DPS critic linked to fake Seawell email

An EdNews analysis of Internet records links a local publisher and longtime DPS critic to two emails sent in recent weeks to Denver Public Schools staff and others, including one email that may appear to be sent by school board President Mary Seawell.

Election 2012 LogoThe email address used by Guerin Green, the publisher of neighborhood newspapers in Northwest Denver and in Cherry Creek, is the contact on the account that registered, the domain used to send an email critical of Denver Public Schools and its bond proposal to thousands of DPS employees on Oct. 16.

Green said his company registered the domain name but that he had nothing to do with the content of the site or with sending the related email.

“Just because my company may host a website doesn’t mean we have anything to do with the content,” he said.

He declined to release the identity of the person or persons for whom he registered the domain name, saying “That’s information that we could keep confidential with our client.”

Seawell, an outspoken advocate for the bond issue, said she received dozens of phone calls and messages after the Oct. 16 email was sent. It also went out to some DPS parents and others active in the district or Denver education circles.

Seawell declined much comment on Green’s link to the email, saying she was investigating online records and exploring her legal options.

“I want to make sure I have all the information before I jump to any conclusions,” she said.

In addition, online records show a total of four domain names hosted on the same IP address as that of The other three are, and

Both and are listed as held by Domains by Proxy, a company that allows those registering websites to keep their identities secret. Green is listed as the contact for both and, the online home of the newspaper he owns.

Asked about, Green replied, “What is that?” and added, “My company has registered probably 100 websites.”

The first email, sent Oct. 3, includes the subject line “Save our schools from drowning in debt” and lists three concerns about the district’s financial state, including “Denver Public Schools is $25,000 in debt for each child currently in school.” It directs readers to the website, which contains no information about who’s behind it.

The email is listed as coming from “” and contains no signature or author. Green said he did not author the email or create the website’s content.

In response to the email, David Suppes, the district’s chief operating officer, sent an email to district staff refuting the “misinformation” in the Oct. 3 “spam” email and noting, “Our AA credit rating is clear evidence of the soundness of our financial situation.”

That prompted the Oct. 16 email to DPS staff and others, this one purporting to come from “” and describing Suppes’ email as “spam.” At the end of the lengthy email, which is critical of the district and its bond proposal, is the signoff: “Not the real Mary Seawell (obviously).”

The site,, is blank. In previous weeks, the URL had directed viewers to the site.

Seawell said she was not aware of the site bearing her name until a reporter pointed it out to her several weeks ago. Online records show it was created Sept. 15. Green linked to from a Cherry Creek News story posted online Oct. 2.

Green, who has two children in DPS neighborhood and magnet programs, is a longtime critic of DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and his predecessor Michael Bennet. More recently, he has taken aim at Seawell, posting Sunday on the No on Denver 3B Facebook page that she has become “the etch-a-sketch, say anything Mitt Romney of Denver politics … the worst of politics in a smiling, patronizing package.”

No on Denver 3B, a group organized to fight the bond proposal, has denied any involvement in the emails sent to DPS staff and others. Earleen Brown, a spokeswoman for the group, said, “We have attached our name to all communications from the campaign.”

Friday, the political blog site was the first to link Green to the fake Seawell website. The post also describes Green as an “ally” of DPS board member Andrea Merida, who also opposes the DPS bond measure.

Merida and Green have worked together in the past, including passing out fliers outside a Stand for Children meeting and creating a blog post criticizing DPS reforms that appeared on a Philadelphia school news website.

But Merida denied any involvement in, or the two emails sent to DPS staff and others.

“I have nothing to do with it,” she said in response to an email asking for comment.

EdNews reporter Julie Poppen and technology specialist Jon Sisk contributed to this report.

call out

Our readers had a lot to say in 2017. Make your voice heard in 2018.

PHOTO: Chris Hill/Whitney Achievement School
Teacher Carl Schneider walks children home in 2015 as part of the after-school walking program at Whitney Achievement Elementary School in Memphis. This photograph went viral and inspired a First Person reflection from Schneider in 2017.

Last year, some of our most popular pieces came from readers who told their stories in a series that we call First Person.

For instance, Carl Schneider wrote about the 2015 viral photograph that showed him walking his students home from school in a low-income neighborhood of Memphis. His perspective on what got lost in the shuffle continues to draw thousands of readers.

First Person is also a platform to influence policy. Recent high school graduate Anisah Karim described the pressure she felt to apply to 100 colleges in the quest for millions of dollars in scholarships. Because of her piece, the school board in Memphis is reviewing the so-called “million-dollar scholar” culture at some high schools.

Do you have a story to tell or a point to make? In 2018, we want to give an even greater voice to students, parents, teachers, administrators, advocates and others who are trying to improve public education in Tennessee. We’re looking for essays of 500 to 750 words grounded in personal experience.

