Hinojosa bows out
by Hannah Morgan
February 04, 2014 12:06 AM | 15518 views | 75 75 comments | 85 85 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa listens as several concerned parents speak about how they feel he handled the snow storm last Tuesday. Hinojosa announced his resignation from the Cobb school system later in the meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa listens as several concerned parents speak about how they feel he handled the snow storm last Tuesday. Hinojosa announced his resignation from the Cobb school system later in the meeting.
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MARIETTA — Cobb Schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa surprised the school board Monday night by announcing he was retiring and moving back to Texas after May 31.

“Having been an educator for 35 years, a superintendent for 20 years, an administrator for 27 years, my wife and I decided it’s time for me to quit doing this kind of work on a regular basis. I notified the board of my intent to retire at the end of May,” Hinojosa said.

While he has yet to sign a contract with another organization, Hinojosa plans to accept a “very lucrative position” as a senior vice president of a Chicago-based national education consulting firm.

Hinojosa plans to return to his home in Dallas where he can be with his family, which includes his wife, a 91-year-old mother and an 84-year-old mother-in-law.

“As much as I love Cobb, I love my family more, and I think Mama is waiting for me with some tamales so I will be very excited to have some good Mexican food for the rest of my life,” he said.

Board Chairwoman Kathleen Angelucci said she was surprised with Hinojosa’s announcement.

Hinojosa told the board he was retiring just before Monday’s meeting began, Angelucci said.

She said the news was unanticipated and she was not sure what the next step would be in hiring a new superintendent.

Hinojosa was named superintendent in June 2011.

Before coming to Cobb, he was superintendent for the Dallas Independent School District.

Last March, the board voted 5-2 to extend his contract through Dec. 31, 2014, with Angelucci and board member David Banks voting against.

The MDJ reported in March his annual salary was about $277,000.

Hinojosa said he has given the board ample time, roughly 5 months, to search for his replacement.

The decision to leave Cobb was not affected by recent criticism he received from parents and residents upset with how he handled the transportation of students during last Tuesday’s snowstorm, he said.

Hinojosa is confident the Cobb School District’s budget will be in good hands upon his departure.

“I had some heartburn when I made this decision over the holidays because of the tremendous budget deficits that we were facing,” he said. “But because a lot of people in the audience, the board members, made a little bit of noise in Cobb, that never happens in Cobb, but because people made a lot of noise I think people at the Capitol listened and the governor has issued a very appropriate start to a good budget.”

Brumby, Mountain View selected for rebuilds

Nearly 40 parents, residents, teachers and students packed the meeting and pleaded with its members to select their school to be rebuilt with SPLOST IV funds.

They watched as board member Scott Sweeney recommended

purchasing 35 acres on Terrell Mill Road for about $9.4 million, a reccomendation approved 7-0. The land belongs to the Hill family and is broken up into seven different parcels, said Chris Ragsdale, deputy superintendent for operational support.

The board voted unanimously to rebuild Brumby Elementary School off of Powers Ferry Road, near the intersection of Terrell Mill Road, with SPLOST IV funds.

Banks then recommended the district rebuild Mountain View Elementary School off Sandy Plains Road in Marietta which was approved 6-1, with David Morgan opposed.

