurt the school system in the long run. You're only hurting yourself.

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  61. I am not an employee who is concerned(i.e. jealous)about anything. I am a taxpayer who is very concerned about how our money is being spent by the school board. You are correct, Sonya's salary has been incorrectly reported here but her position is not a necessity. It is a waste of taxpayer money. Let D.C. be the PR person. Sonya will have to clear anything she makes public with him anyway. Her position is not the only wasteful hire that has taken place over the last few years. Graduation coaches and other coaches have also been added. When will it stop. By the way, I have nothing better to do than try to do what I can to save tax dollars.

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  62. Well said Kartman. 12:42 is lying about "stubbling" onto this site. Someone told him/her to come to this site or he/she is one of the school board members still trying to justify this stupid decision.

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  63. Anon 12:42 sounds like one of our local politicians, because he/she is calling the peoples' concern about how tax dollars are being spent as "nothing better to do."

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  64. I for one would like to watch my money grow in the bank than flushed down the toilet. The BPSB has gotten along for a hundred years or at least many decades without a PI person, why now? The wash is coming clean in the sheriff's department, it might as well come clean in the BPSB system too! We are surrounded by crooked politicians and you fools wont vote for the underdog to get rid of them. This parish deserves what it gets. Hell, if Edwin Edwards moved to the parish and ran for some type of seat, you all would vote for him.

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  65. I do not see anything very recent on this blog. I would love to see it updated because someone may have the info I'm looking for.
    Yes, Sonja was hired as PR to push the 3 proposals for BPSB to fund needed growth and teacher salaries (we've not had one in 5 years). As we all now know, 2 of the 3 proposals were narrowly defeated. I believe this is the first time in more than 30 years that I am aware of that Bossier voters have said "no" to their schools. So....does Sonja get a 2/3 pay cut?

    And just what is her salary? I'm sure it's far more than the average teacher's salary. And I might also mention there are literally dozens of teachers/administrators who immediately come to mind who are far better public speakers than she is.

    In these times of money being so tight, how in Heaven's name does any intelligent person justify creating a PR position? Don't even get me started on all those graduation/behavioral/academic "coaches" positions! Sadly, BPSB has lost sight of who is working in the trenches and who does the hardest and most important job for our children!

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