Joel Herbst - former Principal of South Plantation High

For at least ten, maybe fifteen years (according to the current Principal) the school’s administration improperly allowed the school’s PTSO to handle many internal fund accounts and financial transactions.

So says Auditor Pat Reilly’s report to the School Board on the August 2nd agenda.

The PTSO was permitted to handle cash receipts, disbursements and deposits for most of the schools clubs and activities for at least ten years.

Clubs paid a $50 annual “service” fee to the PTSO to handle their financial services, something the school’s bookkeeper was required to do for nothing.

The school’s staff knew they were bypassing all School Board Policies.

For example, when someone requested a check from the PTSO bookkeeper, they would simply fill out a check request form without a description or approval from the Principal.

This would bypass the school’s internal control.

Most of this under direct supervision of then Principal Joel Herbst.

Or it should have been.

Herbst was promoted to South Area Superintendent in 2006 by Frank Till

Now Herbst wants to be the district’s next Superintendent.

With this kind of record of bypassing policy and procedure, the Board needs to crawl up his ass with a microscope rather than put him on the short list.

Here is the text of a report from the current Principal of South Plantation High School, Dr. David Basile to Dr. David Desmond Blackburn, Central Area Superintendent dated May 4th of this year:

Subject: Response Audit Report in Internal Accounts – Fiscal Year 2009 & 2010

I have reviewed the PTSO/Intemal Audit for South Plantation High School for the 2009 and 2010 school year. While the audit was for only two years, the process cited in the Audit Exception was in place for over 15 years at South Plantation High School. I became the Principal in 2006-07, during the month of March 2010, I discovered in a conversation I had with the Auditor during our FTE Audit, that the process our PTSO used for the past 15 years to hold club and team accounts to be a violation of School Board Policy and Standard Practice Bulletin 1-101. That day I discussed this with my Bookkeeper and the PTSO leadership and told them that we would discontinue the practice as soon as we could get all the accounts into our internal accounts. The Auditor sent me an e-mail on March 23, 2010 that had attached to it all pertinent policies and practices that I shared with my Bookkeeper and the PTSO leadership. Both my Bookkeeper and I told every club sponsor (approximately 39) that the way business was done for the past 15 years was a violation of Board Policy and of the impending change. From this:

• I met with all parties involved and I discontinued the 15 year practice on June 6, 2010.

• I sent every club/team sponsor in 2009-2010 an e-mail detailing the pending changes.

• I reviewed the policy (Standard Practice Bulletin 1-I01 Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4 and School Board Policy 3.1, 3411, and 6301 with my Bookkeeper and the PTSO Leadership.

• I notified the entire staff in writing of the change and the new accounting process for club/team/activity funds.

• I will meet annually with PTSO Leadership (as it changes frequently) to review all procedures.

I know that there will be no other problems, since I stopped the practice. Should you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to contact me at any time.


As I’ve written before, it’s just another example of a district official either complicit in violating rules and policies, or completely unaware of what his subordinates were doing.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

A good reason to give district senior staff a complete enema.

You can find the entire audit report here (it’s on pages 95 – 104)