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December 10, 2022


Kelly S

Does anyone have an update about Chris Mount-Benites? Its been almost two months since he went on leave.


It's been very quiet. I haven't heard anything.

V Schmidt

Crickets I am hearing crickets. What is going on with Chris - is he going to return. Can his leave of absence document be made available to public? Does it have an end date for his leave? Someone must know what is going on. Is there a search committee to find his replacement? I would think Kevin Nelson has some insight?


According to the paper, Chris Mount-Benites is not coming back. The article was sort of vague on it all. Mostly it talked about his financial achievements.


Here's the link to the DJ piece:


Galatolo's Lawyer- Corruption-"He was well respected, leading the Board to trust his judgment”.

School Boards consider the Superintendent to be their “only” employee and their work is based on the length of their contract.

Boards become "too trusting" of their employee and turn a blind eye to the negligence, until its too late.

The rapid demise of local superintendents would be an interesting article for the local news, or a Grand Jury investigation as there seems to be “public interest” issues (not personnel issues) beneath each of these departures. With the exception of criminal charges, there is no prevention to stop or recourse to correct the destructive habits of these leaders. They just resign and pick up another job somewhere else.

Former Chancellor Galatolo is getting hit with a felony, maybe if others had the same fate, they world think twice before acting.

These are very costly moves in employment transition in terms of the loss of sunk costs for programs initiated by these leaders that will now be “tanked” as well as the search costs for a new leader and then the implementation of new programs.

During the Board Zoom Call with the search firm to replace Skelly, one Board member got caught (on a hot mic) stating, “we need someone who does not hold grudges!”

The demise of four local public-school leaders in one year would offer an insight into the local Board-Leadership relationships.

San Mateo Community College- Ron Galatolo

Sequoia Union High School District- Darnise Williams

Burlingame Elementary School District- Chris Mount-Benites

San Mateo Union High School District- Kevin Skelly

Galatolo has been charged by the SM District Attorney for public corruption charges

“The district’s lawyers assert the Board of Trustees had no idea of Galatolo’s transgressions or his close ties to contractors. He was well respected in the district and often won awards for his work, leading them to trust his judgment”.

Darnise Williams- took the $299,00 pay-out settlement to leave the position upon request of the Board. (the Board should be investigated on this one)

Chris Mount-Benites is “resigning at the end of the year,” as this means that he is completing his contract while on leave.

Kevin Skelly was holding a two-year $329,000 per year contract extension (August 2021) pushing him out to the end of the 23-24 school year.

Skelly then abruptly announced his “retirement” in January 2022 as he would complete the year but would not continue on with the two additional years. Skelly was leaving behind a substantial amount of money as well as the lucrative additions to his retirement.

SMUHSD Board minutes show that Skelly “returned” and was “approved” as substitute teacher in the district, which makes no sense at all. Skelly is currently an interim superintendent in the Reed School District of Larkspur making $100 per hour. Why take $100 per hour instead of $329,000 per year?


With the demise of local journalism we don't get the investigations that would make for interesting reading -- and shed light on shady goings-on.

Galatolo's Lawyer- Sleeping Boards Problems Mount

SMCCD's Eugene Whitlock -the Whistleblower was quietly "run out" and then payed $2.3 million

• $336,028 was paid to Whitlock last year as severance;

• $971,986 is for an alleged physical injury;

• and $971,986 is for alleged “emotional distress, reputational harm and other intangible injuries.”

Mr. Whitlock then reported these actions to the SM County District Attorney.

These unchecked leaders have power, the public's tax money, and no oversight.

Mr. Whitlock is a lawyer and knows his rights. He is the one who blew the whistle.

He deserves the payout. The Board(s) was (are) asleep....

Whitlock Settlement Agreement

P Garrison

More Burlingame School District news -

Many Teachers put in notice that they are not returning next year.

BIS Principal asked to resign.
BIS Vice Principal is resigning.

A new principal at one of the elementary schools was asked to leave after serving less than 1 school year.

Peter Garrison

PS- FYI not the usual Garrison posting this news…


Aren't the notices something of a standard CYA move just in case? Don't most of the teachers not get pink slips in the end? Principal and Vice Principals are different.

Mo Money $$ - No Problems

Are there enough life boats?

March 15 is the date schools must inform non-tenured (and some permanent) "employees they are being "let go" with an option to resign.

The statements is that teachers are indicating "not returning," this is a different statement.

The district may have used returning to work document for a "head count" on staffing.

Most any credentialed teacher who lives on the peninsula is in a position to demand higher salaries because the are here and other teachers can't afford the rent.

The BIS staff who are leaving may have landed one of the many jobs posted including the more lucrative high school jobs in the Bay Area.

A teacher with only 5 years experience would get a $25,000 pay increase to move to a similar position in the high school.

Year over year that cash adds up...


