Superintendent under investigation for inappropriate relationship with student

December 13, 2009

templeton highBy KAREN VELIE

San Miguel Joint Union School District board officials have hired an investigator to look into allegations that 55-year-old Supt. Dean Smith had an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

“The school board is concerned and they are investigating, but we are not permitted to discuss the issue at this time,” a board member said.

Smith, a former Baptist minister, recently left his wife of more than 30 years for “Anne” (not her real name), a young woman he began “mentoring” while she was in the sixth grade. Supporters of Smith claim the relationship did not become intimate until after she turned 18.

Earlier this year, board members took their concerns to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation, which included interviews with Smith, “Anne” and her mother, concluded that nothing illegal occurred.

“We found no evidence of criminal activity,” said Rob Bryn, sheriff’s public information officer.

CalCoastNews tried to contact “Anne” for comment, but she could not be located.

Smith, who has been the head of the San Miguel School Joint Unified School District for four years, did not respond to requests for comment from CalCoastNews.

Despite the fact that the sheriff’s probe found no illegal activity, some board members and law enforcement officials nevertheless question the thoroughness of the sheriff’s investigation. Just hours after the first report had been made to law enforcement, someone allegedly warned Smith about the impending investigation.

Sheriff Deputy Clinton Cole, the officer assigned to the San Miguel Joint Unified School District beat, is a friend of Smith’s, and at one time lived on Smith’s property.

CalCoastNews interviewed more than a dozen teachers, school officials and law enforcement officials while gathering information for this article. Many have asked to remain unnamed because district officials have asked them not to discuss the issue.

Smith, then principal of Templeton Middle School, first met and began spending time with “Anne” when she was in sixth grade in about 2003. One teacher describes how Smith would ask her to treat the girl differently than the other students.

“He was very protective of her,” the unnamed teacher said, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job. “He said she came from a troubled home.”

Smith continued his relationship with the girl after he left Templeton Middle School for his current superintendent position in San Miguel. According to co-workers, Smith would explain that he spent time “mentoring” the girl because she was facing serious health problems and had a problematic home life that included an uncle who had been imprisoned for allegedly molesting her.

“Anne” graduated from Templeton High School in June, shortly after she turned 18. In July, Smith took her to a San Luis Obispo County Office of Education board meeting in which school officials discussed inter-district transfer agreements. When some of his fellow area superintendents realized the teenager accompanying Smith was not his niece, they began questioning what Smith was doing there with the teenager.

“He groomed this young lady for this,” a local school superintendent said.

Last month, Smith and “Anne” arrived hand in hand to the yearly Elegant Evening in Paso Robles, where some onlookers questioned the San Miguel superintendent’s behavior as “inappropriate” for a ranking school official.

“He was grabbing her. .  . ,” a school official said. “I find this scandalous.”

Meanwhile, some concerned parents have pulled their children from the district as investigators continue to look into when the relationship became intimate.

“Anne’s” MySpace comments report that she is in a relationship, though she does not mention who her boyfriend is or when the relationship began.

She does, however, provide an “About Me” profile that describes her feelings about school.

“I can’t stand school,” she says. “I’m just trying to get by. I’m ready to move on with life. I hate hearing the alarm in the morning just to know that the only thing my day holds is school filled with nonsense and ridiculousness. I reach for the day when I get to say goodbye Templeton High, it has been nice knowing you….”


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Booty JuJu

Can anybody name a single tradition more established then buggering the flock? Not even. And being that this is north county we’re talking about, extra credit points are automatically given for staying within-species, with extra bonus points for opposite sex.


So, what’s all the fuss about?


High public office, law enforcement authority, fat-pensioned public service, Citizen of the Year – it’s all part of the required training and generations old culture.


zaphod

The DEVIL finds work for idle glands!


cheseburger

Like I said before bootyjuice you are a great and dignified writer and I for one am almost always impressed by your posts, stay within the species, LOL, so true, so funny and did he make citizen of the year too, or is he just running for that office.


inmyopinion

Hey closed minded one…this type of “buggering” isn’t just isolated to the north side of the grade. I wouldn’t want to live in the south county anymore than you would want to reside here. Contrary to your popular belief…we are not a bunch of inbred toothless idiots. This is not another dumb north county redneck issue… this has to do with trusts being broken by yet another “Christain” doing good in the crusade to make our world a “better place” and to “help humanity”. Bullshit is all I can say, wait…I can also say this…stopp bagging on the north county and look in you own front yard for a change.


