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In defense of Maurice Ghysels

Original post made on Nov 6, 2009

I am writing to voice my support for Maurice Ghysels. My wife and I have lived in Mountain View for 12 years. Our two daughters currently attend Bubb and Graham. I recently joined the Bubb PTA board and the Graham School Site Council as a parent volunteer. Through my volunteer activities, I have been pleasantly surprised to learn about many positive things happening in the district. I believe Maurice is responsible for these improvements and therefore deserves our continuing support as school superintendent.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by UNKOWN
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

"I'm sure it's not easy being in education these days, with a constant stream of bad press and budget cuts. Unfortunately, many educators take on a victim mentality and point to funding cuts to justify mediocre performance. Maurice and his team are not about complaining or making excuses. They planned ahead for the current financial downturn, they have set aggressive goals, and they seem committed to continuing to move the Mountain View Whisman School District in a positive direction."

lets see...
bad press? probably from his affair and the way he handled that lovely incident last year.
Budget cuts? Well, there may be cuts but not for him, he just got a 3% raise, when our SCHOOLS are getting the budgest cuts


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Posted by Claire
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm

This is really pathetic. How can you possibly appeal to the public for this sorry excuse of a superintendent and say he DESERVES our continuing support. Your letter makes me want to hurl! The only thing he deserves is to be shown the door along with his staff and the school board! If he were a real man with integrity, he'd have stepped down and moved on already and gotten on with his "personal life". I'm a little tired of hearing and reading about it. Instead, he prefers to permanently damage the credibility of his staff and put other principals, teachers and staff in an awkward position.

Our schools are not just about ONE MAN and ONE MAN'S vision. Get off your high horse! This district can survive just fine without Ghysels. Give the people of this town some credit.

You say Ghysels "planned ahead for the current financial downturn" and you are right!. He built in a fat salary and raises for himself, and annual raises and NOTHING for anyone else. YOU TELL ME when it was the last time you heard the teacher's union arguing for higher pay in the current economy. YOU TELL ME WHEN. It's never happened.

In all honesty, your letter reads like a regurgitation of Ghyselisms. It's blantantly obvious you were put up to this as part of machinations by Ghysels. He's been known to grovel and pander, but these are new depths we are exploring here.

First, Jim, the only person to blame here IS GHYSELS for mixing HIS personal life in HIS professional life in a very unethical and immoral way, bringing about a blatant conflict of interest--an issue YOU have chosen to COMPLETELY IGNORE.

Having Googled you, surely you were introduced to ethics and the concept of conflict of interest at Wharton Business School, no? If not, then it surely explains the current state of corporate America where CEO-types are reluctant to step-up and take responsibility for anything.


Funnily enough, I also noticed you have been quoted in the press previously as having had a high opinion of your one time neighbor, Jing Hua Wu, who subsequently gunned down and killed three office workers in Santa Clara! Call me crazy, but I seriously question your judgment about people like Ghysels who you admit you don't even know on a personal level!

That said I find it laughable that you are more than ready to step up and defend Ghysels, and heap plenty of praise and responsibility on him, without really knowing him. By the way, how much effort have you really taken to get to know the "many educators" in this district before slamming them as "mediocre" or suffering from a "victim mentality". What a disgraceful comment to make in defense of a disgraced superintendent who only has himself to blame for all this. He's the one to be proven mediocre and now suffering from a "victim mentality." For your information, it's mediocre and worse parents that contribute to poor schools more than anything. Oh and what makes mediocre parents? For a large part, those which put themselves before their children and families, similar to soon to be twice-divorced Ghysels and twice-divorced Mizell. Just some food for thought.

From what I've read "Maurice and his team", as you call them, are morally and ethically weak and degenerate, hiding behind their desks hoping this all blows over. The nerve of them both to act as if their actions are perfectly normal.

I notice from your letter you are blessed with two daughters, by your current wife I'll guess. Instead of defending Ghsyels, why not use this incident as a moral lesson for them? Real leaders take account of their personal lives and show control and responsibility in their professional life. Ghysels has not. And I certainly hope your daughters in the future don't get involved with such a personality. If they do, I guess we'll know why.

