Who Are the Players Involved in the TCAPS Controversy?

There are a lot of people involved in the ongoing TCAPS controversy. Let’s get to know them:

Sue Kelly

TCAPS Board President and appears to be the driving force behind Ann Cardon’s ouster; referenced the police at the 10/11 board meeting, but it’s unclear if she was threatening Erica Moon Mohr or the members of the peanut gallery; sources report that she wants to fill Larry Inman’s Michigan House of Representatives seat.

Doris Ellery

Former TCAPS board member. She retired just before the s. hit the fan.

Matt Anderson

TCAPS board member. Tries to play both sides, but ran as a block with Kelly and the others, and consistently votes with them.

Pamela Forton

TCAPS board member and retired teacher from Central High School. Backs Kelly.

Jeff Leonhardt

TCAPS board member and retired social studies teacher from East Middle School. Backs Kelly.

Jane Klegman

TCAPS board member. Backs Kelly. Rants about Trump on Facebook.

Erica Moon Mohr

TCAPS board member and leader of the opposition; ran as part of the TEAM5TCAPS group with the intent of ousting Paul Soma, the lone TEAM5 member to win a seat on the board.

Jim Pavelka

Newly installed interim superintendent of TCAPS. May just be a figurehead given that he’s coming out of retirement for the gig.

**Couldn’t find a photo of Jim Pavelka, so here is a photo of former ABC Bachelor candidate Jake Pavelka**

Jeffrey Butler

Attorney who advises TCAPS; told Erica Moon Mohr to stand down under penalty of law at the 10/11 board meeting – it was something you’d expect out of a starring-no-one-you’ve-ever-heard-of, straight-to-DVD legal comedy. Obviously going to be named Cooley Law School alumnus of the year.

Jame McCall

Associate superintendent; Soma and Kelly yes man; was a finalist for the superintendent position originally despite lacking the credentials of others. Rumored to have been waiting in the wings to take over Ann Cardon’s empty chair, but was not named after public outroar. Also, the only person in the world named Jame.

Ann Cardon

Ousted – I mean mutually-agreed resigned — former superintendent of TCAPS. Lasted less than 80 days despite relocating for the position.

Paul Soma

Retired TCAPS superintendent. Called the inquiry into the Homeschool Partnership a violation of parental civil rights. Now works for the company that sold TCAPS bonds.

Grant Chandler

Executive director of MI Excel. TCAPS paid him for something to do with the superintendent search. He’s also involved with TCAPS to implement “The Blueprint,” which is some kind of district-wide plan to make TCAPS great again. He’s under investigation by the Michigan Department of Education. Platitudes that don’t really mean anything are his specialty. His podcast reminds me of multi-level marketing motivational tapes.

Chris Parker

Former TCAPS associate superintendent who resigned from TCAPS to go work for MI Excel and Grant Chandler.

Source: https://www.traverseticker.com/news/tcaps-associate-superintendent-resigns/

Larry Inman

Local representative to the Michigan House of Representatives. About to stand trial for bribery. Arranged for an 11th hour $700,000 pork payment in order to help TCAPS avoid liability for the Homeschool Partnership funding scam. Besties with Paul Soma.

Wayne Schmidt

Local Michigan State Senator. Chairs the Michigan Department of Education Appropriations Committee, but says he hasn’t read the Student Research Finance Collaborative. Has been silent about the TCAPS upset as well as about Larry Inman’s federal charges. Larry Inman holds his old seat.

Grant Parsons

Local attorney who has spoken at board meetings.

Allyson McBride-Culver

Traverse City Education Association (teacher’s union) president. Backs Kelly/Soma, and why wouldn’t she, Kelly and Soma arranged for big raises for the union while they were still under contract. McBride-Culver says that the Homeschool Partnership count fraud was only about “[A] small pocket of vengeful individuals who wanted and worked to see Mr. Soma fail.” According to McBride-Culver, if you support the inquiry into the Homeschool Partnership count fraud, you are one of the “rotten people.” She calls the TEAM5 group the “forgotten 5.” (Jane Klegman “liked” her comments.)

