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Demonstrating Excellence At Manassas City Schools

By Greg L | 11 August 2014 | Manassas City | 39 Comments

“Dr.” Robin Toogood served as Principal at Jennie Dean Elementary despite never having attended college, and armed with a falsified resume. How in the world does a school system filled with highly educated professionals not recognize that one of the leaders among them is a complete imposter with no credentials whatsoever?

It took others to discover this fraud after Toogood applied for and was appointed as principal at the Drew Model School in Arlington, but apparently they caught on pretty quickly that something was wrong.  During all those years Toogood was drawing a paycheck from Manassas City taxpayers, no one seemed to notice.

UPDATE: somehow after Toogood accepted the Arlington job that fell through and he applied for a position in Prince William County.  At some point during these transitions, Toogood’s deceptions were uncovered but it’s unclear whether it was Arlingron or Prince William County that raised issues about his credentials.

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  1. Mo said on 11 Aug 2014 at 9:33 pm:
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    How long did he work in the city?

  2. A. Nony Mouse said on 11 Aug 2014 at 9:51 pm:
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    the last name should have tipped them off.

  3. Cynic said on 11 Aug 2014 at 11:27 pm:
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    Will there be a lawsuit by Toogood?

  4. Parent said on 12 Aug 2014 at 6:33 am:
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    He was there for 5 years and comments were made about him not being right somehow. But you see under the leadership of the School Board and Superintendent and their minions, those who ask questions or complain are labeled as “anti-school” and told to shut up. This is the biggest problem in the city today and why so many families are leaving the city, so sad!

  5. Anonymous said on 12 Aug 2014 at 6:40 am:
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    Well the two democrats running for city council are going around saying more money for the schools is the answer, maybe someone should investigate their backgrounds…

  6. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 8:43 am:
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    There are several members of the school board who should resign now. The head of personnel should also resign, if that person was in charge at the time of hiring Mr. Toogood. Remember the Iraq veteran who’s son was a special needs child at Jennie Dean? Remember the inadequately trained and certified staff?

  7. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 9:22 am:
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    Watched the linked TV report. Toogood was good at his job? What a bunch of garbage, I heard for years that he sat in his office during school hours working on his dissertation. I guess he forgot to hand it in or maybe the dog ate it? The question now to ask is who were his hires , what role did he play in hiring and vetting staff? He was good at his job? Hey since he was so good at his job and the school system was satisfied with his performance why don’t we do away with all hiring requirements and just go minimum wage? We could save a bundle, we’re going to need the cash for legal liability, and we might even be able to turn a negative into a positive. Manassas Schools where a minimum wage staff produces minimum wage graduates!

    I guess the School Board felt that if they retained special, high priced counsel to protect them from their own stupidity they didn’t have to worry about anything? Well, there comes a point where Manassas citizens shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the stupidity and incompetence of their school officials. Maybe it’s time to hire new legal counsel who don’t have a conflict of interest and who might pursue an aggressive, creative approach to avoid/limit liability and target the individuals responsible for this garbage?

  8. mad mom said on 12 Aug 2014 at 10:12 am:
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    what about the popular band teacher at metz where the school super tells parents sorry but the city council doesn’t give her enough money to pay him and then she lies about saying that????

  9. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 11:18 am:
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    Some of the best teachers in the system are regularly marginalized and underappreciated. Some have even been essentially forced out , some keep an updated resume at the ready, some just leave.

    If not for the integrity and dedication of many of the teachers and staff at the school level, this school system’s nickname would be little Detroit.

  10. Charles Sutherland said on 12 Aug 2014 at 11:23 am:
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    When I was running for School Board several years ago, I did a lot of homework. The best thing that happened to me was that I lost the election, having received a ‘dispensation from the voters’. Why was this good for me? Because I saw so much incompetence and corruption that as a former CEO I would not have known where to start — particularly when the members of the School Board, AND the hierarchy of the school system, AND the teachers’ association … AND the lawyers…. were all protecting their own law-breaking activities (drugs, DUIs, welfare fraud), incompetence, sinecures, and pensions. It’s a joke.

    But the up-coming bad news is ever worse. When I was running for office 51% of the students were Hispanic, many “illegals”, many ‘anchor babies,’ and some legal. But the word was out in Mexico to send your kids to Manassas, and it was promoted by certain institutions in the City. Now that the Obama tsunami of illegal aliens is coming across the southern border, it’s only a matter of time before they are dumped in Manassas. Maybe the ruling politicians (I would not call them ‘leaders’) in the City knew this, and that’s why they created so much low-cost housing.

    Good luck, taxpayers. Bad luck, parents.

  11. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 5:23 pm:
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    I would like to see you and Lori be appointed to fill openings on the School Board that should now happen.


