COCONUT CREEK (CBS4)- Former Broward Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant is back on the Broward School Board’s payroll as a guidance counselor, and not everyone is happy about her hiring, or her paycheck.

Oliphant, who now works at the Dave Thomas Education Center in Coconut Creek, beat out 55 other candidates who also wanted the position, CBS4’s Jorge Estevez reported. In her new role, Oliphant will counsel students.

But Oliphant is catching fire because she was hired after she flunked her teacher certification more than a year ago and lost her job at a Fort Lauderdale school. She has since obtained that certificate, and January 31 she began her position as a guidance counselor.

What has people shaking their heads is what she’s being paid. Oliphant will be making $75 thousand a year, at the top end of teacher pay, despite the fact she has spent very little time in the last 25 years in a classroom.

“What are we doing at $75,000 a year and we are going to hire somebody that has been thrown out because of incompetence,” said Michael Hadyn.

Oliphant was removed as Supervisor of Elections by Governor Jeb Bush after a series of troubled elections and charges of management incompetence.

She had been a Broward School Board member, but while she holds a Masters degree, she had not been a teacher until she lost her county position.

“I cannot believe she even got that job,” resident Angel Ambrosio said. “I am really upset about it. I didn’t even know. I don’t think it is right. I don’t think she should be working for any counseling.”

Oliphant’s pay is based on 23 years of what the Broward County School District calls “directly related work experience” including her ten years as a witness coordinator as the Broward Public Defenders office.

“I’m certified. I passed the exams. I’ve got a master’s degree and 23 years experience and I’m qualified, and that’s all I have to say about it,” Oliphant said in a brief telephone conversation Friday with the Sun Sentinel.

The Broward County School District released a statement backing their decision to hire Oliphant.

“Miriam Oliphant not only meets the basic qualifications for a District guidance counselor, but she also has the special skills set required,” said Tracy Lockhart-Talley, Principal of Dave Thomas Education Center.

Her position as a guidance counselor at the Whiddon-Rogers Education Center from 2008 to 2009 raised eyebrows when it was learned she began earning the top salary for teachers after less than a year on the job while holding a temporary teaching certificate.

She worked as a substitute teacher while she obtained the needed teaching certificate.

Oliphant’s salary reached more than $75,000 because she received the $3,000 bonus for having a master’s degree.

Comments (8)
  1. tired says:

    Is this the same School Board that was just cited by, rand Jury inquiry for “gross mismanagement and corruption”? They never learn!

  2. Marti says:

    wher are Miss Oliphant’s credentials and licensure with the State of Florida to offer counseling services? Those of us with LMHC (Licensed Mental lHealth Counselor) or LCSW (Licensed Social Worker) initials after our name have not only received Master’s degrees, but have gone through 2000 hours of supervised training and taken a Licensure Exam with the State of Florida. We have to take continuing education courses to keep up with changing laws and ethics. I can’t believe that she can practice counseling without the proper credentials. Life experience is not acceptable. Especially when it’s not in the field of counseling.

  3. Mari says:

    It would be interesting to know who her fairy godfather or mother is. How could she be the best qualified in such a large field? South Florida corruption at work.

  4. j smith says:

    Failing Upward/Sideways – a South Florida tradition. I doubt Ms. Oliphant could last a week flipping burgers, which is what most of her “counselees” will no doubt end up doing (if they stay legit) I can’t believe she hasn’t had the good sense to leave Florida.

  5. Robert says:

    She has a Masters Degree and flunked the Teacher Certification?? Fellas, she must be pretty good at something else, something you can’t or are not willing to do!do

  6. INFURIATED says:

    HOW DOES SHE GET THIS PAY WHEN THE REST OF US TEACHERS ARE MAKING LESS THAN HALF OF THAT!!!!

  7. exasperated says:

    They have been doing this in Miami-Dade for years!!!!

    If you have a “friend” higher up, you can get a sweet job doing nothing.

    They come to work at 10 and leave at 4 and take from 11 till 1 for lunch.

    They send out memos – that is their main job.

    It is disgusting.

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