Dear Burlingame Community,

Thank you for your input on our Superintendent Search at last night’s board meeting. After considering the community and the board’s input, we feel we have incredible talent and leadership within our district. We believe it is important to have a candidate dedicated to our community, who understands our history, knows where we need to head, and has the drive and ability to lead us there. We will now proceed with interviewing an internal candidate. This will take place within the next 10 days. We will share updates with you as we have them.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue to provide input on the qualities, characteristics, and qualifications you feel are important for the next Superintendent while we remain in our selection process. We have another board meeting tonight, you are welcome to provide public comment in person, or you may submit a written statement by 12 pm today for tonight’s meeting at [email protected].

You can view tonight’s board meeting agenda here.

BSD Board of Trustees


looks like the BSD Board of Trustees is going about to get tangled up in Unfair Hiring Practice lawsuit.

From the above message they are only planning to interview an Internal Candidate. This is believed to be Marla Silversmith.

Most question if the Board of Directors is just taking the easy way out. After all they always all agree on everything.

BSD Board please provide a list of external candidates and that reasons why they are not being considered.

A total inside job, way a failure and embarrassment.

Expect more teachers and staff to resign.

Galatolo's Lawyer- Can Local School Board Trustees be sued?=Asking for a City.

Can School Board Members be sued for negligence? Asking for a city!

The SMCCD Trustees knew nothing of Galatolo’s fraud until an intervention by the District Attorney. The Trustees were fooled and are now fully participating with the prosecution of Galatolo.

The Burlingame School District Trustees have been aware of their issues with a Superintendent for a year and have no contingency plans for leadership as teachers resign and administrators are asked to resign. The cost of living in Burlingame and the highly competitive market for teachers and administrators (where other districts pay more than BSD) could leave Burlingame with a long-term problem of providing tenure to mediocre teachers. The long-term impact to Burlingame schools will be substantial.

The remaining three (two) SMUHSD Trustees were active participants in the prior administration’s negligence and have enabled hundreds of thousands of dollars in “damage.”

The SMUHSD lost eight administrators last year who resigned or stepped down as to not serve with the prior administration. The loss of trust and morale was an even greater expense. The last-minute departure of Burlingame’s Principal Belzer was direct damage to BHS and should have sent a “shock wave” through the Board, who instead continued with the cover up.

There was a fear among administrators that if they spoke up, they would be removed from their positions. Hence the rapid destruction of morale and a departure of ethics.

The two new SMUHSD Trustees are quickly discovering the dysfunctional environment of the prior Trustees (who sat and thought collectively since the mid-2000’s) and their resistance to assuming oversight and responsibility for the negligence, preventing a clean path forward and a positive environment is very obvious from watching a Board Meeting.

Trustees who represent Burlingame, need to step up FOR the interests of Burlingame, accept responsibility for their actions and correct the errors that have transpired.

Schools have three types of problems: Past Problems, Current Problems, and Future Problems. Ignoring the past and current issues are what causes the future issues. Ignorance is bliss… until there is not money, no employees, and not morale in what should be VERY high performing school districts.

Residents who can afford private schools are sending their children to private schools, which removes additional funding and support from the local public schools. One local family with a strong financial ability simply stated, “where my children go to school, so goes my financial support and donations.”

If the lifeboat has a leak and is taking on water, it does not matter how fast you paddle, the damage is going to make the boat sink.

Acknowledge and fix the damage so that the schools can move forward.

Burlingame Trustees need to put Burlingame (and its tax dollars) first. Let the other Trustees represent their own districts.

If the Trustees could be sued and not just removed from office (loss of a stipend and health benefits), it might make these decision makers think twice about their oversight responsibilities.


What issues in particular have the trustees been aware of?

"The Burlingame School District Trustees have been aware of their issues with a Superintendent for a year and have no contingency plans for leadership as teachers resign and administrators are asked to resign"

Galatolo's Lawyer- Trustees and Information

These issues do not manifest overnight.

The former Superintendent takes an undertermined leave of abscence in December and then comments on the insolvency of the district in his resignation video in March.

If the Trustees do not know about these issues, then the question to the Board is, why don't you know?

The SM Daily Journal reported on December 10, 2022 that the Superintendent was taking a leave of absence for an undetermined amount of time.

Why did the departing Superintendent include a statement of "the financial insolvency" of the district in his video to the Burlingame community.

February 17, 2023

..."every teacher within our association is grateful that his tenure is complete."

The Burlingame Education Association, a union representing teachers, said in an email statement it was unsure why Mount-Benites resigned or about the financial insolvency mentioned in his video to the Burlingame community.

“However, every teacher within our association is grateful that his tenure is complete. We want to publicly praise the integrity, professionalism, and positivity of the district office staff who have gone above and beyond to bring the district back to its proper course,” the statement said.


Insider hire and quickly too.............

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