oskidoll May 11, 2013 @ 1:50 p.m.

According to the above article, "Meanwhile, Ida Spector, the mother of Gonzalez, called district superintendent Ed Brand. According to Spector, Brand reassured her and said not to worry, “we take care of our own.” He promised to pay both women and even suggested to Spector that when her daughter received her teaching credential “the district wanted first shot at her.”

So, Ed, just exactly WHO are 'our own'? It does not appear that he mean these hard-working and trustful coaches, now does it?

Perhaps by 'our own' he means, instead, the indicted members of the Board of Trustees. Again I ask, WHO is paying their legal bills as they prepare to defend against their indictments that include charges of extortion, bribery, perjury, etc.etc.etc.


DC1 May 11, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

What is further not well known is that coach Sesha Haynes and cheer advisor, Maria Estrada, who also just happens to be Montgomery principal Rodrigo's secretary, in collusion with NON-compliance officer, McLaughlin, with the full knowledge and approval of Superintendent, Ed Brand, all lied to the coaches and told them they had cancelled the cheer program in an effort to cheat them out of the remainder of their contract!!

To quote Brand, "I can't make Mr. Rodrigo continue the program when most of the work has already been done and there is not much left to do the rest of the year." WOW!! Way to go to cheat these young ladies out of their full year's due!! Take their sweat equity up front and then kill the balance of the dollars fully owed!! It's like offering a construction contractor half the pay for a job in which 90% of the work was already done!!! Unreal!!

But it gets worse!! To cancel the program would have been outside of compliance with District guidelines as ALL the high schools within the District must offer the same programs and it is not within their authority to cancel one high school's program only!! But of course Mr. NON- complaince himself would have known this. Ya think?

SO, what did they then do? Sesha Haynes and Maria Estrada then told the Montgomery cheerleaders and their parents that their coaches, Revanna and Vanessa, up and quit on them without good-bye or any notice!! Nice!! Some cheerleaders have been so tainted against these innocent coaches that they have NO interest in even hearing the truth!! This goes far beyond money, folks!! These girls have suffered irreparable harm to their otherwise good names and pristine reputations; not to mention the emotionally draining and distressing interruption of their lives and their all but now shattered dreams to launch their own local private cheer program.

Keep in mind these were outstanding graduates of Brand's own District. Gamez was one of the most outstanding flyers of their cheer team in high school, popular and admired. And Gonzalez helped put the then new Otay Ranch High on the map when Channel 10 news did a feature story on her at the end of her freshman year, allowing the school and its principal to share in the glory of her accomplishments. Gonzalez was in Otay's Academy of Justice and Criminology program. She was featured because she was one of an exclusive group of students (one per state per year), and the youngest ever to attend, invited to participate in the FBI Youth Academy in Quantico, VA. She trained along side FBI agents earning the pysically intensive honor of the coveted Yellow Brick. Channel 7 also did a story on her. And guess what? Brand was superintendent at the time!! Yepp!!!Way to treat your own, indeed!!


maindent May 11, 2013 @ 11:12 a.m.

I would like to see if administrators work with no competation. Do they put their time in and not get what was promised to them?


DC1 May 11, 2013 @ 11:08 a.m.

Firstly, a big thank you and kudos to Susan Luzzaro and the San Diego Reader for bringing this injustice to the public's attention and awareness!!

ALL of the comments are amazing!!! Let's keep up the pressure on this District that is wholly lacking a moral compass. And I agree with anniej above!! It would be great for these young ladies to have a live show of support from their community by attending this Monday evening's meeting even if you don't want to speak!! Hopefully the news cameras will be rolling as well!!!

Also, hope the Montgomery High Cheerleaders and their parents that now know the truth will also start to leave comments and show up at the meeting. But of course, what is not well known is that Sesha Haynes has now taken the place of the coaches she hired and has scheduled try out practices at the same time as the meeting! Nice!! Coincidence?
I think not!!

Apparently, there are willing staff participants at all levels in this deception as well.


lsquared May 11, 2013 @ 10:12 a.m.

Not much of a surprise that these 2 young ladies are being taken advantage of. Stories and promises keep changing from the district. Nothing like spewing out lie after lie to avoid accountability. I'm glad these girls are fighting back and speaking out. I hope their case prevails and the district pays up, with interest and penalties to boot.


dorylu May 11, 2013 @ 9:22 a.m.

I'm sure the banquet was lavish and to base the pay of an employee(s) on the "money left over from expenses" is cerrtainly not the way to operate. The employee(s) needed to be paid first and the balance used for celebration. The caterer was certainly paid "up front", why not the girls who gave of their time and talent for the event..

What is this telling the community, Come work your heart out and if we have some extra change we might throw it your way, don't worry about what we agreed on. Don't you think it will be hard to get any more outisde help after this. Where is the trust we place in our school officials.


Barbee May 10, 2013 @ 12:49 p.m.

I find it totally irresponsible that these young ladies were treated so badly. It is a total disgrace to the system for this to have happened. They gave of their time and trained others while under the impression they were employed to do so. This has done irreparable damage to them as well as their reputations.


angrybirds May 10, 2013 @ 12:12 p.m.

