Wednesday, January 11, 2006


If you claim to be a member of an old boys network, then you'd better know the secret handshake:
A charter-school principal whose resume was challenged when he failed to recognize a secret fraternity handshake has resigned.

Lewis Thomas, 28, who moved here from Washington, D.C., last fall, resigned Dec. 8 from the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy. The head of the school advisory board said much of Thomas' resume was false.

Tim Goler, head of the advisory board and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, said he began to question Thomas' credentials when Thomas failed to recognize the fraternity handshake offered by Goler. Thomas had said in his resume that he was a fraternity member.

Thomas resigned for personal reasons, according to Mosaica Education, a management company that runs the Cleveland school and 50 other charter schools in seven states. His departure prompted some parents to picket the school and to write a letter seeking his return.

Mike Connelly, Mosaica's CEO, would not comment on Thomas or why he left, citing company policy not to talk about personnel matters. He said a background check was completed on Thomas before he was hired and both sides agreed that he would leave the job.

The newspaper said Thomas' resume showed discrepancies including a claimed master's degree from the University of Illinois and a claim of having worked as a principal at Phelps Career High in Washington.
When reached on vacation in the Bahamas last week, Thomas said he wasn't sure if the resume provided to a reporter for The Plain Dealer was actually his.

I don't think that the vacationing Mr. Thomas is losing too much sleep about this unfortunate turn of events. I'm told that the Bahamas in wintertime is so nice.

On the other hand, if money does become a problem, perhaps the 28-year-old ex-principal might try getting a little life experience by teaching in an actual classroom for a few years.

That is, if he has an actual teaching credential.