OP-ED: Jennifer Lake Wokebegone – PART III

The following is an opinion editorial authored by Todd Bartley, Fox Sports Williamsport, todd@foxsportswilliamsport.com.

In the immediate aftermath of the publication of OP-ED: Jennifer Lake Wokebegone – PART I and OP-ED: Jennifer Lake Wokebegone – PART II Fox Sports Williamsport continued an even deeper look into Jennifer Lake and her ascent to Williamsport Area School Board member.

A mountain of documents and background materials have been obtained, including Lake in her own words.

What has been discovered is quite remarkable and miraculous for someone who claims to advocate for children on a daily basis.

So why did Jennifer Lake sit silent at the WASD school board meeting on that fateful February 2020 evening?

Was it just another baseball courtesy?

Was it a quid pro quo for those who signed her election petitions?

Was it a quid pro quo for those who attend her church?

Was it a quid pro quo for those who donate to her non-profit the Secretary of State has no record of?

Do her election petitions and affidavits give us any clues or possible answers?

Has Jennifer Lake sat silent on issues of race because she is just too tired?

Jennifer Lake was contacted for this story on several occasions; to date she has not responded.

 

In the past week Pennlive confirmed the previously reported by FSW news of Attorney General John Shapiro accepting the “criminal sexual misconduct” case referral from Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner.

The case stems from a 2018 incident occurring on the WAHS baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

In OP-ED: Jennifer Lake Wokebegone – PART I, the first statement I made was, “My argument is, Jennifer Lake you missed your moment!”

In fact Jennifer we are approaching the four year anniversary of an article you posted on your own website titled “I’M A WHITE WOMAN RAISING A BLACK SON. HERE’S MY PERSPECTIVE ON BLACK LIVES MATTER.” published on July 14, 2016.

Allow me to make a prediction, that post and entire website will soon be coming down and the argument will be to “protect her children and her privacy.”

Sorry Jennifer, too late again, you missed another moment.

Back to the Lake article from nearly four years ago and almost a year into her first term on WASD school board; you know the systemically racist WASD, that Jennifer Lake led the charge to memorialize and codify just a few weeks ago.

The article opens, “I have been fairly quiet about recent events in our country because honestly, I just feel so tired.”

Her next line eerily foreshadows what happened to George Floyd, “I feel as if I am emotionally suffocating at times.”

She is so “tired and emotionally suffocating” she waited four years to identify what she claims is systemic racism in the WASD.

It will get progressively worse from here.

Now she lends her perspective which she believes gives her not only instant credibility but moral authority on this issue.

Lake: “I am a white mother raising a black son alongside raising a white son.  This doesn’t mean that I’ll ever be able to understand what it must feel like to be a black citizen in this country these days.  But it does mean that I have a perspective that few have.”

Nearly one month after the Lake article, the New York Times, published on August 16, 2016 a story related to social media discussions on crimes of racial injustice; “on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Dylann S. Roof, a white man, walked into a black church in Charleston, S.C., joined those there in prayer and then opened fire. He killed nine people that night.

Twitter erupted again the day after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury in police custody last April.

The funeral was held on Monday, April 27, 2015, a day that ended with the Maryland governor activating the National Guard in response to riots in Baltimore. The following day, Tuesday, April 28, users posted 3.4 million race-related tweets, contributing to the second-largest single-day conversation on the subject over the period studied.

The third-, fourth- and fifth-largest discussions of race on Twitter all occurred as the nation reacted to the death of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead, hanging in her Texas jail cell, three days after being arrested last summer.

On July 22, 2015, one day after the authorities released dashboard camera footage of Ms. Bland’s arrest, users posted 3.3 million tweets discussing race. The next day, they posted three million more. A week later, on July 29, the conversation was just as loud, with Pew attributing the three-million-tweet-strong discussion that day to protests held in response to Ms. Bland’s death.”

Lake: “I know that I’m not alone in feeling the weight and sadness of the events happening in our country.  I made the decision to be fairly quiet on social media for a while because I just needed a break from it all.  I have been watching, reading, observing but not commenting much.”

So Jennifer Lake, from day one as a WASD School Board Member, you sat idly by and never addressed the systemic racism in the very same district your children attend school in?

How you could allow this to happen?