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11 thoughts on “Who Are the Players Involved in the TCAPS Controversy?”

  1. Man, what is your deal with Cooley Law? I suspect you’re either an alum yourself attempting to deflect identification or a snooty UM Law grad. (“Snooty UM Law grad” is redundant of course. I am one, so I should know.) Cooley, UM, Harvard… they’re all just selling degrees. Get over it. If you want to make fun of someone in this piece, try Wayne Schmidt’s sneakers-and-suit combo. I know he did it for charity, but that doesn’t explain his choice of sneakers. For shame, sir.

    1. LOL, you’re not fooling anyone, Jeff. Don’t be salty just because you have to share the Cooley Law (motto: We Take Anyone With a Pulse and Moderate Credit Score) Lifetime Achievement Award with their other distinguished alumni, Michael Cohen.

      1. If only I was Jeff Butler! What a dream, to have a whole schoolboard over which to (inappropriately) lord my (likely not quite legal) opinions and influence.

  2. In recent years, the average school bar passage rate of Cooley law school has been about 50%.[38] 53% of graduates passed the Michigan bar exam on their first attempt in July 2017, well below the 83% average for other Michigan law schools

  3. I am not shocked that Sue Kelly is acting in such a manner. In 2000 I rented a condo from her and came home one day to find an eviction on my door. No late rent payments, no complaints during my rental time and I had 2 children under age 10. If she had just given me a phone call and had a direct conversation it would have been so much more well received. Not her way. Her way is to slink around behind other’s backs and do her dirty work in a shady way that is not respectful of anyone except serving herself.

  4. Yikes. The union president’s comments are deeply misguided and inappropriate. Clearly, the district made an error / fudged #’s … I have no firsthand knowledge if it was willful or not. Either way, the state’s investigation of the matter found a problem and determined the district received funds it needed to repay. Ms. McBride-Culver’s concern is with people with issues about the program’s compliance? Picking on Mr. Soma? WTH?!! This is her big picture view? That woman supports non-compliance? She needs to go along with quite a few of the others – drain that swamp!

    1. Ms. McBride-Culver needs to be reminded of the MEA’s vision:

      “The mission of the MEA is to ensure that the education of our students and the working environments of our members are of the highest quality.”

      Despite this, when Soma was under investigation in connection with complaints from district employees her statement to the board was, “The morale and professional respect for teachers by the executive team is the best it has been in 20 years. This is a direct result of a collaborative relationship built and fostered under Paul Soma’s leadership.”
      Reference: https://www.traverseticker.com/news/tcaps-investigation-continues-as-soma-contract-negotiations-loom/

      Uhhhh, really? Lady, some of the people you purport to represent may have had their own complaints about Soma’s alleged harassment and bullying. Kind of sets a tone, eh? You teachers with complaints about Mr. Soma better just pipe down. Yikes – no ethics.

    2. One more remark – Play the video from the 10/17/19 board meeting. Watch Sue Kelly’s face as she calls Ms. McBride Culver’s name for the very first public comment. Big, big smile. Is that because Ms. Culver is reading a statement prepared in part by Sue Kelly? Her face!

      I hope those who are organizing the recall campaign are receiving some good guidance on the process (I’m sure they are all over it). As they may know, the language has to be clear as to what violations have been committed – or it will get tossed.

  5. “Big raises for the union” equals a 1.5% raise. A cost of living raise for 2019 is 3%. So yes, the “big raise” teachers will be getting is half of COLA. I’m not complaining–I’m happy to get any raise–but please don’t misrepresent the facts.

  6. I appreciate this guide to the many players involved. However, it would be very helpful if you would provide it in an alternate form. Maybe a large cartoon drawing, or playing cards (with bubble gum)?


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