cheseburger

The Chese took his daughter, out of a SAN LUIS OBISPO SCHOOL TODAY, in protest of the actions of this superintendent, unless you approve of this man’s actions towards little girls, you might follow suit and surprise the district with the same option, I’m sick of the slow court system and this is a direct way to show your children you want to change things and protect them, I am only one, but if 1000 or 10,000 didn’t show up for school this predator would be ousted immediately, take action instead of blogging, give your kids a Xmas they will never forget, they will love you for it, kind of like a parents union, with an option to go on strike, this is something new and it possibly, just might work! To the parents of the alleged victim, you might file suit!Merry Xmas everybody including the ones who don’t like Cheseburgers!


Sunshine89

get a life and grow up …….. let’s put the kids further behind. They are not in harms way. If they were he would have already been arrested, there was an investigation. If the idiots that wrote the story did there own investigation the would have found that Deputy Cole had nothing to do with the investigation and it was legit!!!


cheseburger

Good mourning sunshine, I had a life, before Gearhart ruined it and I’m quite grown up, my daughter is in kinder garden and to tell the truth had a slight cough and temperature but, I still think a parents union with volunteers for leaders could keep these high payed perverts, out of the school system, good by sunshine. Please go back to your cozy little bed with your husband of 42 years senior age, beyond yours, where there’s smoke there’s soon to be fire, and you get a life too.

We grind these kids through 12 years of school for what a worthless diploma, you can’t get a minimum wage job with, the cheseburger graduated early and left his at San Luis High, it’s still there, and no, I did not finish college and have hired many a college graduate to dig footings ( ditches ) for houses because they couldn’t find a job after graduating from college, to each his own and if your kid has a brain like mind does, what would a week hurt.

P. S. To tell some one to get a life for voicing their opinion, is inflammatory, see what happens, a little chese for you sunshine, good moniker though I like it. You are definitely entitled to your opinion but to tell some one to get a life, is childish, so you grow up. OOps maybe your not yet.


Cindy

Sure the investigation was legit, that is why Smith got tipped off two hours after he was reported. He and Elle had plenty of time to get the story straight.


andysmith

hello, my name is “andy smith” and i am dean smiths son. i recently have moved back from the seattle area to san luis obispo county for family support. i am currently residing with my father before i leave for west hollywood. i can assure you that there has been no inappropriate behavior that i have witnessed between said “anne” and my father. the relationship is strictly platonic and by no means is inappropriate by any professional standpoint. our family has had an extremely rough year regardless of any of the slander involving my father. it would be kind of the uninformed “meanie heads” to please let the situation diffuse. in no way am i writing this out of spite- merely trying to inform the public that our family has endured enough this past year and please try to be a little more kind in your discussions. thankyou.


cheseburger

Andy you write,”uninformed “meanie heads”” if you don’t like it spit it out, every body has had a rough year regardless of their dating habits, your father seems to have no ethics to teach the young people and should resign, and I want to know why your sister won’t even talk to him? If your really his son, is that peachy enough for you?


zaphod

You prove Andy’s point perfectly chese.


he_is_a_hypocrit

Good for you to be a support to your dad, too bad your mom ,who is going through even worse pain than your dad, you won’t even speak to. Way to go…


Also, as far as this being a platonic relationship– HA! You should see the text pics that I’ve been sent of your (55 year-old) dad and his (18 year-old) “friend”. Holding hands, snuggling in line at In ‘n Out, Hollywood Video, etc. I’ve got the proof. Maybe you should have a heart to heart with dear ole dad and better yet, give your mom a call!


zaphod

You should see the text pics that I’ve been sent oh please!


andysmith

I am in no way writing this as a disrespectful statement. I have had the heart to heart. I am the real “andy.” my mother and i speak on a daily basis. If you have this so called proof, than why hide your name on this blog. Grow a set. Show your name and we shall text the pix back and forth. yes ma’am????


blackdeath

Andy, I think the person that needs to grow a set is you. You really need to take a deep look into the mirror and do some serious soul searching. You have been so caught up in your own selfish destructive behaviors that you forgot about the ones that love you the most. Sadly, your dad and mom didn’t work and grow together while dealing with your actions. Instead they grew apart. Dad always gave you the excuse and easy way out while mom was harder on you. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you have contributed to a huge part as to what has happened and what your family has endured. The true victims here are your mom and sister. Go get some help!


thinkforyourself

Dean smith and dean smith alone is to blame for his actions!!.He is a big boy and knows right from wrong. his sons actions have nothing to do with his affair!


inmyopinion

if you have em…fire them off to the web or new times or even youtube so we can be done here.


