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Jul 13 2015

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Well played Dr. Puig, Well played

By Steven Ray Hernandez  steven
editor
[email protected]

Once upon a time… in fact, it was about 3 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon, and in case you’re wondering why I am starting this story off like a fairy tale, it’s because just like a fairy tale, this story’s ending was “too good to be true.”

So there I was, sitting at my desk on a hot summer’s day editing a few stories for our weekend edition, when in walked a short, sharp-dressed man wanting to “talk” about some of the issues within the school district. He strolled in, politely asked if it was ok to enter as he stood behind our swinging office-barrier door, and then confidently walked over to our editorial department area.  Much to my surprise, it was none other than (former) Superintendent Dr. Marc A. Puig himself.  And I say ‘to my surprise’ because other than through a few emails, talking to the man over the phone (let alone in person) had become somewhat of a fictitious option I still had not the pleasure of exercising.

Nevertheless, we shook hands and we scheduled an interview with our staff writer Pete Banda in hopes of getting some exclusive 411 on some of the district’s most important topics of debate, such as the budget crisis and employment issues.

He talked about being “stunned” at the “financial catastrophe” of the district’s budget when he first arrived.  He talked about how he and the board had to make some tough decisions but that he was overall pleased at the direction now.  He talked about plans to bring in a better and more economical health insurance plan.  And he talked about how he was pleased that the school district was now “financially ahead of schedule.”

But you know what he didn’t talk about?  He didn’t talk about his obvious plans to resign the very next day, and I say obvious plans based off his statement that he resigned, “after long and prayerful consideration.”  To this (and this only), I commend you Dr. Puig by saying, “Well played, Well played.”

I must say he had me (and my staff writer) convinced that maybe with a new outlook on the district and a plan set in course, that we could build a professional relationship where the community would get the facts and most up to date information via consistent and first-hand interviews with the superintendent himself.

But I guess Dr. Puig had a different plan, a devious plan.

The bottom line is if the job was too stressful and the pressure from the board was too much to the point where you saw no other option other than resignation, then fine, I respect that, especially considering the overwhelming pressure and attention the school district’s budget crisis received over the past year.  From what I observed, Dr. Puig came in here and made a valid attempt to try and fix issues that arose from his predecessors, which again, I respect.

But you know what I don’t respect?  I don’t respect someone coming into my office and using the media as their own personal way of “going out on top.” How convenient that he finally came in and talked to us, only to later issue his resignation statement right after press time, when our paper was already being printed.  It’s obvious that Dr. Puig had a well-mapped out plan when he came into our office to talk about all the wonderful things he and the board were doing and how their plan was working.

Again, that I do not respect, but I will say again, “Well played, Dr. Puig, well played.”

Permanent link to this article: http://sbnewspaper.com/2015/07/13/well-played-dr-puig-well-played/

16 comments

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  1. Tiffany

    I believe actions speak louder than all the “words’ spoken to get all the teachers excited about doing a great job for the district. Since he left, his words mean nothing.
    Now we (teachers) are further demoralized by:
    a. No raise for the last 5 or so school years.
    b. Finally a raise and it’s offset by increased medical insurance payments
    c. Ooops! Sorry, you were overpaid, in 2 months by over $2,000 and we have to deduct your check all year.

    Mmmm, I never got an extra $2,000 in 2 months (September and October, 2015).

    Sooooo, I think this district will see a flight of talent leaving. The morale is down very low.

    Furthermore, it’s all a poorly run sham all the way around. Too bad, the kids are the ones who leave with a low-quality education.

    Plus, with over a decade with the district, they still ask how many years of teaching experience I have. I have been underpaid my experience for years. Do I fight it?

    No, I just further my credentials and education and move on up the road.

  2. Norma Sandoval

    Dr. Puig used the media to grandstand as you call it to promote San Benito CISD . Yes, he has left . Unfortunately, we will not know the whole story because he is a man of ethics.
    It is clear Wrong Again you are wrong again.

  3. oh well

    sounds like sour grapes by the news…oh well

  4. Norma Sandoval

    Steven, the true story is what happened when he left your office. Dr. Puig is a man of good character and honesty.He is also not going to use the media for negativity which is contrary to other individuals.

    1. Wrong again Norma

      The Board weren’t the ones grandstanding on SB News or Channel 4. Dr Puig was. Get over it. He left on his iwn. No one asked for his resignation.

  5. Ima Roach

    Your name is ANONYMOUS!!!

    El Chavo de Los Tropics is your chosen “NICKNAME” which renders your Message an OPINION rather than an ASSERTION.

  6. El Chavo de Los Tropics

    Very nice of you Editor to not show my post. Good job. Way to keep the stories slanted.

