Citrus Park Christian School


Citrus Park Christian School has been destroyed by three people Dominick DeCristi and Dave Ferguson from First Baptist Church Citrus Park, INC. DBA Citrus Park Ministries and Charity Thompson Dominick DeCristi and Dave Ferguson from First Baptist Church Citrus Park, INC. DBA Citrus Park Ministries and Charity Thompson from Citrus Park Christian School Conspired to close a school tampa florida!!. Citrus Park Christian School has been destroyed by three people u2018 Dominick DeCristi and Dave Ferguson from First Baptist Church Citrus Park, INC. DBA Citrus Park Ministries and Charity Thompson from Citrus Park Christian School and it is a sad day in the community and unfortunately it is too late to correct it. The information circulating in the community is not accurate and full of half-truths u2018 I will expose the real truth below: You are being misled that the demise is generated by mismanagement which caused a financial stress. That is a LIE u2018 there is only one reason for the ending of the school and it is driven by the Church – First Baptist Church Citrus Park, INC. DBA Citrus Park Ministries because they refused to give the school a lease and/or proper notice to find a new location. Yes, I know you will say it is not true but u2018 I know both sides of the story and below is the TRUTH. Background Citrus Park Christian School (School) has been around for many years and was part of First Baptist Church Citrus Park, INC (Church). In 2014, the school started its own nonprofit and became independent. During this time the school had no formal agreement for the space they rented, which was on the church property. The school did not pay rent but did pay maintenance fees, salaries and other cost for the church and the Church benefited and received payments from the school to more than offset the expenses, the school was a profit center for the Church. The church and the school are both nonprofits. Whatu2019s a nonprofit? A corporation authorized by the IRS to be tax exempt. There is no individual owner and is owned by the public; meaning that everyone in the community teachers, parents and even students own the school. Who am I and why am I writing this? I had 2 kids go to the school and they have already graduated. So why would I care? Because the school changed my kids lives and developed the character of the many other students, which I came to know. If you equate them to a sports team their winning record is 99.9%. A schools job is develop the children for the future. Their kids have high SAT scores and they either go to college or other career paths. The environment was wholesome u2018 these are good, well-mannered children that have respect for their elders and each other. The school and the teachers did their job and have impacted the community in a positive way for generations to come – by building good responsible people for the future. Thank you to the teachers that work for low pay and their sole intention is to build these young people to be successful in the future not only career wise but more important in character, while sacrificing financial gain. So whatu2019s the problem? DeCristi, Ferguson and Thompson have destroyed the School and have destroyed the school and itu2019s impact for the future for the 300 students that attended last year and many more that would have gone to the school in the future. Ferguson, DiCristi and Thompson put their personal beliefs (or vendetta) above the school, which has changed the course of the future for the children and the families in a negative direction. Ferguson and the former Head of school Yellets had a personal beef. Speaking frankly, I did not agree with everything the administration did and how they made decisions, but who agrees with everything everyone does? But I over looked what I didnu2019t agree with it because it bettered my children and many others. In the grand scheme of everything, it was small issues and being in their position you have to make decisions for the greater good. Yellets saw the writing on the wall with Ferguson, despite the fact that the children were educated in an excellent manner, and are brought up in a Christian environment. Ferguson, perhaps was jealous because he has no spine and his lack of character and ignored the benefit that the school had on the community, he chose to ignore the later and instead he focused on his personal petty differences and sought an irrational and unethical path. The story that goes around is all about the finances and that Yellets turned the school into a losing one that could not have survived u2018 bear with me for a moment and Iu2019ll explain how that was a smoke screen and not the real reason the school will not be around anymore. Fergusson refused to rationally, ethically and morally sit down with either Yellets or the board in a timely fashion to resolve their differences, for the betterment of the community, instead chose DiCristi to be his hit man against Yellets. A real man of God would have realized the impact that the school had on the community and the jobs it provided for the teachers and found a way to continue the good work and worked out the differences for the greater good. DiCristi, in my opinion also had a personal beef with Yellets and did not like the way certain things were done at the school, as we all didnu2019t, sought to oust the entire administration; this was done with the blessing of Ferguson and the church. DiCristi operated, in my opinion, with evil intent. He personally told me that the school was great for the children and did a fabulous job. Curiously his youngest child graduated in the final class from CPCS. Yellets made a mistake with the 8910 project, buying a piece of property for $2.4 million and building a school. He bit off way more than the school could afford. Yes, people hated him for this, yes he knew the Church was going to put the screws to him but he should have scaled down the project and moved into an existing building, instead of building something so elaborate. Had he done that they could have moved this year and the school would still be open. What most people donu2019t understand is that the money they raised for that project can only be used for that project or refunded. They raised approximately $120k which was used on the early feasibility studies and what is needed to determine whether it could be built on. Again, this was a miss-step but the school could have easily survived. The money raised for the building