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February 26, 2016





I wanted to find out more about Dr. Skelly and came upon this gem in the Palo Alto online news.

I was looking to see where he came from, what else he's done, who else he's screwed over…..and I didn't have to look very far. While there were some supporters of his 7 year stint in Palo Alto (the words were kind and I want to know where that man they have described went) there were many who were THRILLED he left. He was deeply criticized for his lack of transparency. Anyone surprised?
Being a Burlingame resident of over 35 years and a BHS graduate (class of 1995) and a proud student of Nelly's, I am horrified and so so saddened this person has come in and allowed Yim to start this awful chain of events ultimately resulting in this asinine transfer.
This man needs to be called out and called out now. He is a fake and a fraud and must NOT be allowed to come in to OUR TOWN, OUR SCHOOL and dismantle our school like this. It is obvious he has turned his back on BHS and it's students and teachers. He must be called out and asked point blank, "What are you thinking? Why would you purposely send an accomplished school rich with heart and tradition into a downward spiral while you strip away the fabric of what has made it so great? "

I was at the blackout rally and watched as he smiled his smug smile and told the kids what they wanted to hear. I stood by and watched their faces light up when they felt he showed up to listen to them. He disgusted me that day and he disgusts me now. Call him out for all to see who this person is. Will the SMUHSD be the 2nd district he'll be forced to resign from?

Yes, the above mentioned article did show support for him, they were many more who praised and literally rejoiced in his departure. I'll leave you with this quote,
"My family and many neighbors are rejoicing in this news! We will now look better in the eyes of other districts in the Bay Area who scoffed at us for not ridding our district of him long ago. Thank god he finally showed some dignity and did the right thing."

Noelle Dean Brosnan
class of 1995




Dr. Skelly,

I have read about your concerns for attracting and retaining high quality teachers to the SMUHSD and I support your efforts to enhance our schools. I have also read about our concerns about this teacher at BHS

I have one question:

In the headlines I read about a teacher who has touched the lives of thousands of students, parents, and members of the community.

He has received over 2350 signatures of support for his job and the comments in support of his teaching bring tears to my eyes.

He actually lives in the community where he teaches and has coached his students in a variety of sports.

He runs an outstanding extra curricular program for GIFTED students, but makes sure that these programs are available to all students.

The student comments I read state that he changes lives and is a central figure in the foundation of their choices as adults.

Here is my one question…

What exactly are you looking for in a teacher?

I thought my father was has hard to please.

i think you know the right thing to do...

Steve Kassel

Thank you Mr. Kassel.
For your own welfare do not comment on this site again.

Posted by: hollyroller@hotwire.com | March 03, 2016 at 04:49 PM

Is that a threat? It's very easy to determine your IP address.

You think I'm concerned that you'll disclose that I lost my EA license in 2009? I'm not. It's public record and I am again an Enrolled Agent, licensed by the US Treasury Department.

Am I concerned that you'll disclose that I lost my home in 2012? Nope. It's public record.

Or might you "expose" negative comments about me on complaint websites? I know about them all and 90% are nonsense or false.

Wait. Maybe you'll disclose that I was once 1st Vice Chair of the San Mateo County Republican Party. There's lot of meaty stuff that I did including run for office.

A threat? On Burlingame Voice? You're pathetic and disgusting.

dewey cheatam

What's up with the above?
This thread is getting strange.


What happens when it is discovered that members of the English Department are openly discussing student’s academic and personal lives and then going online to collect information about them and their parents? The information about students and parents are collected and then used against the students at school. This also includes accusing students of cheating when there is no evidence, but used as a power game.

Why kind of unethical, sick and twisted people would do this to a teenager?


The only answer to your question is those people should never have become teachers, and I hope beyond hope that none of them are parents themselves.
I just don't get it, no matter how hard I try to wrap my head around the issues at BHS. Again I ask, where is the board and why aren't they overseeing both the sup and the teaching staff?
I'll say it again; it is a travesty.

Break the stranglehold

Steve, relax, I think that Holy was just concerned about your posting both your real name and your concerns on this forum that you essentially can't delete.