Maybe the Prez of this board will hold his employee responsible. Yeah thats right buddy!!!! Brand you are the freaking employee not the other way around. I think I might take popcorn to this board meeting just to listen to that little spit fire Lopez actually demand a response from Brand. Thats right Brand submit that respectively. Oh yeah maybe we can also expect the Ricasa lady to give another lesson on respect, well lady you earn respect and your employee has not done that...

Take a look at this video: http://youtu.be/1EcqvxrsEEg


shawlaura May 10, 2013 @ 8:05 a.m.

OMG!! Where is the honor?!! Do the right thing for a change!!! Pay these girls!! Tell yourself they're YOUR daughters and maybe you'll find your integrity. Shame on you Sweetwater Union High School District... and all involved in the deception and scheme to use these ladies for free. Typical of government these days, appalling.

As for the Gonzalez & Gamez gals, stay classy, but don't give up the good fight. Fear not about your reputation because the cream always rises to the top. Demand a full detailed accounting of their books. Best to you, and KEEP US POSTED on the proceedings.


friendtofairness May 10, 2013 @ 7:50 a.m.

So let's concentrate on what we want....which is fairness to these girls. There are readers out there who know how to move this forward and accomplish two things:

  1. To get the positive young ladies paid for a job well done and

  2. To ensure the school district receives the correct disciplinary action so they won't be doing this type of sleight of hand again. :)

I don't have these skills but some of our readers do or will know someone who does. Let's get that person(s) on board and see some positive action!

Keep the good attitude going, Ladies!


guido May 9, 2013 @ 8:20 p.m.

It is amazing to me that once again the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. To promise these young ladies certain payment for their involvement and then turn on them is NOT acceptable. I have always thought that our school districts were all about preparing it's students for their arrival as adults. I'm also aware that if I want 'fair' I can always go to 'Pomona'. Come on school district you are suppose to set certain standards and this is NOT one of them. Let's get it together so you too can 'cheer' for these girls. They deserve every dollar they were promised!


bvagency May 9, 2013 @ 7:45 p.m.

Great to see new faces on this site!

This is a microcosm of the poor leadership in this district. How can very basic HR hiring rules be circumvented? How can state wage laws be circumvented? Only in a district with such poor leadership.

I blame Ed Brand for this, i blame the board of trustees for this!

It is an absolute embarrassment to our community that this district is so poorly run.

These young ladies need to be paid, and Montgomery nee to get their cheerleading squad back!!


patsic May 9, 2013 @ 6:11 p.m.

I am from out of town and just happend upon your fine paper. i read the article regarding the two lovely cheerleaders who were exploited by the san diego school system. what a terrible shame! No pay for the girls, no cheerleaders for the school, what is happening here!?!?! cheerleading is more american than apple pie for XXXX's sake! sober up school board people and live up to your promises and commitments! lead by example, do the right thing. I hope these girls lawyer up and go afer your union protected jobs, how would you like to be treated in this manner?!?!?!!?


eastlaker May 9, 2013 @ 7:16 p.m.

Just to clarify, the young women haven't been exploited by the San Diego school system--they have bee exploited by the Sweetwater Union High School District!

Must give blame to those who are blameworthy!!


erupting May 9, 2013 @ 5:57 p.m.

angry birds, you are correct if the Human Resources packet was not completed finger printing, being the most important,plus the health and safety class, TB testing etc.these girls would not be able to be hired in the first place. What is also interesting is that they let them work all that time and now refuse to pay them. You can't get cheaper employees than that. Until Brand and his minions are gone this type of activity will continue,because of our impotent board of untrustees. Pay these young ladies!!


eastlaker May 9, 2013 @ 3:38 p.m.

Classic SUHSD, attempt to bully those who appear to be in a position of powerlessness.

Also classic Ed Brand, the Bully-King of Sweetwater. Ed must be unfamiliar with the home page of the State Board of Education--referencing how bullying is not to be tolerated in the schools.

Sure wish the state would bear down a bit and enforce that for the sake of all the Sweetwater students and teachers.

Is there nothing too low for Ed Brand and Sweetwater? Apparently not.


anniej May 9, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

Just when we think we have seen our district leadership at it worst!

"It's all about the kids", yes, Ed Brand it is all about the kids PAY THESE COACHES!!!!

2,4,6,8 who do we appreciate Revanna and Vanessa!!!!!!!!!!!

Decisions like this should serve to show why we do NOT need Bill McLaughlin heading up a break away CIF division. If his decision making is so poor as to refuse to honor a payment for services rendered how, why in the world would we trust our student athletic programs to him and Brand?

Wow, what a first impression to the world of employment SUHSD has left these young women with.


mbb May 9, 2013 @ 2:39 p.m.

It is a sad shame when girls that were former students take their time to coach cheerleading with the understanding that they would be paid and to later find out that, in fact, they couldn't trust the school district they went to is incomprehensible to me. Spending four to five days a week for as many months as they did, the amount owed to them is not substantial. They deserve so much more and should be paid immediately!!!


Alexxxandra May 9, 2013 @ 2:03 p.m.

This is beyond ridiculous! I completely agree on what these comments are saying. If these girls worked their butts off day after day for a whole year, how can the school NOT PAY THEM?! I feel so bad for these two girls and the young cheerleaders at Montgomery cause now their program has been cancelled. The school district needs to man up and do what is right and pay these girls and stop doing shady stuff like this!!!


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