A new name came forth recently in Delaware education. I must admit I had never heard of him before. Or had I? But who is he and how could he become a voice in Delaware education?
Governor Carney nominated Wali Rushdan for the State Board of Education. The Senate Executive Committee will look at his nomination at their meeting next Wednesday, January 10th.
Rushdan is an attorney at Fox Rothschild LLP. According to his LinkedIn account:
Currently representing Fortune 1000 companies, Fortune 500 companies, and mid-sized businesses across the country. Special focus on Intellectual Property and Real Estate.
While looking for any experience in education on an extensive Google search, I was unable to come up with any direct links to Delaware education. He is involved with a mentoring program for minority high schoolers called The Anomaly Project which certainly sounds like a worthwhile endeavor. But then I remembered the name. I had seen it before. In fact, I even wrote about him once:
Another attorney from Fox Rothschild, Wali Rushdan, appeared to be helping Family Foundations Academy at their September 30th board meeting by taking minutes of the meeting. Rushdan is also a member of the very same Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity that all the members of the Family Foundations Board and Head of School Sean Moore belong to. While this could all appear to be coincidence, it should definitely be looked into by investigators. There are just way too many connections here folks, and there needs to be answers and explanations to all of this in a public forum.
So Rushdan was affiliated with the Family Foundations folks like Sean Moore and other board members based on what I wrote. I don’t know what that exact affiliation was. The board minutes weren’t exactly clear. I remember being very curious why someone not on the board, a guest, would take minutes of their board meeting. The minutes did indicate a prior attorney at Fox Rothschild was looking to find a new attorney there to help with their expansion (which did occur in FY2016). They apparently needed a “bond finance practitioner”. The Google search showed a mention of Rushdan’s affiliation with FFA on his biography page with Fox Rothschild, but when I went to that page, there was no mention of FFA.
If you right-click on that PDF, it does not show an author but it does indicate the page was created on 1/10/2018. However, a blog called The Hip Hop Marketer mentioned Rushdan in an article about Community Excellence In Leadership and that showed Rushdan as a board member at FFA.
Another Google search also found some comments Rushdan made on the TeenSHARP Facebook page, but when I went to look for those, they no longer appeared on that Facebook page. Not sure what to make of that. I am curious why his Fox Rothschild biography was edited just two days ago, the same day the Senate Executive Committee would have set the agenda for his nomination. If I were the Senate Executive Committee, I would definitely ask about his affiliation with the convicted former Head of School from Family Foundations Academy, Mr. Sean Moore and why that information was scrubbed from his biography at the law firm he works for.
In 2015, Rushdan was selected as one of Delaware’s “40 Under 40” as reported by The News Journal.
Last April, Colonial School District had Rushdan speak at a “Pathways To Success” event.
If nominated, Rushdan would replace former State Board of Education member Gregory Coverdale who resigned from the State Board two months ago.
I truly thought the whole Family Foundations Academy saga was done when Sean Moore was sentenced last month but it appears there are some loose ends that may need to be explained. Such as how much did Rushdan know about the extreme fraud and abuse that was taking place at the school. He worked for the same law firm as Alan Wohlstetter, the legal counsel for FFA during their charter renewal. Yes, he would have been bound by attorney-client privilege. While all of this could be circumstance, our Delaware Senate needs to probe into any connection between Rushdan and Family Foundations Academy before confirming his nomination for the State Board of Education. Personally, I don’t think a corporate attorney with very little direct experience in public education aside from some very worthwhile ventures into student mentoring, should be given a membership on the State Board. But this is Delaware…