  12. Anonymous said on 12 Aug 2014 at 6:08 pm:
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    The state of Virginia certified his credentials and issued him a teaching certificate. Who check those records in Richmond? I hope Gregg that you Jackson Miller on this.

  13. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 6:28 pm:
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    @Anonymous 6:08

    It’s always somebody else’s fault in Manassas isn’t it? It’s the State’s fault , it’s the Feds’ fault. Wrong. It’s the School’s System’s fault for letting that clown have responsibility for an elementary school full of our kids and letting him collect a pay check for all these years.

  14. Jonathan Way said on 12 Aug 2014 at 8:18 pm:
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    The following is public information as provided by the Superintendent to my question as prompted by this blog.

    Dear Mayor Parrish, and Councilmen,
    I appreciate Mr. Way’s question and would like to share the following information:

    On June 25, 2014, Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) was contacted by Dr. Steven Staples, State Superintendent for the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), regarding information he had received alleging that Mr. Robin Toogood, then principal of Jennie Dean Elementary School, may have altered his academic credentials. An investigation was immediately commenced by MCPS staff, confirming that several of his credentials were indeed fictitious.

    On Friday, June 27, 2014, Mr. Toogood was presented with the results of the investigation. He resigned from his position as principal and surrendered his Virginia license. The results of the division’s investigation, Mr. Toogood’s resignation, and his license were sent to the VDOE. Mr. Toogood’s license was cancelled July 21, 2014.

    As a result of this incident, the MCPS Human Resource Department will no longer rely solely on the Virginia Department of Education to validate transcripts for licensing purposes. As of July 1, 2014, MCPS began using a clearinghouse to verify the authenticity of the transcripts of all new employees regardless if they are licensed. This action will validate information that has been provided by employees to the Department of Education for licensing. Additionally, MCPS has also gone a step further and has begun the process of verifying the transcripts of all current licensed employees who have provided transcripts as part of their employment process. Ms. Billie Kay Wingfield, Director of Human Resources, who began working with MCPS on August 1, is leading the changes that have been put in place.

    Mr. Toogood was hired under a previous administration, but records indicate that an application, resume, references and transcripts were collected and that references were also contacted by phone. He began his employment with MCPS July 1, 2009 after working with the District of Columbia Public Schools, public charter schools in the District of Columbia, and a school in Maryland from 2002 to 2009 as a teacher and administrator. Mr. Toogood received his Virginia license when he submitted his transcripts and his District of Columbia license to the Virginia Department of Education.

    Currently, Dr. Zella Jones, who served as assistant principal at the school during the 2013-2014 school and is now serving as acting principal, has been leading the school and has worked to ensure that students have been assigned to classes and that everything will be in place for teachers and students when they return.

  15. 4kids2dogs said on 12 Aug 2014 at 9:33 pm:
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    If MCPS knew about this at the end of June why are we hearing about nearly two months after the fact? Was MCPS hoping to sweep this under the rug?

  16. Doug Brown said on 12 Aug 2014 at 11:05 pm:
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    So I’m assuming he provided fake transcripts. All transcripts from schools should come directly from the schools, sealed certified transcripts from the registrar. The movement away from such a common sense procedure has had a horrible effect on the integrity of the American workplace. If I was the school system I would first send out a memo to personnel that there will be some sort of grace period where individuals who may have provided false or misleading credentials to come forward and either correct the error or if necessary offer a resignation. I would try to avoid the impression to the workforce that everyone is under suspicion. Overall Manassas City Schools have a pretty good force with some exceptional teachers, they shouldn’t be made to feel as though they did something wrong, after all it was an administration central office, school board error not the workforce’s, they like the students and community are the victims of poorly run vetting process.

    More information about the clearinghouse being used would be helpful.

  17. Former Officer said on 13 Aug 2014 at 5:04 am:
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    PARENT: You may want to look at the below figures. Doesn’t appear anyone is leaving Manassas City after all. Seems we’ve seen a pretty hefty increase from 2010 to 2013.

    “Parent said on 12 Aug 2014 at 6:33 am: Flag comment
    He was there for 5 years and comments were made about him not being right somehow. But you see under the leadership of the School Board and Superintendent and their minions, those who ask questions or complain are labeled as “anti-school” and told to shut up. This is the biggest problem in the city today and why so many families are leaving the city, so sad!”

    Manassas city, Virginia

    Browse data sets for Manassas city
    People QuickFacts Manassas city Virginia
    Population definition and source info Population, 2013 estimate 41,705
    Population definition and source info Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 37,821
    Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1 definition and source info Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 10.3%

  18. Staff said on 13 Aug 2014 at 5:33 am:
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    The teachers are not the problem in Manassas city schools, it is the school board chairman and school board, the highly paid superintendent and some administrators. They allow this nonsense to happen by running a system where questions and concerns are never dealt with honestly and openly.