Comments
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anonymous
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February 05, 2014
I agree with Just Wait. All that education has become in Cobb County is give me money, give me more money, and give me even more money from both teachers and parents alike. My children were raised in East Cobb I regret that to this day. My grandchild is being raised in inter-city Atlanta, thank goodness. Teachers scream their insurance is going up, their deductibles are going up, their co-pays are going up. They are working more hours for less pay. Well, welcome off your self-proclaimed pedestal, teachers. So it is with the rest of the country. Give me your pension plan, give me your work schedule, give me your perks, and I will GLADLY accept them. With most thankful prayers of being treated so favorably. There are people out there in the world that contribute more to the upbringing of children that work for minimum wage, but they are not the cry me a river "educators" have become in Cobb County. Would $500,000 plus perks make you happy teachers? Naw, you would hand out the gimme, gimme, gimme more card. P.S. News flash: not all of us have children in school. News to you? Digest this news. The world does not revolve around you and your job is, contrary to what you prima donnas have been taught to believe, not the only important job out there to children and to society. You heard it here. Sorry to bust your over inflated balloon.
obviously upset
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February 05, 2014
Obviously, you have a miserable life and especially don't like teachers.
skgstewart
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February 05, 2014
Spend one day substituting in the school I teach in and you would say that you would not teach for $500,000.00. You don't know your head from a hole in the ground. You are the one that needs to get off your high horse. When you look at the number of hours teachers work we make less than minimum wage. Our job is to teach academics to students, not put up with the stress and nonsense that you would not even consider putting up with. We deal with students who come to school from homes where they have learned no social skills, no values, no morals. They lie, they steal, they fight, they cheat. They bring weapons to school. They disrupt, they destroy and the system is set up to protect their rights. Most of us make less than a secretary makes at an average company. Most of us make under $40,000 a year and have a Master to make that. Teachers leave the profession every year. What perks? Retirement is the only perk we get and we contribute our own money to that. We not only don't get the full summer off, contrary to popular belief we do not get paid for that time off. We get paid for 180 days. Do the math, that means we get paid for Monday holidays and a few days at Christmas, that is it. Grant it they system take our 180 days of pay and spreads the checks out over a 12 month period, which helps, but we are only get paid for 180 days.
john williams
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February 05, 2014
A lot of you have missed the BIG PICTURE. Although the current Chair Angelucci and board member Sweeney, promised to support closing MILFORD during their campaigns, NEITHER ONE I REPEAT NEITHER ONE of them even attempted to keep their promise. H. Leland was cast aside too. The way they rallied together as a community, IF, yes IF,they were an EAST COBB community, getting a new school would have been a shoe in. The BIG PICTURE is NO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WAS SELECTED ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE COUNTY TO BE REBUILT. SAD ALL THE TALK IS ABOUT Dr. H, BUT HOW DOES THE COBB BOARD OF EDUCATION CONTINUE TO SAY THAT THEY ARE FOR All of COBB STUDENTS BUT CONTINUE TO PUT THEIR SCHOOLS IN TIERS 1)EAST 2)WEST and always last 3)South Cobb area schools. Lets empower the dreams for the Future for all our children. PEOPLE START PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO WHO YOU VOTE FOR AND HOW THEY VOTE INSTEAD OF PARTY LINES.
Southsider2
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February 05, 2014
What about the new Mableton, Smyrna and Clarkdale Elementary schools? Those are all in the southern part of the county.
Irrelevant
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February 05, 2014
John - you struck a deal with Allison Bartlett, not the school board. She is long gone as is any "pull" you had in the area. You were only relevant because of your threats. You should count your blessing that at least one thing went your way. You time is up and it's time to get a real job. There's no one around that cares to listen to you whine and moan.
@southsider2
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February 06, 2014
Lasiter's new theater cost more than all of Clarkdale. Does that sound equitable to you?
Glover St Worker
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February 04, 2014
Ask how many times the Walrus went upstairs to rub elbows with staff or maybe how many rounds of golf he played last year. Makes Obama look like a casual golfer
Cobb Lifer
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February 04, 2014
Having been born in cobb County over 65 yrs ago and my children and myself educated in Cobb County schools, I have comments to several posters-

1)It would be nice to hire within, but Hinojosa's cabinet is picked by him or the previous 2-3 supers so most aren't any better that their hiring superintendent. The lineage of less than good superintendents goes back many years and their leftovers are still at the central office. Hire outside Cobb or hire one of the current principals.

2)It has been my experience that teachers may want help in elementary school, but not in middle or high school. And they definitely want help under their terms. Don't offer suggestions, just do as I say.