You'd like private schools as an employer better anyways. Yeah, maybe they didn't like your GOP affiliation, and yeah MANY Burlingamers especially among the teachers will lie and backstab if you aren't on their same "team", as they call it.

So much for freedom of speech, association, diversity of perspective, debate of issues, and not to mention the spirit of intellectualism. This is why my parents put my sister and I in top private schools starting in 6th grade through grad school - the B.S. of the gov't school machine, it's culture and its proven dysfunction.

Peter Garrison

"...put my sister and me in top private schools..."


BHS Open House with lots of Open Comments

Parents are extremely angry about the transfer and show no signs of slowing down. The comments are flowing without filters. The see things at BHS as very bad and getting rid of Nelson is a step in the wrong direction.

Who is Karshan and why does he accuse students of cheating?

Why doesn't Karshan read any papers or student work?

Why are parents hiring lawyers to deal with Karshan?

Who is the failed Chemistry teacher hired by Yim and why did she get rid of the good Chemistry teacher that the student's loved?

Parents were very pissed. One parent commented that the family paid "thousands of dollars" in tutors because this person would not teach the students.Students needed Chem tutors to teach them the material as this guy refused.

Big discussion question --what about our younger students? I doubt that this is over. A group of pissed off Burlingame parents... is an angry mob that does not back down.

If Yim is gone then why does Nelson need to leave? SMUHSD Board, you were elected to represent the people... and the people are starting to raise their voices.

A reminder from above. How was this woman allowed by the Board to stay at BHS for an additional year?


No it is not a threat.
I am sorry you took it that way.

Break the stranglehold

I'd also to append to my post(s) above.

My grandparents were originally all teachers, my parents were originally all teachers, many of my friends are teachers or professors now.

And, I support finding a way to pay teachers, especially new teachers much more because we want to attract the best and the brightest to the field. It can be done with right, common sense political leaders (ala don't waste $67B gone $100B on the HSR that people aren't really going to use that much).

Look, having lived in Burlingame for 8 years, and having had my 2 children in Burlingame Public Schools (and in the GATE program with Nelson), and having been appointed to Burlingame charity boards, and having worked mostly with public and private schools professionally for 10 years, I have some perspective on the matter, regardless of the rants by Fake Bruce.

And, sorry to disappoint Fake Bruce, but I'm definitely not miserable, nor poor, nor unsuccessful as you attempt to depict in your Limosine Liberal way. Although, you're right, trying to make a living doing work for schools makes it hard to purchase a mansion, doesn't it?


Principal Di IS an accomplished and nice person. However, as I stated above, not every person is a born leader, and she made a big mistake with the dance and other leadership/management issues, not doubt.

...and that includes the Former Chair of the San Mateo Union School District http://www.smuhsd.org/board, Mark, whom I also know well. He's another accomplished, very smart guy, but unfortunately with power has come the disrespect of others that don't share his same perspective or whom question the school board ala Senator Jerry Hill's public scolding of this very same board for the same reason (lack of respect for other's perspectives).

And, I know, the parents of Burlingame know how to RALLY for what they want. Big Kudos for your passion now. I've volunteered and donated to many, many school fundraisers. I've invest time and money and risked sharing my perspective to tens of thousands of peninsula newspaper readers, to try to serve my community and influence it in a positive manner. Burlingamers are doers! If only the voter turn out could regularly be better than only 30%?

The crux of the issue is a fundamental misunderstanding of priorities and purpose. Public schools and their leaders and boards and unions don't believe that they exist to primarily educate students. They don't believe that the parents and students are their primary stakeholders.

Look at the primary leader of this gov't culture, Hillary Clinton, right?

"How do we end up at a point where we are so negative about the most important Non-Family Enterprise in the raising of the next generation which is how our kids are educated?" - Hillary Clinton


It's a NON family enterprise. So, you can see the resulting lack of concern about mere parents' and students' perspectives, as even Jerry Hill remarkably pointed out.

So, you see, the Dem Hierarchy from [Billary] on down to Jerry Brown,The Cal Teachers Union HQ in Burlingame to the San Mateo Union High School District Board is all on the "Same Team".

You don't want to know what happens if your question their "Super-majority" power...here's a hint, they'll call The Mayor's buddies on Broadway Ave to come deliver a "message" to you.