  19. Oscar said on 13 Aug 2014 at 9:48 am:
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    Before this event, if a white male disabled Medal of Honor bestowed fully qualified veteran applied for a principal job in Manassas they’d go out of their way to validate everything, including whether the person attended all diversity classes while in the military and had a valid kindergarten report card.

    Double standard folks. Liberalism is a mental disorder. You cannot question the disqualifications of blacks if you have too many duly qualified whites.

  20. Anonymous said on 13 Aug 2014 at 11:04 am:
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    I want the City Council and/or the School Board to ask to see where the VDOE actually certified Toogood’s credentials. I bet he was someone who knew someone, who knew someone within the school system.

    Also is the VDOE job to verify when and where he went to school?

  21. Anonymous said on 13 Aug 2014 at 11:15 am:
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    The only new people moving into the city are illegals, people without kids, homeschool and private school families, just ask any real estate agent!

  22. Charles Sutherland said on 13 Aug 2014 at 11:30 am:
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    These issues are merely the tip of the iceberg in the school system. When I started to look into the issues, I saw problems which were hidden or covered up at all levels, and in a variety of areas, whether academic, social, or staff issues (including keeping ineffective people employed who ‘unofficially retired’ themselves years ago).

    No thanks, Doug. I have no interest in being on this School Board and participating in applying the varnish to make everything look good. A long time ago I suggested to some people that what should really happen is that I should be hired as an ombudsman to investigate and expose the issues to the superintendent, School Board, and City Council… and to the public, like other cities do. But that did not happen and would never happen, since most of them don’t want to know the problems and face them. And most of them surely don’t want the public to know how much of the $100,000,000 is not only wasted and squandered in unethical ways, and much of the money is used in creating false solutions to make it appear as though the problems are being addressed. And those who know me knew that I have this terrible characteristic of telling the truth, no matter who is offended. Better to cover up the problems, and say $100,000,000 is not enough money to deal with them. :-(

    I’m no longer involved.

    Sorry, but more taxes coming, folks…

  23. Anonymous said on 13 Aug 2014 at 11:31 am:
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    As a teacher I did not appreciate finding out this information through the news rather then being told by the superintendent. Fox News reported this on August 11. We were sent a letter about it on August 12.

  24. Doug Brown said on 13 Aug 2014 at 1:02 pm:
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    “Former Officer said on 13 Aug 2014 at 5:04 am:

    - “Doesn’t appear anyone is leaving Manassas City after all.”

    Right former officer, families were lined up across the country and on wait lists hoping to get into the Manassas school system, Ivy League schools had a special Manassas track for full ride scholarships.

    Families did flee the school system, and the city, when we failed to adequately respond to a crisis situation, made much worse by poor leadership and an unwillingness on the part of school authorities to honestly and openly address problems, as another commentator noted.

  25. Oscar said on 13 Aug 2014 at 1:12 pm:
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    A gem of a posting at insidenova.com (from a Democrat Obamabot like Toobad I am sure):

    I’m more concerned that no one is discussing whether or not Toogood did a good job as the principal, rather than if he was properly licensed. I don’t know the guy, nor do any of my kids go to that school, but that was my first question, which no one has addressed yet.

    College professors do not need teaching certificates, and more importantly, private school teachers do not either. Private schools blow away public schools when it comes to educating students as a result of hiring competent staff who can actually teach effectively rather than teach to a pre-defined state-sponsored level. And in this case, we are not even talking about a teacher, but the school administrator - the principal. More important here would be administrative functions, not direct teaching ability.

    While I agree he should be fired as he lied, I think this is telling of the mentality of many people out there - not whether or not a person will do a good job at a position, but whether or not a person meets what our government decides are the qualifications we are required to adhere to in those that educate our children.

    Considering the middling job that our public schools do as a result of the teacher union

    Source: http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/jennie-dean-principal-resigns-after-discovery-of-faked-resume/article_b377fa66-224d-11e4-9c93-001a4bcf887a.html

  26. Mo said on 13 Aug 2014 at 5:55 pm:
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    The City should make the sorry ass pay the money back!!!

  27. Doug Brown said on 14 Aug 2014 at 9:28 am:
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    Prosecute him for fraud.

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post, which specializes in NOT covering or investigating massive fraud in the use of fake credentials in the Federal workplace, (How you doing there Andrew Becker?) makes a really compelling defense of Mr Toogood’s tenure, it almost makes you want to award him an honorary doctorate for being a good guy. Oh yeah, the Wpost also shows that the school system had a heads up and maybe that helps to explain the new head of personnel.


