Letter to the editor: Waukee school woes a ‘learning opportunity’

The Waukee Community School District Board of Education is composed of, front row from left, Directors Lori Lyon and Mary Scheve, Board Vice President Wendy Liskey and Board President Susan Bunz; second row from left, Directors Jerry Ripperger, Ethan Huisman and David Cunningham. Photo courtesy Waukee CSD

To the editor:

I am writing this as an open letter to residents of the Waukee Community School District and to Iowa legislators for the New Year.

We recently witnessed a series of shameful events due to lack of leadership by the Waukee Community School District — criminal investigations, a state audit uncovering wasteful spending, lawsuits, wrongful employee terminations and legal fees in excess of $1 million for failure to address an ethically challenged COO.

This impacted the district’s residents and eroded trust in the school board and superintendent.

Three dedicated employees lost their careers in coming forward to report waste, fraud and malfeasance. A greater insult to residents and parents of children in the district were the arrogance, acceptance and failure to deal with problems spawned by Eric Rose.

Rose created a toxic environment, taking revenge on his accusers while the school board and superintendent turned a blind eye and gave him two raises even as he displayed his unfitness for his position.

The board has shown little responsibility for their actions, and they now appear to challenge the state audit by making excuses for their fiduciary failures.

I’m sure Mr. Rose wasn’t alone in his actions. He had to have some help or support or connivance. Time will tell.

I urge all state legislators to mount a bipartisan effort to amend the Iowa Whistle Blower Law, enforce stiff penalties for those abusing their positions and extend protections to those who rightfully report policy violations and wrongdoings.

Let Waukee’s failure be a learning opportunity. Call or write your legislators. Let them know this can no longer be afforded or tolerated.

Tom Mazza


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