Category Archives: Valwood

Why people don’t speak up: they owe their soul to the company store

Some of our elected officials wonder few people ever speak up around here. It’s simple: they owe their soul to the company store. If you don’t go along, you don’t get business.

As Tennessee Ernie Ford sang in that old Merle Travis song:

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

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CUEE turns shy?

Does CUEE have defectors?

On CUEE’s board web page there’s a link,

See a list of community supporters
which we cited back in August. It now gets 404 “No Such URL at This Domain”.

However, we know who they used to be, because that list got copied by Vote No for the Children to the two very interesting charts below, which show real estate and Valwood connections with CUEE.

So what’s going on? Did CUEE’s website get termites, and we should trust the public schools to a group that can’t keep track of its own supporters? Or have some of CUEE’s supporters defected Continue reading

Valwood, CUEE, and the Chamber

This interesting graphic found on 2 is better than 1 illustrates that the connections between CUEE and Valwood go beyond what Annie Fisher pointed out,
“The members of the CUEE, they send their children to private schools.”
Beyond what Alex Rowell pointed out, that several CUEE board and supporters are Valwood trustees or donors. The Chamber is also closely tied to Valwood.

The Chamber and Valwood are actually even more tightly coupled than the graphic indicates. According to Valwood’s own website:

Valwood Board Elects Officers and Trustees
May 27, 2011

Valwood’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has elected the following officers who, along with Tom Gooding as Immediate Past Chairman and Dutton Miller as “Chairman’s Choice,” will serve on the Board’s Executive Committee for the coming school year:

Terri Lupo – Chairman of the Board
Billy Tidmore – Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect
Jack Henry – Treasurer/Chairman of Finance Committee
Jim Godbee – Secretary
Also, the Board of Trustees has re-elected the following Trustees to 3 year terms beginning July 1:
Brooks AkinsLaura Perlman
Mike GodwinSally Querin
Tom GoodingApril Scruggs
Bill Peeples
Now let’s look at the Chamber’s board. Tom Gooding is the Chamber’s Chair, and Terri Lupo is on the board, and is the Chamber’s immediate past Chair. That’s right, Gooding and Lupo just switched spots (Chair and past Chair) with both the Chamber and Valwood.

Plus as the above graphic points out, there are further intersections between the Chamber board and CUEE supporters. So the Chamber, CUEE, and Valwood are tightly intercoupled.

It seems we have a group of private school supporters trying to take over both the local public school systems. Does that seem right to you?


The members of the CUEE, they send their children to private schools —Annie Fisher

Valdosta school board member Annie Fisher pointed out CUEE members sent their chidren to private schools and now they’re meddling in public education. She listed some real issues, such as Valdosta city schools remain segregated, focussing on tests just to meet AYP, and we need to remove students from the prison to the classroom.
“How can we equally educate each child?”
Yes, let’s forget “unification” and focus on that.

Here’s the video:

The members of the CUEE, they send their children to private schools —Annie Fisher
No school consolidation,
Press Conference, Friends of Valdosta City Schools (FVCS),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 7 July 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

You thought maybe I made up the three points I proposed to improve education? Nope, unlike CUEE, I’ve been paying attention.


Crossovers from the CUEE/Valwood donor list. —Alex Rowell

Received today. -jsq
Here’s the crossovers from the CUEE/Valwood donor list.

It seems like being on the board or even publicly supporting a group dedicated to combining two public school systems while being a trustee or donor of the community’s biggest private school might present a conflict of interest.

CUEE Board Member David Durland is a Valwood parent and donor.

Of the listed supporters on CUEE’s website, there are three Valwood trustees, one of whom is a spouse of another trustee: Ed Crane, Dutton Miller, and John Peeples (whose wife Jane is also a trustee).

Source on Valwood donors:
2010-2011 Annual Fund Donors As of June 30, 2011

Source on CUEE supporters/board:
CUEE, Inc. Board of Directors
Referendum Supporters