  28. Anonymous said on 14 Aug 2014 at 9:41 am:
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    well yet again we look stupid in manassas, what is with the superintendent and ” you need to trust us” bs? she and the leadership over there have not earned the citizens trust AT ALL, stop giving these people more and more money until they demonstrate that they know what they are doing

  29. Anonymous said on 14 Aug 2014 at 10:12 am:
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    Manassas school officials learned of Toogood not being qualified with discrepancies in 2012 from Arlington County Officials. Wooooooo! Who was it that received the call of handled the email?

  30. Doug Brown said on 14 Aug 2014 at 10:55 am:
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    ” At the time, Arlington had appointed Toogood to serve as principal of a Montessori school, but parents at the school uncovered discrepancies in his resume.

    Manassas Superintendent Catherine Magouryk, who joined the city school system shortly after Arlington issued its warning, said she was unaware that any red flags had been raised.”

    I think we are all in shock in Manassas to learn that in some school districts , the central office listens to parents.

    Well Dr. Magouryk, if that is your real title, who lost the email, who buried the notice?

    Just kiddin, at least from first glance it looks like the good Dr had done a good job in responding to

  31. Sallie Marine said on 14 Aug 2014 at 11:08 am:
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    You really can’t compare private to public schools. Private schools can be exclusive. Private schools have to take everyone. The “middling” job supposedly done by public schools in this state has next to nothing to do with “teacher unions.”

  32. Oscar said on 14 Aug 2014 at 12:05 pm:
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    Mark my words……….the public comment mantra at the next Manassas School Board Meeting will be a consortium of bused in DC Democrap members of the Rev. Robin Toogood’s Purity Baptist Church, spouting how the Rev. did it all for the kids because the only credential that mattered was the fake one bestowed upon him from God.

    You can see it already on several websites…….even though he was not qualified as a school principal he made a difference in the lives of the children.

    What an example you Mr. Toobad set for elementary school children, lie and cheat and you still can make a difference. Honor means nothing, eating Michelle Obama’s brussels sprouts does.

    Bite me libtards.

  33. M0 said on 15 Aug 2014 at 10:51 am:
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    This is upsetting because this jerk beat out others that were actually qualified for the job. Now don’t get me wrong, you do not have to have a degree to be smart, but if the position requires a degree, personnel had better damn well make sure it is real.

    Someone owes the taxpayers of Manassas a refund for this jerks salary.

    And, why isn’t this jerk in jail? Anyone can be a pastor; it doesn’t make them a good person. I wonder if he is getting money from his congregation fraudulently too?

  34. Anonymous said on 15 Aug 2014 at 12:04 pm:
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    Manassas stop your blind support of the schools people who tell you what to think and who to vote for, it is not for lack of money that your school system sucks, it is the total lack of leadership and the elected school board!

  35. Oscar said on 18 Aug 2014 at 8:18 am:
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    Coverup. Superintendent Magouryk assumes duties July 2, 2012. Arlington notified Manassas of the fraud in 2012.
    Diversity over integrity. Resignation needed of more folks.

    MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Arlington County officials say they warned their counterparts in Manassas two years ago about the inflated resume of a principal who was later forced to resign.

    Robin Toogood resigned in June as principal of Jennie Dean Elementary after officials say a background check uncovered he was a college dropout. He claimed numerous college degrees, including a doctorate, on his resume.
    Arlington County officials said they had alerted Manassas to his inflated credentials in 2012. At the time, Arlington had appointed Toogood to serve as principal of a Montessori school, but parents at the school uncovered discrepancies in his resume.

    Manassas Superintendent Catherine Magouryk, who joined the city school system shortly after Arlington issued its warning, said she was unaware that any red flags had been raised.



  36. Benton said on 20 Aug 2014 at 6:16 am:
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    Good grief

    Schools were better run before the administrative roles invented to create jobs post WWII began to wag the dog. What’s better - an over educated ambitious ladder climbing administrator or someone who wants to be there and does good. I think this is a bit overblown….”fire everyone”..

  37. whatsheragenda said on 22 Aug 2014 at 9:26 pm:
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    I am sure if you just call the Superintendent she would be happy to explain to you what the real story is (said NOONE ever) except of course her parent puppets. The Jennie Dean debacle should not surprise ANYONE that is breathing!

  38. Anonymous said on 23 Aug 2014 at 6:00 pm:
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    Osbourne high school is listed as “accredited with warning” by the state, maybe someone can explain that?

  39. sarah said on 28 Sep 2014 at 9:47 am:
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    Performance based pay for the School Superientant. What justifies her payment. Compare the City’s school performance to that of Prince William or Manassas Park. The mismanagement and leadership in this City is lacking to say the least. Teachers are too afraid to speak up. No one Wi want g to me here unless they homeschool or use private schools. Question how much our superientant is getting paid for the lacking ofperformance of the schools. THE PAY CUTS SHOULD START WHEN THE SCHOOLS ARE LACKING.

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