was used on the feasibility study, this is an appropriate use of the funds that were raised for the building. The financial background – the school has a $300k line of credit that each and every year prior to this year, would go to zero and the school would use the line of credit and would pay the teachers over the summer and the beginning school year expenses until the StepUp and Mckay money would come in and the school could be cash flow positive. The Church, who has no formal lease with the school decided to not give a lease to the school and verbally charged the terms the school and charged them $75K in addition to all the expenses they were already paying. Because they have no formal lease they can change anything they want, there was no protection for the school. This was a major weakness the board knew and were attempting to obtain a lease for the past year but even after the church instituted the additional rent they still gave no written lease to the school. Due to this arrangement. the school had no leverage or rights because it was always a handshake deal which in real estate is very unusual. When arbitrarily instituting this rent, which had never been charged to the school before and was done to make it appear that the schools financial situation was much worse u2018 with the sole intention to oust Yellets; the church also charged the school an additional $25k in fees and expenses. Again because there was no written agreement of any kind the school was vulnerable and had no protection. This meant that the church can change the rules because there are no rules, thus opening up the opportunity for individualu2019s personal input. This enabled the church to receive an additional $100k which came directly from the line of credit, which was over and above the costs from the previous years. The school still paid the regular fees and salaries of church staff, again this rent and fess were new expenses, that that had never been required in previous years. In my opinion and understanding – this was done with the sole intent to get rid of Yellets over personal beefs. Another strain on cash flow was the Parkland shootings. The school spent approximately $65k for a security guard and surveillance equipment and upgrades to school security. Bottom line approximately $165k of the line of credit went to new security and to the church with the biggest part going to the church as their way to take over the school. Ferguson and DiCristi using the church as a guise went to the board of the school screaming about the dire financial situation demanded that Yellets be fired. DiCristi promised that if the board fired Yellets and other administration the school would get a lease. Yellets did resign. The board complied but no lease was given. The church continued to change their demands for removal of other board members and administration. The board continually caved to the churchu2019s constantly changing demands. The church did not negotiate in good faith and kept changing the deal structure. Their intention was to take over the school which was done in wickedness. It was a power play with total disregard to the school community. When negotiating or problem resolution – it is impossible to hit a moving target. Why Iu2019m I writing this? How did I get in the middle? Because, the rumor mill started about the school closing, my one kid told me about it and asked u201cwould my degree still be good?u201d Of course it was you earned it but unfortunately those students who were to be attending this fall will not have that opportunity My background is business and conflict resolution and I have been doing this for over 30 years. I thought it was a typical situation where the parties do not communicate and if a neutral party gets involved, they can communicate with both parties and get a resolution, typical in a dispute. Unfortunately, I was 3 weeks too late and didnu2019t have the whole story until last Friday night. I spoke to DiCristi and he told me that the u201cproductu201d was good and the school was just carrying too much overhead. And of course he had no authority to resolve it and had little input; he had to go back to the u201ccouncilu201d of the church. First of all u201cProduct?u201d These are childrenu2019s lives and future, say what you want about Yellets, like him or not, his job was develop good people with good character u2018 he did his job u2018 of course with the help of the teachers, who are the backbone of the school and are being unfairly punished by the church. I got into contact with Ferguson, through a representative, we communicated through this source, of course not directly. Because they really didnu2019t want to resolve it and it was a power play. Still at this time, I was under the impression it was a communication issue, unbeknownst to me this could not be further from the truth. I communicated with the school board, which welcomed me with open arms to resolve the conflict. The board had limited options which included a possibility to filing a lawsuit and seeking an injunction to keep the school open. Ferguson refused to resolve it because they had already been communicating with the Insider and quasi administrator, Thompson an employee of the school. Thompson by her own admission had been sitting directly with Ferguson and DiCristi and working on options to resolve it, when in fact it was a power play to take over the school for their own personal reasons and not the betterment of the students and the parents, maybe she thought she could take Yellets job and get more money, donu2019t know, but it blew up in their face. Thompson has been going to the church for 22 years and was married in the church. She stated that she had a great relationship with Ferguson, if true, which I believe, she could have easily resolved the issue if it were not for her personal agenda. DiCristi stated u201che didnu2019t think it would end this way.u201d If the children were really important to Ferguson, DiCristi and Thompson they could have sat down with the board and resolved it in under an hour. But that wasnu2019t the goal, and due to their gross incompetence and disregard they have destroyed the school and any future, solely because of their own personal evil intent. I used to respect Thompson until I found out who she really was – she was the athletic director at the school and the football Coachu2019s boss. Thompsonu2019s son played on the team. She did not like the position her son was playing on the football team u2018 