On Fleeing Montgomery County Scandal

In May, Anna Powell, the illegally-hired wife of fired Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell, applied for a job as a school psychologist with Broward County Schools in Florida. Which is fine by all accounts — people in Montgomery County ought to stop trying to prevent her from getting a job, as she does have children to feed.

But her job application, available via open records law, is a treasure trove of information about the Powell inner circle. The application also drowns out her husband’s claim in challenging his termination: intimating that his family wished to remain in Montgomery County. And it maybe gets a little loose with reality when it comes to her role at Montgomery County Schools, highlighting a major area of concern for the current board of education.

Let’s dig right in.

The very beginning:


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Her stated reason for leaving Montgomery County Schools: relocating to Florida. Despite her having known for nearly two weeks at the time that she’d lost her job. In fact, her contract wasn’t renewed because, as the superintendent told her, her leadership was ineffective. That’s on top of being illegally hired and continuing to illegally hold a position for nearly two years after being advised by the State Auditor of Public Accounts that the arrangement was improper.

Take a look at her responsibilities:

Major responsibilities include: School Psychologist, Director of Special Education, and Preschool Coordinator.

Which isn’t based in reality. Her job description didn’t include serving as a school psychologist.

Her listed accomplishments:

Accomplishments: Increased exceptional children budget by 1.4 million and increased child count by changing policies/procedures to meet current federal/state guidelines.

You catch that? She revealed on a government form that she was responsible for increasing the amount of money the district gets for special education kids by $1.4 million. She says she did it by increasing the number of children in the program.

Alarm bells going off yet?

Because we’ve told you for quite some time that special education is a problem.

The Kentucky Department of Education, via Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, has uncovered special education testing scandals.

Holliday also had something to say about special education when he confirmed Joshua Powell’s termination:

There has been unusual growth in some specific areas, compared to the state averages at the elementary and middle school levels. The percentage of students with disabilities in Montgomery County, compared to the total population of students in Montgomery County, has been increasing disproportionately compared to the region of the state. Additional consideration of the methods, systems, processes, instructional practices, and interventions in place in Montgomery County may be beneficial to explaining these high levels of performance as well as the increased number of students identified with learning disabilities.

And now Anna Powell is essentially confirming everything.

An examination of references listed on the application is eye-opening, to say the least:


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Phil Rison, Catherine Bailey and Lisa Stone. Her husband’s inner circle. Three people involved deeply in the shenanigans in Montgomery County.

Remember them? Quick reference:

Catherine Bailey

Lisa Stone

Small sample of stories involving Phil Rison

  • The EPSB Also Charged Rison – Not Just Powell [August 27, 2014]
  • Montgomery’s Lawyer Mess Probably Isn’t Over [September 5, 2014]
  • Montgomery Co. Schools In Another $ Nightmare [September 9, 2014]
  • Montgomery Co. Title IX Scandal Worsens Again [September 16, 2014]
  • Powell’s Unbelievable Unapproved Construction Project For His Illegally-Hired Wife — In Pictures [September 22, 2014]
  • Powell’s Personal Attorney Repping His Big Circle [December 4, 2014]
  • Montgomery County Schools Corruption Uncovered: A Multi-Part Look At Collusion, Spin And Coordinated Attacks On Investigators [December 15, 2014]
  • iPad Whistleblower Files Suit Against Powell & Co [January 15, 2015]
  • Police Report Seems To Prove Retaliation Scheme [January 26, 2015]
  • A Deeper Look At Whistleblower Retaliation [January 26, 2015]
  • The Termination Of Powell Begins Now [April 9, 2015]
  • Powell Has Little Legal Standing [April 14, 2015]
  • Phil Rison’s Involvement In Illegal Hiring Got Him Into Trouble With The EPSB, Admits Evidence Could Prove Such [April 15, 2015]
  • Investigation Uncovers Massive Spending Scandal In Montgomery Co Schools Involving Phil Rison, Others [May 11, 2015]
  • Secret Audio Affirms Whistleblower Retaliation Claims In Montgomery Co [May 15, 2015]
  • Kentucky Department Of Education Confirms Testing Violations In Montgomery County Schools [May 18, 2015]
  • Montgomery County Funds STILL Unreported In Title IX Documentation [June 1, 2015]
  • Eyebrow-Raising MoCo Title IX Data [June 2, 2015]
  • Rison Leaves Montgomery Co Schools [June 9, 2015]
  • Records Don’t Support Montgomery County Schools’ Title IX Booster Spending For Facilities Claims [June 15, 2015]

Yep. Those are her three professional references. Lisa Stone and Catherine Bailey testified in support of Joshua Powell at the Education Professional Standards Board hearing regarding Anna Powell’s illegal hiring. You already know everything Phil Rison’s done (iPad, illegal hiring, bid-rigging, construction scandals, testing scandals, et al…).

Finally, the Broward County application shines a bit of light on the Powells’ desire to leave Montgomery County. It all started in March, when Anna digitally signed documents in the Florida system:


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Ignore the part where she swore everything submitted was true in all respects (it wasn’t). The signature date: March 2, 2015. Meaning she and her family were trying to get out of dodge despite screaming from the mountaintop (in court records, letters, emails, local newspaper) about their dedication to Montgomery County.

Her application went further:


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Detail:

Finally, I am passionate about moving to and working in Broward County. Over the past several year, my family and I have traveled to Florida and have a feeling of homesickness every time we leave.

And:

Please do not be hesitant about the fact that I live in Kentucky if a position was available for this school year. I have created a plan in case a trip to meet with anyone would be necessary.

Kinda shoots her husband in the foot. Particularly if he attempts to claim during hearings, depositions or in court filings that he intended to stick around.

Also makes it difficult for Anna to fight her own job loss.

Still wondering why Montgomery County Schools can’t have nice things?