I've read somewhere between 30% and 70% of men have cheated on their wives and that those that have tend to view cheating as a non-issue given they have cheated themselves and consciously seek to diminish the act. ;-)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Special Meeting of the MVWSD board on Monday 7pm

Hey, they allocated a whopping 5 minutes for "public comment" on the unidentified topic (gee I wonder what THAT could be?!) of the closed session! And who says that this district doesn't value parent and community input?!

Sorry Jim that you did apparently did not have the opportunity to meet the soon to be ex Mrs. Ghysels. She is a lovely, kind, smart, charming woman who has been at EVERY district event and who has given many hours to fundraising efforts for programs to benefit the students in our district.

Mountain View Whisman School District
Education for the World Ahead
Board of Trustees ̶ Special Meeting

750-A San Pierre Way
November 9, 2009
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Demonstrate, daily, a relentless commitment to the success of every child.

Academic Excellence « Strong Community « Broad Worldview

Any person wishing to speak on any item on the agenda will be granted up to three (3) minutes at the time the item appears on the agenda, or in the case of a non-agendized item, may do so under Community Comments. Comments for each agendized item will be taken for 10 minutes, with extra time allowed for translation, as needed. Please see the Board's “welcome” brochure for protocol. Prior to addressing the Board, each speaker is requested to complete a speaker card (located on the counter near the door), give it to the Superintendent's Executive Assistant and state their name for the record. Persons addressing the Board are asked to speak from the podium provided for that purpose.

Under Approval of Agenda, item order may be changed. All times are approximate.

A. Pledge
B. Roll Call
C. Approval of Agenda


A. Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release

A. Closed Session Report


The Mountain View Whisman School District is dedicated to providing access and communication for all those who desire to attend Board meetings. Anyone planning to attend a Board meeting who requires special assistance or English translation is asked to call the Superintendent’s Office at (650) 526-3552 at least 48 hours in advance of the time and date of the meeting.

Documents provided to a majority of the Governing Board regarding an open session item on this agenda will be made available for public inspection in the District Office, located at 750-A San Pierre Way during normal business hours.

El Distrito Escolar de Mountain View Whisman esta dedicado a proveer acceso y comunicación a todas las personas que deseen asistir a las reuniones de la Junta. Se pide que aquellas personas que planean asistir a esta reunión y requieren de asistencia especial llamen a la Oficina del Superintendente al (650) 526-3552 con por lo menos 48 horas de anticipación del horario y fecha de esta reunión, para así poder coordinar los arreglos especiales.

Los documentos que se les proveen a la mayoría de los miembros de la Mesa Directiva sobre los temas en la sesión abierta de éste orden del día estarán disponibles para la inspección pública en la Oficina del Distrito, localizada en el 750-A San Pierre Way durante las horas de oficinas regulares.

Kathi Lilga
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
Mountain View Whisman School District

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Posted by Susana
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Oh please. This is beyond repair.

This man Maurice is just self-serving.

Also odd that everyone thinks it's only his job is in jeopardy.

Pretty presumptiuous Carmen, Tu sabes lo que eres.

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Posted by reader
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Can we also hope that Stephanie Totter and the whole board be held just as accountable and that they go with Maurice and Carmen? Clean house!! The other principals in the district along with the teachers can do a fine job without this poor leadership (and their cohorts).

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Huh? I thought Totter had already researched and closed this matter? Isn't that her job? Are you telling me she deliberately stood down?

Amazing if that's the case. I've always felt this district has been cursed with poor administrators, and mostly good teachers.

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Posted by anonymuos
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Who's going to stand up and defend Carmen Mizell?

Talk about one-sided coverage. There should at least be a letter fabricated to defend her as well!

Talk about inequality between the sexes.

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Posted by ER
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Claire, I am beyond disgusted at your comments. If you disagree with the opinion expressed by a district parent, fine. Debate and discuss the subject like a human being. To question a persons morals, integrity and parenting abilities (anonymously) because you disagree with an opinion is weak and pathetic. To bring up a tragic incident (Wu)in the context that you did is just beyond belief. You mention the mans children and shortly therafter--in a forum that those same children may read-- imply that he has cheated on his spouse. I'm sure your own children are proud.

You are perfectly entitled to your opinion on Gyhsels-- and he's enough of a public figure that, to a degree, he's fair game for some tough public criticism. The gentleman that wrote this Opinion is a member of your community, and you are brutally personally attacking him for holding a different opinion than yours. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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