he was moved from linebacker to nose guard. So what did Thompson do? This is direct from a text she sent the coach and outside school activity. not the problem on the team and continues to be moved. How about trying to figure out how to score a touchdown instead of messing with one player actually doing his job. I have bent over backwards this year to do your job for you in the athletic department and continues to get screwed over by you because he has a willing heart to try different positions. If you donu2019t want your life to be harder than it is right now you better fix this. He has been taught to be respectful of adults heu2019s not totally sure how to stand up for himself when it comes to coaches telling him what to do.u201d Wow, talk about two faced, nasty person possessed by the devil. This is only one insight into who she really is. Oh and by the way coach was fired right after the football season. When I met with the board I read another email from Thompson, done in May 2019, that was claiming that they could not give them information and it was illegal because parentu2019s information was on it. What a joke. I read the long diatribe and it was absurd, she should have been fired but the board only had authority to hire and fire the head of school. How can a staff member be privy to the financial information but not the board tasked with running the school? I got involved to assist in resolving the issue. I met with the School board to help and they were open and had a plan to survive. The school could have survived if the church would have been honest and forthright upfront. This could have been resolved way before but it was not about protecting the school but was for their personal agenda. At the meeting with the parents, on Friday, the board and Yellets were crucified for financial and incompetence reasons but that is not the issue because it is not the REAL reason for the downfall of the school. First of all the board is highly competent with business experience and cared so much. They were willing to put their own money in to pay the teachers and save the school. But without the ability to stay and the churchu2019s intent to take it down to the wire, the board had no control and ran out of time, the truth is it is not their fault. Letu2019s go over the facts. Had the Church been honest up front and gave the school an ultimatum to get off the property in a reasonable time u2018 the teachers would have been paid and the school could have survived. Had the church let the board do their job and been honest and upfront u2018 the teachers would have been paid and the school survived. If at least by the beginning of May 2019, the school had the u201crealu201d parameters to stay on the property for at least one more year, the teachers would have been paid because they only needed approximately 30 students out of 300 to prepay the tuition, the board made up of at least 12 students u2018 the teachers would have been paid and the school survived. Had the church not high jacked the school by arbitrary demanding rent with the intention of creating financial pain and swiping $100k over and above the previous years, with the intent to scream incompetence and drive Yellets out u2018 the teachers would have been paid and the school survived. If Ferguson did not let his personal agenda and dislike for Yellets and had any type of backbone u2018 the teachers would have been paid and the school would have survived. He is the pastor of a church, what a great Christian man u2018 can you say hypocrite. With pastors like him who needs Jesus? If DiCristi was not such a dirt bag and had any integrity u2018 the teachers would be paid and the school would have survived. If Thompson was not such a low life and while operating in the name of Jesus u2018 the teachers would be paid and the school would have survived. So what can happen now? The church should pay the teachers their wages. If they donu2019t it is highly probable that the teachers have a class action lawsuit against the church for tortious interference with contract. The church operated immorally and unethical with evil intent over a personal disagreement. Only a fool would put their kids in an environment that is operated by or next to such unethical leadership, especially in the name of Jesus. Ferguson and DiCristi should be excommunicated from the church and be barred from ever being around any kind of Christian education school. Thompson should be barred from any communication and relationship from any children under the age of 18. Fergusons way u2018 u201cIf itu2019s Gods will.u201d Letu2019s be real, you loser, God gave you the will – the 10 commandments, gather as much information as possible and make the decision that benefits the greater good and treat people as you want to be treated, yes really, it is that simple. You should resign and sell hot dogs on the side of the road, which still is probably too good for you. Whatu2019s my agenda? I hope that this communication can reach another Christian school that will welcome the teachers and the students for the future. Of course not all but a good majority, unfortunately the time is slipping away and everyone is scrambling. Itu2019s a true tragedy because of a few select individuals to lose what has been gained. If there is a lucky Christian school – they will inherent great teachers and great students and a great culture that can build outstanding people in the future and improve their school and impact on the community. If you can help find a suitable home u2018 My promise to you – if you are the right fit for this outstanding group and you are too small, I will find you temporary classrooms to make it through the year. Youu2019ll have the teachers and the students and incredible impact by helping the mission. The truly sad part is that we live in a crazy world today and the only real change in the future is from the children u2018 they carry the torch and at this moment the torch is extinguished – we will never know if a future graduate could be mayor, governor or even president and have a positive effect on the world because of the values and environment they came up in is all dissipated because of just a few bad people. Ferguson, DiCrtisi and Thompson should just start their own church and school but be honest in the name u2018 The Church of Ferguson, DeCristi & Thompson.

This review (Citrus Park Christian School) was originally published at Skeptic Files.

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