Bud

Or better yet, if you have pics of them before she turned 18 then send them to the School Board, the article says there is an investigation maybe the pictures can help get this man out of their school, and protect other children from a pervert.

To those of you who say you care about his wife, and daughter, if you have evidence why don’t you take a stand against this man and come forward to the Board? Everyone likes to talk here, but it’s not going to help if the information isn’t in the correct hands.

If you have any evidence get it to the correct people.

PLEASE TAKE A STAND AND PROTECT THE CHILDREN HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AS A SUPERINTENDENT!!


moderator

Less CAPS please, no need to shout, everyone can hear you.


slotowngirl

Andy – you know the truth. Your father did not leave your mother of 30 years or decide not to have a relationship with his daughter or grandchild over a “platonic relationship”. I concur with ‘blackdeath’ commenter, you need serious help – your selfish actions continue to break your family’s hearts. I hope that you begin to realize that much of the turmoil endured by your family this year (and many years before this one) was due to your behavior. Many marriages cannot survive when a child dies, is ill or is as destructive as you have been. Its not difficult to deduct that your dad looked for validation elsewhere (though at the very least wish he would have stayed within legal age limits), because he obviously felt as though he failed as a father. The specific reasons why things have happened may not ever come to light – but its no secret you play a huge role in this and the sooner you begin to understand that, the sooner your family can (hopefully) begin to experience even just a sliver of healing. Please seek help and commit to improving your life for good. People care about you, your family loves you and no one wants to witness you destroying yourself. Please get help….please.


thinkforyourself

andy ,that is crap, You did not cause your father to have an affair! no matter what you did! HE is reponsible for what HE has done.YOU are reponsible for only your actions.


kittie

Andy just be thankful that you were not one of the many girls that you father propositioned. People like him prey on the weak. That’s why he is able to have a “relationship” with this GRIL. They are the slim of this society. I am so sorry for what your father has done by blinding you so greatly that you still can’t see straight. And I am truly sorry for your mom she is a sweet heart…Thank goodness she saw well enough to leave him!


girl was in my class

why did your dad leave your mom then? then all this came out explain that he was the principal when i was at TMS then left when my grade left and this girl happened to be in my grade and at our graduation they had a whole handshake routine… this is gross…. and what are you doing in west hollywood i heard you have a wierd job with many girls


he_is_a_hypocrit

I know this man. He is a liar and not the Christian he claims to be. His family is devestated and his own daughter will not even speak to him. (Nor will she let her son see him.) I saw this ‘relationship’ developing six years ago when Mr. Smith would flirt among the girls at Templeton Middle Schools. He’s a liar and a lousy adminstrator. Sorry San Miguel, you’re test scores for the last four years only validate what a poor leader he is. Mr. Smith, your karma awaits you!


Elle

The test scores have improved.


he_is_a_hypocrit

is that why you’re in program improvement and students are leaving as fast as they can? You obviously are under his “spell”, but you’ll see soon enough when he stabs you in the back– which he most definitely will! He’s spiteful and self-absorbed.


Bud

Elle look at the AYP scores they have gone down from 20-21 for the AYP criteria, to 14-21 AYP criteria.

Deputy Cole did live on Mr.Smiths ranch.

If Mr.Smith wasn’t a minister then why did he tell people he was?

If the student felt uncomfortable with the comment about her dress, then she felt it was inappropriate.

Finally you say that the article is a lie, I think the reporter of this article researched her information before printing this article, witnesses have seen Mr. Smith with this young girl out in public including the superintendents meeting. Are all these people liars?

The fact of the matters is, what ever the age of this girl he is a married man, and as far as I know he still is. What kind of example is this for the young people he is educating?

Open up your eyes Elle.


blackdeath

I think what is being missed out on is not that she is 18 and she’s legal rather the actions that he has known her since she was in 6th grade. To think that the thought never entered his mind before 18 is just ridiculous! The actions alone say predator. She should have been referred to a counselor and he had no business getting involved. Also the test scores are up in some areas but very few, overall they are low and have continued to be low. I think the person was meaning overall. Study your data!


kittie

I believe that an investigation should be opened towards other students. He was my principal for two years when he first came to this community from the La area.

Sure he is a nice guy, and I liked him.

