TVUSD Superintendent Timothy Ritter has a serious issue. He can’t face criticism, which is problematic for any person whose livelihood is funded by taxpayers, and who is responsible for the well being of our children on 180 days of each year.
He goes to great lengths to hide from critics, but in instances where he hasn’t been able to find shelter from words that make him sad, we’ve seen his behavior turn erratic and bizarre. While Tim Ritter has a tremendous amount of shortcomings, this is his Achilles heel. And it’s unacceptable for any school district’s superintendent.
At the April 21, 2015 school board meeting, Rittergate was publicly revealed:
According to (Craig) Johns, the district became in breech of its own policies by hiring Lindsey Jean Ritter, daughter of TVUSD SuperintendentTimothy Ritter, during a board meeting held on October 1, 2013.
Johns went on to say that through the investigation the group discovered Lindsey Ritter has convictions including a “plea of guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) and/or a finding of guilty by a judge or a jury.”
“Court records confirm that Lindsey Ritter was charged with penal code 487 1-3,” Johns said. “Pertaining to one of two felonies with which she was charged which is grand theft. On January 17, 2012 Miss Ritter was sentenced without going to trial for … felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Sentencing included the repayment of $18,676 worth of restitution to the San Diego court system and probation. We believe this condition was overlooked because of Mr. Ritter’s influence over this board, and more specifically, Board President Allen Pulsipher.”
This made Tim Ritter sad. So two weeks later, at the next school board meeting, something magical happened. The first six public comments were made by people who showed up to tell everyone how awesome their Superintendent is, and how dare anyone criticize him! And the usual time limit that school board president Allan Pulsipher had previously been very adamant about enforcing went out the window.
There is something interesting about these six who were spontaneously smitten with Rittermania. Tim Ritter is their boss. All six of them. And they all are connected to Great Oak High School, where Ritter used to be principal. And let’s not forget that Great Oak High School is the only TVUSD high school that was declared off-limits from the now-discredited sting, Operation Glass House, which Ritter personally authorized.
In the interest of openness and transparency, we believe you should meet Ritter’s Mousketeers.
|Location||Temecula Luiseño Elementary School|
|Previous Location||Prior to becoming Principal at TLES, Dignan was Assistant Principal at Great Oak High School, the same school where Ritter is former Principal.|
|What Dignan Claims||Mr. Ritter is the reason Dignan gave up a rewarding and satisfying career as a biology teacher to become an administrator.|
|Our Comment||It’s true that Dignan has taught middle and high school biology. It’s also true that in 2013, the average salary for middle and high school teachers in TVUSD was $72,444, but as principal, Dignan’s 2013 salary was $109,200. We hope the pain Tim Dignan endured when he heroically left the teaching profession to follow that lifelong school administrator dream was eased by his massive salary increase. We’d like to thank Mr. Dignan for his sacrifice.|
|Dignan Claim #2||Dignan expressed his displeasure that Temecula’s taxpayers “have been critical of Mr. Ritter’s family which he believes crosses the line of civility and decency.”|
|Comment #2||Civility and Decency? We assume Dignan is referring to TVUSD’s questionable hiring of Ritter’s adult daughter, Lindsey Ritter, despite her criminal record.
|Occupation||District Math Coach|
|Location||Great Oak High School|
|What Shore Claims||He said the District needs instructional leaders like Mr. Ritter but as an administrator, they are dealing with issues that initiate outside of campus. He said teachers cannot teach kids to be college and career ready without leadership.|
|Our Comment||An investigation by the California Department of Education found that the number of TVUSD’s special education students that went on to higher education, some other post-secondary education or training program, or were employed at any level was found to be 8.3%.|