Santa Fe teacher alleges principal falsified evaluations

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 30, 2010, 5:36am

GALVESTON - Claiming she was terminated from her administration position because she reported her boss's misdeeds, Rhonda Falgoust is suing the Santa Fe Independent School District.

Falgoust says she lost her job as assistant principal at Kubacak Elementary School after she exposed an alleged violation by principal Dr. Lupe Hernandez, according to a lawsuit filed Aug. 20 in Galveston County District Court.

"The defendant terminated the plaintiff in retaliation for reporting the improper activity and violations of law," the original petition says.

SFISD employed the plaintiff, who has been an educator for 26 years, for a decade at the time of the alleged dismissal. She worked at Kubacak for the previous school year.

The suit explains that in October 2009, Hernandez instructed Falgoust to submit the faculty's Professional Development and Appraisal System scores to her and change them prior to their release.

The act was part of a series of retaliatory attacks against the plaintiff, the lawsuit claims.

Falgoust says Hernandez failed to wholly evaluate her in December, telling her everything was in order, but ordered her again to change and falsify documents.

Falgoust immediately reported the violation.

Hernandez informed the plaintiff of her recommendation to the superintendent that SFISD not renew her contract, the suit says.

Court papers argue that Hernandez escalated the retaliation against Falgoust toward the end of the school year by writing a misinformed disciplinary report and transferring the plaintiff to another campus.

The school board placed the proposal on its agenda. It voted in favor of non-renewal at a May 26 meeting.

Consequently, Falgoust seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by Rosenberg & Sprovach.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

Case No. 10-cv-2373

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