    1. Editor

      Dear reader,
      Please be advised that comments, especially exceptionally lengthy comments, can take up to 2 days to finally be approved since we have to go through them with a fine toothed comb.
      That process especially takes longer when you have weeks like this, when news stories are so abundant and those are priority for us and our very small staff.
      I would (in the future) try and keep comments to just comments, and not full-on blogs, as to avoid this time delay.
      However, you are more than welcome to send in an email submission “letter to the editor” and type as much as you want.

      1. El Chavo de Los Tropics

        My name isn’t reader. It’s El Chavo. 🙂

  7. El Chavo de Los Tropics

    Ok let’s be real. Dr Puig isn’t being run off. Google search his name by late August after his official resignation ends and tell me he didn’t have a job already lined up. Face the facts, he’s a man who throws fits when he doesn’t get his own way. He’s real good at eschewing numbers and calling it transparency.

    Fact #1 he says we are overstaffed 186 people, then recommends SBCISD move to TRS insurance.
    Fact#2 the old board including your precious Yliana and Fatima vote against TRS.
    Fact#3 IMMEDIATELY after the TRS vote goes against him, Dr Puig goes on youtube to say he needs to fire 300 employees, NOT the original 186. Why the number change? Oh that’s right, to make the Board look bad for not going to TRS.
    Fact#4 the day before SBCISD employees get let out for Easter break they get the infamous survey asking them to choose between a 15% raise for teachers ONLY, plus going to TRS OR only a 1-3% for everyone with a self funded plan with higher rates. ALL SPECULATION i might add.
    Fact#5 TEA comes into the board meeting and says during a RIF the Superintendent plus Administrators should look into taking pay cuts. All of a sudden, its not going to be a RIF. We are going to do it through “attrition.” How convenient.
    So again who’s at fault for Dr Puig leaving? Everything stated above was his doing. Not the Board’s. He is choosing to leave. By the way, he didn’t balance the budget. The State increased monies to SBCISD. The rest of the savings are from the teachers HE ran off. Not the Board. If you think he is so great, ask the 37 who were eventually RIF’ed how they were treated. You’re right, what an embarrassment, but your pointing the finger the wrong way.

  8. Katrina

    Mr. Hernandez,
    The ex-superintendent has demonstrated to us all in the district that he had no real commitment and much less the courage to finish.
    He tried to make changes that weren’t new.
    Why sign the dotted line… give hope and then to slap the people of San Benito?
    I believed he was a fake from the beginning and wow… he proved me right!

    Bonvage Dr. Puig!

  9. Marco

    Dr. Puig had to deal with non-intellectuals. That included the School Board and some members of the community. The Bible has a number of verses concerning how to deal with fools and the foolish…and that was to walk away and save your words for someone who will listen to wisdom and hasten to it.

    1. Reform San Benito

      Amen!

  10. Fred

    Mr. Hernandez, I must commend you on a very well written editorial about the current situation with our (former) superintendent. But, I fear, you might be taking the wrong angle on this story. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a big fan of Dr. Puig and how some of the issues were addressed but I do believe that some good things happened over the last six months. He can’t take all the credit for the current budget balance because he failed to mention that our portion that we received from the State increased by millions. But I don’t think that Dr. Puig played you. I honestly believe that as of last Thursday before press time that he fully believed in what he was doing at SBCISD and the direction for the future. The real story is what happened from when he left your office to the announcement of his resignation on Friday. He walks into your office and for the first time is prepared to speak one on one about the direction of the District. Now we all know that this man is not averse to speaking in the limelight. But I don’t think he went in their to for a final bit of good press before he leaves the District. I firmly believe that the real story is that something must have happened Thursday night at the Board Meeting that drastically changed his desire to be with the District. That is the real story, Mr. Hernandez, that you should be pursuing and reporting on.

    1. Editor

      (Fred)
      First of all, thank you for reading and for the compliment! I too believe he addressed some key issues and had a positive approach during his short tenure. The opinions expressed in the column were based on several factors though. One being that Dr. Puig, knowing we were publishing the story (Dr. Puig: ‘We are financially ahead of schedule’) in the weekend edition, did not announce to us of his resignation until after we went to print, which was late Friday night. Additionally, he stated himself he made the decision after “long and prayerful consideration,” which I highly doubt took course within less than 24 hours. Regardless, I’m sure he at least had some direction by Friday that he was leaning towards resigning and in my opinion, it would have been professional courtesy to let us know before we printed the “story” he originally came in and gave us.
      Hopefully, we will get the full story from him and the board soon, which is what we are currently pursuing.
      Thanks again for your outlook and for reading,
      Steven Ray Hernandez

  11. Maria del Rosario San Judas Tadeo

    This wasn’t the first but the last time he used the media to his advantage. Well played, indeed.

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