Whether your piece is finished or you just have an idea to discuss, drop a line to Community Editor Caroline Bauman at

But first, check out these top First Person pieces from Tennesseans in 2017:

My high school told me to apply to 100 colleges — and I almost lost myself in the process

“A counselor never tried to determine what the absolute best school for me would be. I wasted a lot of time, money and resources trying to figure that out. And I almost lost myself in the process.” —Anisah Karim     

Why I’m not anxious about where my kids go to school — but do worry about the segregation that surrounds us

“In fact, it will be a good thing for my boys to learn alongside children who are different from them in many ways — that is one advantage they will have that I did not, attending parochial schools in a lily-white suburb.” —Mary Jo Cramb

I covered Tennessee’s ed beat for Chalkbeat. Here’s what I learned.

“Apathy is often cited as a major problem facing education. That’s not the case in Tennessee.” —Grace Tatter

I went viral for walking my students home from school in Memphis. Here’s what got lost in the shuffle.

“When #blacklivesmatter is a controversial statement; when our black male students have a one in three chance of facing jail time; when kids in Memphis raised in the bottom fifth of the socioeconomic bracket have a 2.6 percent chance of climbing to the top fifth — our walking students home does not fix that, either.” —Carl Schneider

I think traditional public schools are the backbone of democracy. My child attends a charter school. Let’s talk.

“It was a complicated choice to make. The dialogue around school choice in Nashville, though, doesn’t often include much nuance — or many voices of parents like me.” —Aidan Hoyal

I grew up near Charlottesville and got a misleading education about Civil War history. Students deserve better.

“In my classroom discussions, the impetus for the Civil War was resigned to a debate over the balance of power between federal and state governments. Slavery was taught as a footnote to the cause of the war.” —Laura Faith Kebede

Weekend Reads

Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience.

We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.

Got a classroom of your own to show off? Know someone that should be on this list? Let us know!

Jaclyn Flores, First Grade Dual Language, Rochester, New York
“Having a classroom that is bright, cheerful, organized and inviting allows my students to feel pride in their classroom as well as feel welcome. My students look forward to standing on the stage to share or sitting on special chairs to dive into their learning. This space is a safe place for my students and we take pride in what it has become.”

Jasmine, Pre-K, Las Vegas, Nevada
“My classroom environment helps my students because providing calming colors and a home-like space makes them feel more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn as first-time students!”


Oneika Osborne, 10th Grade Reading, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami, Florida
“My classroom environment invites all of my students to constantly be in a state of celebration and self-empowerment at all points of the learning process. With inspirational quotes, culturally relevant images, and an explosion of color, my classroom sets the tone for the day every single day as soon as we walk in. It is one of optimism, power, and of course glitter.”

Kristen Poindexter, Kindergarten, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
“I try very hard to make my classroom a place where memorable experiences happen. I use songs, finger plays, movement, and interactive activities to help cement concepts in their minds. It makes my teacher heart so happy when past students walk by my classroom and start their sentence with, “Remember when we…?”. We recently transformed our classroom into a Mad Science Lab where we investigated more about our 5 Senses.”


Brittany, 9th Grade Biology, Dallas, Texas
“I love my classroom environment because I teach Biology, it’s easy to relate every topic back to Forensics and real-life investigations! Mystery always gets the students going!”


Ms. Heaton, First Grade, Westampton, New Jersey
“As an educator, it is my goal to create a classroom environment that is positive and welcoming for students. I wanted to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and in return stimulates student learning. A classroom is a second home for students so I wanted to ensure that the space was bright, friendly, and organized for the students to be able to use each and every day.”

D’Essence Grant, 8th Grade ELA, KIPP Houston, Houston, Texas
“Intentionally decorating my classroom was my first act of showing my students I care about them. I pride myself on building relationships with my students and them knowing I care about them inside and outside of the classroom. Taking the time to make the classroom meaningful and creative as well building a safe place for our community helps establish an effective classroom setting.”


Jayme Wiertzema, Elementary Art, Worthington, Minnesota
“I’m looking forward to having a CLASSROOM this year. The past two years I have taught from a cart and this year my amazing school district allowed me to have a classroom in our school that is busting at the seams! I’m so excited to use my classroom environment to inspire creativity in my students, get to know them and learn from their amazing imaginations in art class!”


Melissa Vecchio, 4th Grade, Queens, New York
“Since so much of a student’s time is spent inside their classroom, the environment should be neat, organized, easy to move around in but most of all positive. I love to use a theme to reinforce great behavior. I always give the students a choice in helping to design bulletin boards and desk arrangements. When they are involved they take pride in the classroom, and enjoy being there.”