Can you spell the word F-E-L-O-N-S?

Yep, and they too are part of "The Same Team".

Perhaps it's time to change all that, don't you think?

Break the stranglehold

And, on a positive note, there's a BHS fundraiser on Saturday, March 19th.



What has become of this small town? The mayor and her cronies and the school boards both SMUHSD and BSD are the decision makers for both the future of this town, the school districts and our children. How can those people have been elected and in charge? Again, people need to rally together to make changes and change this travesty.

Glenn Mendelson

I believe that there are individuals, besides Principal Yim, which include some teachers, members of the BHS Administration and employees of the District who hold a vendetta with Mr. Nelson for past actions that he took as a student advocate. I believe they have a vindictive agenda to have him transferred. It is possible that the Superintendent and/or the Board are not fully aware of this and may be unwitting participants in this scheme. It is also my belief that if we can prove that Mr. Nelson’s transfer is a result of a vendetta, there is a chance that the decision for his transfer can be reversed. Instead, if those hostile individuals are unhappy with Mr. Nelson, maybe they should consider leaving. I recently submitted a public records request to the District to see if I can collect more information to prove my theory and to get the names of all those involved. I also spoke on the matter at this Thursday’s District Board meeting. The Board's approval of Mr. Nelson's transfer was originally on the Agenda under Item N.1. "Approval of Personnel Actions, but it was "pulled" at the last minute thanks to a sensitive Board member who knew it was "open house" night at the schools which prevented Mr. Nelson and many of the public to be in attendance. Therefore, please plan to come to the next District Board Meeting Thursday, March 24th at 7pm in case his transfer is put back on the agenda and voice your support for Mr. Nelson staying at Burlingame High. BHS students deserve to have him! I want to give Superintendent Skelly and the Board every opportunity to learn what really has been going on and to reverse their decision to transfer Mr. Nelson to Aragon. United we stand! Citizens for Mr. Nelson and a better BHS! Glenn Mendelson, BHS Class of '73. Please feel free to call me at 650-759-5802.

Cathy Baylock

Thank you for the update regarding last night's board meeting. My hat goes off to the unnamed board member who seems to recognize the need for transparency and public participation in this agenda item. Would you mind sharing the name of this hero board member so I might thank him or her directly?

Break the stranglehold


You're right! How could a beautiful town like Burlingame or any other town that seems A-OK fall prey to the worst of the worst (no, not 'Republicans', real felons in mansions folks).

All groups admit that they need successors. All groups admit that they need charismatic leaders.

Whether it's a political party, a faith-based group, a company, or a charity - groups scout out charismatic folks to represent their interests and to keep them vibrant and successful.

BUTT, not every group has a noble interest. And, very charismatic folks will get wheeled out and prepped and stamped on their forehead with "endorsements", even from some politicians that are now in jail...and of course a few more that should be.

And, those prepped folks get elected.

Then, they're expected to deliver to the constituencies, right?


Cathy Baylock

Here is the latest article from the SF Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/burlingame-teacher-faces-transfer-amid-conflict-principal/

Bruce Dickinson

Well well well, looks like old man Dickinson was right yet again! I gotta tell ya, I can sniff a power struggle just by knowing a just a few details but yet connecting dots much better than certain gadflies bragging about lunch dates! The issues between Nelson and the principal went way before "the Dance" as I mentioned is several posts and the incident was a tripwire used by Mr. Nelson to further the cause of making things difficult for Yim (and was 100% justified, in my humble opinion).

From the posts by some above, if there is in fact a retaliation issue with certain teachers and student grades, this is a big big problemo and the economic ramifications for SMUHSD are tremendous. If retaliation can be proven, then so can the "opportunity costs" of not getting into the right colleges due to grade manipulation. This spells very bad news for SMUHSD if in fact this were the case. Bruce Dickinson hopes that teachers have moved beyond this type of behavior but if they haven't, they had better get used to contemplating colors of parachutes, if ya know what I mean?


"Skelly noted the level of community engagement around the issue showed how much passion parents and students feel for their school."