3)The schools in the south part of the county have been getting the shaft since at least the late 80s when McEachern was beginning its glory period and the McEachern trust fund was releasing a lot of money. The builders were building 4BR/2.5B homes where land was cheaper than West Cobb, but their buyers did not want to attend Osborne, Campbell, South Cobb or Pebblebrook because the economic & education levels of the families were lower. They wanted the more affluent families of west Cobb. So the school attendance zones were redrawn to have these subdivisions in the McEachern district. This made the situation in those schools even worse. Not a more balanced mix of economic & education levels of families. And the ball continues to roll, only now Hillgrove HS has been built and it now has more affluent families than McEachern. What goes around, comes around, but maybe not as far.

Why do ANY children have to attend schools with mold, leaking roofs and broken equipment? Repair and/or build the schools that need it. NO student should have dangerous or deficient conditions at their school, NO matter what their families education/economic level.

Yes East Cobb got the nod over the schools in the south part of the county. Is anyone surprised?
samb
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February 04, 2014
I pushed my kids thru the Cobb County School System for 18 years.....

Since they've moved on...I have noticed that the overall quality seems to have dropped.

The BoE seems more focussed on cutting lucrative insider real estate deals....building new schools where they are not really needed, and overlooking the obvious need for more schools in SouthCobb.

...

And someone needs to tell the teachers to stop whining about salaries...and start to actually teach......

"If your can't read this....BLAME a teacher."

I dont think Mr. Hinojosa did a very good job...so ....

Maybe BoE oughta hire somebody for LESS salary and demand that they make some positive results before they get a fat raise............
Pleasepleaseplease
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February 04, 2014
Please tell me Dale Gaddis is leaving too? Please? Pretty please? Did I say please? He has been here too long and bullied too many people to have any supporters. Maybe a new super will fire him, or at least move him so another area can experience his tactics. Please?
by some miracle
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February 04, 2014
Ever wonder if we could lure Lembeck from the MCSD for about 325K a year. Guess not because we've been eating our own, at all levels of the school system, for about 25 years now. Emily is too smart to serve herself up as an entree.
East Cobb Mom
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February 04, 2014
What about Randy Scamihorn as the new Superintendent? A nice guy who is smart, comes out of the schools and has the backbone to stand up for our schools, as witnessed by his dealing with the Development Authority of Cobb County. As someone else said, "Go Randy Go!"
Patrick M Thomas
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February 04, 2014
Adios! Thanks for the mess!
anonymous
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February 05, 2014
You are attributing the mess of the Cobb County school system to ONE PERSON? I bet you are one of those that give that power to Obama. ONE PERSON is responsible for the chaos? ONE PERSON? I have swamp land in the middle of the Bayou to sell you to build a house on. I am ONE PERSON that sold it to you.
Omar the Begger
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February 04, 2014
The hate mail is in full view for the world to see. No matter how good or bad a person does they will always be the most hated one as the Cobb Superintendent , so keep them cards and letters coming and vent all of your frustrations on whom ever you wish but remember one thing; when was the last time you were at a School Board meeting? And when did you give input to the board even if they did not hear you or listen to you? Just a few thoughts now that I am back on my meds.
Roush Vance
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February 04, 2014
This is what Dr. H told the the Dallas Morning News about moving back to Dallas:

"The transition will be an easy one, he said, especially since he and his wife kept an apartment and car in Dallas. 'It’s like we never completely left,' he said."

Never completely left? He took on the responsibility for over 100,000 students and nearly 15,000 staff and teachers -- and he was phoning it in.
Mr. Bigham
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February 04, 2014
Kermit Kennum left Cobb for Glynn county.

Cobb wanted him back so much,they doubled his salary as a must have to get him back.

I would take Michael Thurmond over any of the one's cobb has had in the last 40 years.

