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OUSD Bypasses School Board to Hire Jackson for $30,000 Per Month

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The Oakland Unified School District administration bypassed Board of Education approval in order to pay Lance Jackson $30,000 a month to oversee the district’s multimillion dollar construction program, the Oakland Post has learned.

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While the district is conducting a search for a new person to head the work, Jackson is overseeing OUSD’s construction programs and repairs, maintenance and custodial services.

 

Uncertain that the Board of Education would be willing to vote for the $30,000 a month interim contract for Jackson, the administration has decided to pull the contract and instead to pay the consultant out of the ongoing contract the district has with Jackson’s company, Seville Group Inc.

 

Jackson is Chief Operating Officer of Seville, a construction management firm that provides oversight of OUSD construction projects.

 

The Post recently reported that Jackson was hired for the interim position at a rate of $360,000 a year – more than double the $156,000 a year received by former chief of construction management Tim White. Jackson’s annual salary is higher than the $280,000 annual salary that Supt. Antwan Wilson receives.

 

Passed by the board under Acting Supt. Gary Yee, the district’s $10.9 million contract with Seville was approved to provide program management services for Measure B and Measure J, and capital projects on behalf of the district in the Division of Facilities Planning and Management.

OUSD General Counsel Jacqueline Minor

OUSD General Counsel Jacqueline Minor

The term of the contract commenced on Aug. 14, 2013 and concludes by Dec. 31, 2015. Seville received $4 million from the district in 2014.

Raising questions on the details of the agreement with Jackson, the Oakland Post asked the district administration what will happen to the Seville staff working in the district and the work they were doing when that money is transferred to cover Mr. Jackson’s pay.

In response, district spokesman Troy Flint said, “When working on large projects of the kind SGI (Seville) handles for OUSD, there’s flexibility to adjust, in fact, it’s a necessity. Lance’s contract is not going to impact the work delivered or the manner in which it’s delivered as, relative to our agreement with SGI, it’s a small piece of the pie.”

 

In response to the question, whether the agreement with Seville allows for the company to head up the facilities department, Flint said, “There’s not explicit wording in the contract to cover this specific circumstance, but the general language of the contract indicates that decisions can be made as needed to facilitate SGI’s successful management of the projects under its scope–and this falls under that consideration.”

The Post also emailed several questions to Jacqueline Minor, head of OUSD’s Legal Department.

“Can you please tell (the Post) what is your legal rational for your decision when Minor approved or advised the administration to pull that contract and to instead pay Mr. Jackson from the district’s ongoing contract with SGI?”

 

In addition, the Post asked: “How do you respond to the public perception that the decision appears to be a way to circumvent the decision-making power of the governing board?”

Minor did not respond.

Black History

Amenhotep III: A Peaceful Reign in Ancient Egypt

Amenhotep suffered from severe dental problems, arthritis, and possibly obesity in his later years. After ruling Egypt for 38 years, he died in 1353 BCE.

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Stone image of Egypt’s King Amenhotep III. Wikipedia.org photo.

Tuthmosis IV left his son an empire of immense size, wealth, and power: the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.

At 12 years old, Amenhotep III (c. 1386–1353 BCE) came to the throne and married Tiye in a royal ceremony. Tiye, who was among several of Amenhotep’s wives, would bear seven children. However, immediately after the marriage she became the one—the great royal wife, an honor that her own mother-in-law never held. Tiye could then outrank her in courtly matters.

Although Amenhotep and Tiye were by today’s standards still in their youth, Egypt’s wealthy and powerful often ruled at an early age. According to Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, “Amenhotep III was born into a world where Egypt reigned supreme. Its coffers were filled with gold, and its vassals bowed down before the mighty rulers of the Two Lands [Egypt].”

After his marriage to Tiye, Amenhotep continued his father’s work in implementing new building programs throughout Egypt. During his reign, he ordered the construction of more than 250 buildings, temples, and stone slabs erected as monuments. All were immense in size and boasted intricate details. Today, the statues known as the Colossi of Memnon, are all that is left of Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple. According to historians, Amenhotep envisioned an “Egypt so splendid that it would leave one in awe.”

A master of diplomacy, Amenhotep placed surrounding nations in his debt by giving them gold. Doing so encouraged loyalty and made them followers. These relationships soon grew profitable and his generosity to friendly kings became well established.

Amenhotep was known for his hunting skills which were noted in inscriptions: “the total number of lions killed by His Majesty with his own arrows, from the first to the tenth year [of his reign] was 102 wild lions.” He was also an adept military leader. Some historians say that he “probably fought, or directed his military commanders, in one campaign in Nubia and he had inscriptions made to commemorate that expedition.”

Many foreign rulers wanted Amenhotep to provide them Egyptian wives. Respecting the women of his land, he swore that “no daughter of Egypt had ever been sent to a foreign land and would not be sent under his reign.”
Amenhotep was also humble in his practice of the ancient Egyptian religion, which proved to be the foundation for his interest in the arts as well as construction. His greatest contribution to Egyptian culture was his ability to maintain peace and prosperity, which enabled him to devote his time to the arts.

Amenhotep suffered from severe dental problems, arthritis, and possibly obesity in his later years. After ruling Egypt for 38 years, he died in 1353 BCE.

Letters penned by foreign rulers expressed their grief and condolences to Queen Tiye. The letters confirmed that these monarchs hoped to continue the same good relations with Egypt under the new king as they had with Amenhotep III. With Amenhotep’s passing, his son, then called Amenhotep IV, began his reign.

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Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Celebrates Birthday at Mills College

Lee’s celebration took place at Mills College Student Union, where, in part, Lee’s political career began.

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Maurice Arnold with Rep. Barbara Lee at a birthday party on the Mills College campus.

On July 24, Congresswoman Barbara Lee returned to her alma mater, Mills College, for a dual engagement.  As the guest of honor, she conducted a local meet-and-greet among special guests, friends and supporters and she also belatedly celebrated her belated, which was on July 6.

Mills College Lokey School of Business and Public Policy hosted the event for Lee.  The   special guests included Oakland’s Councilmember Treva Reid, District 7; BART Boardmember, Lateefah Simon, District 7, Candidate Mia Bonta, AD-18, Post Newspaper Group Publisher Paul Cobb and many more.

Lee’s celebration took place at Mills College Student Union, where, in part, Lee’s political career began.  Her political future was decisively shaped when she took a government course that required her to participate in a presidential campaign. “I invited Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress, to speak at Mills, and learned that she was running for president,” Lee recalls. “I helped organize her Northern California campaign, and I registered to vote for the first time . . . and the rest is history.”

Whether standing alone as the sole congressional vote against a blank check for endless war, authoring legislation on ending the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, or representing the U.S. House of Representatives in the United Nations General Assembly, Lee carries her Mills education with her. “Mills instilled me with the confidence I needed to achieve my goals,” she says.

Accordingly, we say happy belated birthday and much success to Team Barbara.

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Community

Congratulations to Michelle Mack

Nominated for Teacher of the Year

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Photo courtesy Michelle Mack

Congratulations to Michelle Mack, currently a pre-K lead teacher in Atlanta, Ga., who was nominated for Teacher of the Year. A 2008 graduate of St. Elizabeth’s High School who earned a degree in child psychology from San Francisco State University in 2012, Mack received her master’s from Clark University in 2015.

Mack was recognized by the Easter Seals of North Georgia (ESNG) for “serving five consistent years teaching children and helping families with the same company” and awarded the ESNG-Guice Center Award for Individual Excellence.

 

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