“I care deeply about Burlingame High School and want the kids to get the best education they can, as does practically everybody I’ve talked to about this controversy,” Skelly said.

Why is Skelly talking and not listening.

The parents, students, and Alumni have written, emailed, and protested telling Skelly and the Board what they want.

The expenses for the SMUHSD are just starting to mount community members are demanding information on teacher activity and more investigations. Parents who have already hired lawyers to get improper grades reversed are now looking to reclaim expenses as this was all part of the "game" being played by these teachers.

What is the value of losing a place as a Valedictorian due to a rigged grading system where your score in the class was not based on your work, but the type of family the student came from.

BHS Parents have long stated that they are afraid to protest or complain about teachers because of the fear of retaliation. This event has dropped the fear and the parents are out en masse.

The Board is now hearing this mantra loud and clear and the parents and community don't plan on stopping until they get answers.

The comments coming out of this issue now include a more widespread infestation of unethical, unprofessional, and unbelievable activities by BHS teachers against students and parents.

If (when) the SM Grand Jury comes in to investigate, the rats will start to jump ship. Skelly and the Board need to get out in front of this issue as the facts don't support what they are selling.

“I care deeply about Burlingame High School and want the kids to get the best education they can"... If you really care about BHS, then listen to the people who live and attend the school because they are telling you what they want.

Public schools exist to serve the students and parents, not the other way around.

Bruce Dickinson

Listen, fellas, let Dr. Dickinson have my own teach-in as it were. Strictly speaking in hypotheticals, mind you, as I'm only going by information reported on this website and articles, I've said it before and will say it again: you have got to adopt what appears to be a disruption strategy. Threatening to have BHS secede by putting it on the ballot and maybe engaging certain teachers to support the split-off of BHS from SMUHSD will be a wake-up call that will be a lot bigger than the district defending their decision to transfer Mr. Nelson. Couple this with lawsuits filed against the district and individual teachers (as mentioned by posters above), and the pressure will mount. The district and teachers allegedly engaged in grade manipulation may be pitted in a litigation money spending contest of the District and certain individual teachers vs Burlingame and Hillsborough parents. Let me put it this way, SMUHSD and the teachers will not win the spending and political battle.

Community resources and political pressure are infinite in comparison, especially when you are talking about some very affluent community members and our own council members, some of which appear to have children that attend the public schools in Burlingame. With the power of passing ordinances, and of coercion, life can be made very very difficult for SMUHSD, by the city councils of Burlingame and Hillsborough..that is, if people are willing to go the political lengths to disrupt and fight for what is right.

Of course, all the allegations against the teachers, admin, and the SMUHSD need to be true and provable. It will be very hard for ANY party/opponent to fight the truth.

a supermajority creates bad outcomes for society.

Fake Bruce, don't confuse the editors' edits or posts or opinions as being 100% correct or somehow 100% The Authority in Burlingame or in the world - that would be a highly deluded of you.

And, the editors might think that they know more about any given topic, or about Burlingame, but I nor they nor you have any monopoly on wisdom.

I will state that none of my posts have any non-sense or false statements whatsoever. The portion of my post above that was deleted was completely on topic. I speak and write based what I've observed myself, not on hearsay.

Ultimately, the problems that are created with a "supermajority" of ANY group (group think, in group / out group bias, which can lead to the abuse of the minority group's constitutional and legal rights), does indeed create the culture in California and in Burlingame that can cause problems in leadership of the school board.

Based on who I've seen Joe hang out with at the cigar dinners (yes, you were there quit pretending), perhaps he's too close to the biggest problem of Burlingame to objectively serve as the online "judge" of what's appropriate, true, and on topic to the community's and the state's issues.


Sorry. You are delusional. But I will leave your false statement for everyone to read.

Your earlier comment also used a too thinly veiled obscenity which got it partially deleted. Please don't do that again either.

Steve Kassel

Thank you, holyroller. I appreciate it.

To some of the other posters, I wonder how many of the people here attend events at BHS and are really involved with the school?

I am there FREQUENTLY for athletics, music, drama, etc. It seems that some of the posters have some kind of vendetta that frankly makes no sense.

No question that I had a serious disagreement with the Principal, but do not translate that into disliking the school.

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