BUT he made inappropriate comments like ” you look very pretty in that dress today”. EWW! My friend never wore that dress again. There is a huge line of what is ok and not ok to say to students.

Esp when we are no older that his own daughter (at the time)!!!

Another creepy thing was running into him years later, at least 10, and he remembered my name. I told my mother and thats when she reminded me of the dress incident. We wern’t suprised that this is happening!!


Sunshine89

That is not an inappropriate comment………grow up!


Cindy

It isn’t always what is said but the way it is said. We all like to feel that we look good. If this young woman got creeped out it’s because of the way he looked at her when he said it or how he said it. I don’t think there is a woman alive that doesn’t know exactly what I’m talking about. Never doubt your instincts kittie, the fox was obviously guarding the hen house.


he_is_a_hypocrit

the way he said it (over and over again) was. if you were there, you would be horrified! He had his flock of girls who’d play with his tie and giggle. He was reliving his own admittingly painful teenage years! just GROSS!


Elle

How dare he nicely compliment girls AND boys on their appearance when they are at their lowest points on life. I bet those kinds of things kept kids from killing themselves by helping their self esteem. And perhaps he’s just good with names, teachers remember your names too. Will you persecute them too?


he_is_a_hypocrit

nope, always the girls and always the vulnerable ones. how about comments like, “I wish my wife would highlight her hair like that”. He told my daughter’s friend that one. You may say, “oh what a nice compliment”, but that is highly inappropriate to a 12 year old.


kittie

I grew up in Templeton… And no Even My MOST favorite Teachers Dont remember my name. So I dont believe that I am that memorable!


Its like what Cindy said ITS HOW he said it! Even so a Teacher/Principle Should NOT be saying comments like that. If I remember correctly he wouldn’t say comment on things like that when other adults were around. BIG RED FLAG. That is why we told my mom!

If you get the “UH Oh feeling” and he’s sneaking around…..THEN HE’S DOING SOMETHING WRONG!


Dexter

In reponse to Dauntless who wrote below “Shame on you all for attacking one of your own. ”


If Mr Smith is indeed a former Baptist minister as reported, I wonder how his flock would react to news that he left his wife of 30 years for a teenager whom he had mentored in his capacity as a principal of her Jr High School?


Aside from any judgement concerning improper behavior prior to the young lady attaining the legal age of 18, this man’s conduct is deplorable and I am sure that 99.9% of all educators would agree on that point.


Elle

He wasn’t ever a Baptist minister. That is just another proof that the information in the article is false along with Deputy Cole living in the Smith home, etc.


he_is_a_hypocrit

he WAS a minister in so cal.


defined

yes but he wasnt a BAPTIST minister. just more flaws in the story. sorry to burst your bubble.


Archangel

Not to burst your bubble Defined, but this story has WAY more truth to it than flaws!


Cindy

I also have to question what this ‘superintendent’ thought he was doing when he was mentoring a young woman from the 6th through the 12th grade. That in itself is cause for alarm and derelict of duty. She should have been referred to professional counseling , particularly since she supposedly had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle. The outcome of his ‘mentoring’ speaks for itself. He sure fixed things, didn’t he? There is no possible excuse for this.

To Elle – You obviously don’t get it, please get HELP.


cheseburger

redirecting personal attack cheerfully deleted by ccn moderator


Elle

I get it. I’ll conform to this as soon as they find it to be true. But as far as we know there is absolutely nothing going on just a bunch of rumors that no one can prove. If a trained detective couldn’t find anything on it then I doubt there is any new information considering she is of age now.


slotowngirl

Elle,


I understand not wanting to believe something about someone who you trust and who you can’t imagine could ever do such a thing. I didn’t want to believe it either. What kind of minister he was or if Cole lived on his property (article never said he lived in the “home”) or not, is really insignificant in the scheme of what is true and what is not and how it relates to unethical and unlawful behavior. What is important is that he be removed from his position first and foremost. So there was an investigation that didn’t “find any evidence of criminal activity” – how are they to prove NOW (a year later) that the relationship was inappropriate and sexual? Obviously it would be pretty difficult at this stage to “prove” it. You want “proof” – go ask his wife or daughter. They know the truth which is why their world is shattered. You are in denial and I get that – sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes it sets you free. He has ripped his family apart with all this. This will all come to light soon enough, but if you are looking for the “Monica Lewinsky dress” to appear for your ‘proof’ you may be waiting a long time for that kind of evidence (unless of course she is pregnant). The fact that he is flaunting his relationship with “Anne” now by showing up to board meetings and town events, is sickening.


