Joe Sanchez Named Acting Superintendent of GDOE

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While Jon Fernandez has been placed on administrative leave Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement Joe Sanchez will be acting Superintendent. 

The Guam Department of Education has named Joe Sanchez as it’s Acting Superintendent while Jon Fernandez is on administrative leave.

 

Sanchez is the Deputy Superintendent of curriculum and instructional improvement. A J.P. Torres student has filed a sexual harassment complaint against Fernandez and last Friday Fernandez asked the Guam education board to place him on administrative leave until the investigation into the sexual harassment complaint has concluded. Fernandez has maintained his innocence and has said that the female student who made the complaint was only doing so in order to extort money out of him. In fact Fernandez filed a complaint of his own with local police and the FBI against the student and the principal of J.P. Torres, Eleuterio Mesa. Fernandez is accusing both the student and Mesa of blackmail and extortion. According to a release from GDOE the department management and staff will work to support the ongoing investigations and “cooperate with all federal and local officials.” Acting Superintendent Sanchez issued a statement saying in part that both the accuser and the accused are a part of the GDOE so “what we are essentially dealing with here is one member of the family accusing another member of the family of sexual harassment and misconduct. How would that make any family feel?”

Sanchez has already begun meeting with the GDOE deputies and other members of the management team to “clarify the priorities over the next few weeks and months.” Meetings with division heads and school principals are also being planned this week. 

READ RELEASE BELOW:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                                                                                                    

 

 

 

Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement Assumes Role as Acting Superintendent of Education  
 
 

 

The Guam Department of Education would like to inform its stakeholders that in the absence of Superintendent of Education Jon Fernandez, who is on administrative leave, the Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement, Joe Sanchez will take on the role of Acting Superintendent of the Guam Department of Education. 

 

Joseph Sanchez, who has been with the GDOE for close to 20 years, has served as the Deputy of CI&I since the start of Mr. Fernandez’s term and previously served as Acting Deputy under then, Interim Superintendent Taling Taitano.  Prior to his appointment as Deputy, he worked as a Language Arts/Reading teacher, assistant principal, school program consultant, and the administrator of Research, Planning and Evaluation. 

 

As part of his duties as Deputy of CI&I, he was responsible for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and GDOE Content Standards; the development and implementation of the Department’s State Strategic Plan entitled 20/20: A Clear Vision for Education on Guam; and the design and implementation of the new Comprehensive Student Assessment System which replaced the SAT10 in the spring of 2015. 

 

Mr. Sanchez stresses the need for department personnel to focus on the strategic vision and to ensure that everyone continues to move the department forward in the midst of the ongoing investigations being conducted by the Guam Education Board, the Guam Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He states, “My assignment from the Board is very clear. It is to maintain the good work and progress of the department and ensure that we continue to move forward in meetings the needs of our students and families.” 

 

Regarding the ongoing investigations relative to allegations of 

sexual harassment by the Superintendent: The department management, and staff will work to support the ongoing investigations and cooperate with all federal and local officials. 

 

In response to media and community inquiries on the matter, it must be made clear that the current management and staff will not be able to comment on the status of or on any details related to the concurrent investigations. With that said, the Acting Superintendent states, “I can say that cases like this, whenever they happen in our department are always difficult for everyone. They are difficult because we always have to maintain the rights and consider the well-being of two important entities- the individual filing the complaint, who is usually a student and the one being accused, who is usually an employee. Both are members of our family. So what we are essentially dealing with here is one member of the family accusing another member of the family of sexual harassment and misconduct. How would that make any family feel?”

 

Mr. Sanchez has already begun meeting with the GDOE Deputies and other members of the management team to clarify the priorities over the next few weeks and months. Meetings with division heads and school principals are also being planned this week.  Thank you. 

 
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