OK! So, the Cascade Consulting group is conducting the superintendent search for the Buffalo Board of Education in 90 days as per their proposal. Wow! It sounds too good to be true many in the community say.
The Cascade website is still under construction and created in 2009. And, Lee T. Pasquarella, the founder of Cascade was hired in the fall 2011, to conduct a similar search for the L'Anse Creuse Public Schools in Macomb County in Michigan, a distance from his hometown in Seattle, Washington.
Pasquarella received over 60 applications except over at the L'Anse Creuse district all seven board members reviewed the candidate's credentials. The pool was narrowed to 12 candidates after cross-referenced with a profile the community had been involved in developing and creating. Again, the pool narrowed down to three finalist and the interview process begins on February 9, 2012.
The Cascade proposal mentioned Mr. Pasquarella personally conducting more than 200 searches in 20 years and provided a list but only four involved superintendents the most recent, Syracuse, NY; Tacoma, WA; Inglewood Ca and Nashville, TN. The other jobs cited didn't specifically involve superintendent searches but lower policy posts in the districts named.
Yet, 20 years ago Pasquarella worked for Jensen-Oldani & Associates in 1992 involved in the search for the superintendent of the Everett School District though he cites the founding of Cascade in 1990 in his Linkedin page.
And the name Cascade Consulting Group showed up on November 2008 when the Mercer Island School Board paid the group $25,000 for a superintendent search for the school year 2008-2009. The only two working for the firm it appears were Mr. Pasquarella and Kathleen Florio. Still, they are the only two listed in the "About Us" page of their website created in 2009.
And the Tacoma, WA superintendent search had been conducted internally and previous searches had involved other firms and Cascade is not cited unless it was another district in Tacoma, Wa.
In 2003 John G. Morgan, a comptroller of treasury, office of Education, State of Tennessee cited Cascade Consulting Group as one of the several recruiting firms working in Tennessee.
So, the superintendent search in Syracuse City School District that involved Cascade Consulting is the only one the Insurgent Teacher able to verify through an internet search. Of course this is not to say the group did not conduct the superintendent searches in the states they mentioned in their proposal such as in Tacoma, Wa.; Inglewood, Ca or Nashville, TN. it was just difficult to verify.
So, it appears that the Say Yes to Education staff members, Gene Chasin, Chief Operating Officer, and Mary Anne Schmitt Carey, President will be involved in the Buffalo City Schools superintendent search, while working out a non-negotiable contract with the Buffalo Board of Education to implement the Say Yes to Education model in the Buffalo Schools though the criticism is escalating as nearly half the board views it as a conflict of interest.
The name of Mr. Kenneth W. Jones, is mentioned in the proposal having over 30 years of experience but he is not currently associated with any organization or employer. It's difficult to determine whether he works for Say Yes to Education or for Cascade Consulting Group.
Ralph Hernandez, West District Rep on the Buffalo Board commented at the school board meeting on Wednesday, "I am going to urge my colleagues on the board not to select Cascade. They do present in my opinion a conflict of interest. Say Yes and Cascade are one and the same," he said.