Since you say you have daughters, you should be able to understand that when an adult (in any capacity) mentors and/or has been apart of a student’s or any child’s life since they were in 6th grade and then begins an intimate and/or sexual relationship with them before they are 18 (while he is still married, mind you), this is predatory behavior that should be treated as such. Bottom line – whether the girl “Anne” knows it or not, she needs professional help because she is/ was victimized twice.


Mr. Smith needs to be called out for the man he really is, his son needs rehab, and his wife and daughter need support and love because they are dealing with unimaginable grief and heartache.


he_is_a_hypocrit

slotowngirl,


you hit the nail on the head! let’s hope for healing, strength, and sensibility for this family.


defined

FOR THE RECORD. she was getting professional help as well. sorry he was being a friend through it all. sucks having human feelings doesnt it?


he_is_a_hypocrit

“being a friend…”, no, he was her principal and mandated to protect her from the likes of himself. Mr. Smith, those ‘human’ feelings are what put men like you in prison, and hopefully for a very long time! Also, great job bringing andrew in on your little lie!


defined

ha mr.smith? silly you’d refer to me as a man- definitely a woman. sorry youre mistaken. and as far as bringing andrew into this “lie” i can honestly say grow up. you care this much as to put effort into hurting this man?


slotowngirl

FOR THE RECORD – A 54 year old married man (Administrator, Superintendent, teacher, etc.) has absolutely NO business “being a friend through it all” with a 17 female student. Only he knows when unethical thoughts entered his mind – perhaps it was when she was in 6th grade, perhaps not – we will never know. Bottom line is – it was and is wrong. There’s no way around it. If his true intentions in the beginning were to ‘help’ then he should have directed her to a professional counselor. Instead, he decided to play the role of father figure which turned sexual and that is – sick and twisted.


Elle

How did you pull a sexual relationship from any of this?


Cindy

They were seen in public groping each other. That’s how we know there is a sexual relationship. His wife and daughter believe there is a sexual relationship, do you think they don’t know the truth?


slotowngirl

Elle,


I did not “pull a sexual relationship” from this article. I did not learn any of this from this article. The “sexual” nature of this relationship is 100% without-a-doubt the truth and I didn’t need this article to tell me so. While I know it to be so now, I believe it was so when she was 17 – possibly younger, but again that will be very difficult to prove.


I would like to suggest that you err on the side of caution and be very careful about defending a stance on something you know very little about, if for no other reason – than as a mother of daughters. Big life lessons can be learned from all of this – including parents honestly and consistently talking to their kids about difficult topics rather than allow your disillusions about reality cloud your judgment.


Janette8

“Being a friend”… come on….! So lets take your word for it (defined) that Mr. Smith was just being a “Friend” and having human feelings for this girl. ONE girl!

How are you going to explain to all of us why he didn’t have those ” Human Feelings” toward every 1 out of 10 kids in the 6th-12th grade that are living in a unstable, unhealthy, un-secure home? Anne was NOT the only child that needed Mr. Smiths “HELPING HAND”. So how come he only chose to help a pretty, young, female for over 3 years?

If she was receiving professional help like you said then what was the need for Mr. Smith to continue to be a forceful part of her life?


Archangel

There is a definite line between being a friend and having a relationship with a 17 year old girl, and he absolutely crossed it! And I can also tell you with out a doubt their relationship has crossed several lines!


Bluebird

Smith crossed the line when he started mentoring “Anne” in the 6th grade. If in fact she had a difficult family life and health problems the appropriate response would have been to refer her for professional counseling. Teachers who recognized something was wrong were in a difficult position as he is their boss but they too had a responsibility to report his behavior to the school board. It would be interesting to know if the school board had been apprised of his behavior or did everyone just want to pretend he really, really had her best interest at heart.


smgirl101

Why is the quote “Anne” (not her real name)” being used? When you become an adult and make adult decisions your name is and can be public. So my question is why are we protecting an adult that made a decision to become a party to an adultress affair, because we are treating her as a child. This man is in a position of authority and has abused it. Sadly the 18 year old adult does not have a clue as to the child she really still is.


defined

AHHH. Let me explain the reason why “anne” is being used, and not her real name. This would be a tool used by media to manipulate circumstances to make them a tad more appealing to a naive and uninformed audience. If a false name is used it connotes the impression that one “anne” is a victim. However (using our common sense), one would know “anne” has not spoken any negativity toward the matter so cannot be a victim in this situation.