Just Wait
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February 04, 2014
Everything about the Cobb County Board of Education is dysfunctional. They have lost sight of their one obligation, to educate children. They only worry about having the finest in buildings, stadiums, and high level management. Teachers who are already some of the highest paid in the state only complain and want more. One side of the county obviously benefits more that the others. Everyone only cares about themselves and no the entire system. I pity the children.
to just wait
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February 04, 2014
You obviously know little about the economy, the school system, or teacher pay. Being highly paid for the State of Georgia is woefully over rated. Please, get a clue!
Interruptingcow
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February 04, 2014
Are you really going to insult teachers who have had pay cuts for the past five years? As the wife of a teacher, I only want him to make what he deserves. Getting "more" would equate to earning what he should before Cobb started pay cuts and furloughs. That doesn't seem unreasonable to a family who is trying to survive on less money and worse benefits each year. I agree that lots of people have their own concerns, but teachers are the front line of this system and should be paid for the hard work they put into developing these kids.
Doubting Thomas
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February 04, 2014
I understand that his new consulting job in Dallas will be to start a new Drivers' ED course called "How to drive home in the snow."
Not Again
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February 04, 2014
Hinojosa was a danger from the very beginning when he raised the salaries of his "cabinet" (read as "posse") immediately after he came on board. This bought him their allegiance to himself. And he has continued to promote them.

The fact is, remember, that he was hired after the application period was over at the time. Someone with influence brought him in over other qualified people. We have different board members now. Can you please try and interview appropriate applicants in a timely fashion?
Maury7
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February 04, 2014
good riddance! he hasn't done anything except collect an obscene salary and make a bunch of excuses! cobb needs to hire someone who knows what they are doing and clean house at the board office.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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February 04, 2014
I can now blow out my candles, for my prayers have been answered!
anonymous
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February 04, 2014
Run, Randy, Run!
ProJour
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February 04, 2014
Said it when Sanderson left, say it again - no top superintendent in his/her right mind would take this job. Who wants to subject herself/himself to the almost daily browbeating inflicted by the MDJ, trying to address the most pressing student needs while placating the East Cobb moms, the Tea Party crackpots who don't even think the system needs an administration at all, much less a superintendent. All served up on a bed of racism - thanks for the tamale comment, Ms. Armstrong, classy as always!
Gringo Bandito
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February 04, 2014
If you would have bothered to read the article, you would have known that it was Hinojosa that was talking about going home to a plate of tamales.
Stoneybrook
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February 04, 2014
The "tamale" reference is from Dr. Hinojosa himself and is in the above article: “As much as I love Cobb, I love my family more, and I think Mama is waiting for me with some tamales so I will be very excited to have some good Mexican food for

the rest of my life,” he said.

Your apology to Ms. Armstrong is in order.

100% agree
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February 04, 2014
No talented leader would come to Cobb knowing the disaster that is CCSD. With the scrutiny and loud (unreasonable) voices all around, smart leaders will stay away. Cobb can't even offer a competitive salary for the job, so what do you expect? And save me the, "it's a great job and someone will want it for 150k a year." That's total ignorance. Top supers make A LOT of money for managing school districts this size, but the conservative element will never let that happen here. Where are Cobbs talented people? Do we have any who could take the job? Have they all left for Fulton or other districts?

It's infuriating as a parent to see great potential wasted by the incompetence of leaders and ignorance of the masses. We will never, ever, ever come close to the level of stability and success of previous years (or other districts right now) if we don't pay better, hire smart people, let them make good but unpopular decisions, and find a way to pay for our schools.
gatorboy_62
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February 04, 2014
ProJour, educate yourself before sticking that burrito in you mouth....it was his direct quote!
bebe111
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February 09, 2014
Well said!
happy dancer
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February 04, 2014
Good riddance! Please take the arrogant Tracie Doe with you!

This man has ruined a once well respected school system. Can't believe the board hired him and hope they do a better job of finding his replacement. Of course, it's doubtful since they chose to put Doe in as an area assistant. She is a disaster waiting to happen too. Wake up board members and check these people out before you hire them! Hinojosa with his sketchy past and Doe with tons of complaints and lawsuits pending against her! No wonder CCSD is going downhill.
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