Lake: “I have observed friends of mine dismiss “Black Lives Matter” because they want to spread the message that All Lives Matter.  Please hear me when I say that I agree…ALL lives DO matter.  But that’s an entirely different issue.  When I say Black Lives Matter, my point of reference is the unfair and often times rude treatment that I have seen my son be subject to.  He is only 12 and we have a lifetime of experiences like this coming for us.”

So, in your world ALL lives do not matter?

How exactly do you explain that to your biological children?

All lives matter, means all lives matter, correct?

That is what the Bible says that you previously used to hide behind in a social media post.

What ever happened to Genesis 1:27, NIV, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Does that verse makes any mention of race?

She concludes the article, “So when you hear Black Lives Matter, I would simply ask you to respond with, Yes!, They absolutely do.”

So Jennifer, with the article you authored outlining how white people and their inherent “privilege”; how is the systemic divide ever going to change if you keep perpetuating it with this narrative?

Do you also subscribe to the stated Black Lives Matter position on the nuclear family or did you just like how the headline sounded?

“We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

By the way, why did it take you nearly five years to bring this up to the WASD school board?

Were you just too tired and staying off social media?

Was it all the social status climbing that was more important?

 

Jennifer, will the students in the WASD be safer as you continue to jam down the BLM platform position of “Defund the Police”?

Does this mean no more School Resource Officers in the WASD?

As FSW has already reported when fights break out SRO Miller stands down units responding when concerned parents call 911, so will it really be a big change from the status quo?

 

On a personal note, in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray riots I was led to a place called Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

It just so happened Chestnut Hill College was playing a basketball game there and I needed to cover for one of our broadcasters.

That January we began a broadcast relationship with Coppin State that still stands today.

In fact, Jennifer, for that relationship I was actually called out on social media for “abandoning the athletes of Lycoming County”, I believe Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the FAMILY of JOHN DOE #1 would beg to differ.

Coppin State University is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and as their play-by-play broadcaster it is humbling to be able to say COPPIN PROUD.

Remember the Freddie Gray riots, the “peaceful protests” started across the street from campus at Mondawmin Mall and proceeded to the blocks near campus; and we all saw what played out on national television.

Chaos reigned and Baltimore burned!

I have driven and will continue to drive into those same neighborhoods to do games at Coppin State University.

Lifelong friendships have been forged at Coppin and I would not trade them for anything.

You see Jennifer, in my experience at Coppin and in the MEAC for that matter, it is all about family.

The conversations never begin with Hey Todd, you’re wearing your white privilege today, right?

The conversations begin with,

“I’m so happy to see you!”

“Hey Mr. Gary, how are you doing today?”

Most of the time, they are accompanied with smiles, hugs and laughter.

As the games progress, the ongoing conversations and jokes at the press table with everyone from everywhere in the world is about each other and our shared experience in the moment.

We have followed each other on social media and share stories often. This is the same experience from my time in eastern North Carolina with folks that lost everything in hurricanes in recent years.

Skin color does not matter to me, they are family to me because we share something greater – faith in each other!

Faith that we can put the color of skin away and just enjoy each other for who we are to each other.

Person-to-person, experience by experience, relationships are forged.

Jennifer, I share this with you because as happy as those times have been, there have been tragic times as well.

Coppin State Head Baseball Coach Sherman Reed had to bury his son who was a victim of random gun violence.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Reed was found fatally shot late Thursday in the 3800 block of W. Patapsco Ave. in the Violetville neighborhood, according to Baltimore Police. He was one of seven people shot in the city that night. Police have not announced any arrests in the case and had no updates Sunday.

Last August, I drove to a funeral home in Baltimore to see my friend Coach Reed to give him a hug and tell him I was sorry for his loss.

You see Jennifer, Coach Reed had taken me in like his own family when I began doing his teams baseball games. We traveled all the way to Daytona Beach, Florida to the MEAC tournament in 2019 and were set for another great run this year until the coronavirus changed everything.

To date, no suspect has been identified in the murder of Coach Reed’s son and the case remains unsolved.

The same day Reed died, Dorothy Reed said, his son’s camp had the kids write a letter to their parents. Reed’s son wrote that Reed was the best father and he was excited to go the Ravens game with him that Thursday.

Sherman Reed Jr. left behind an 8 year old son at the time of his tragic passing.

 

IRREGULARITIES

Lori Baer, WASD school board president signed two different Republican petitions for Jennifer Lake on February 19, 2019 the same day as a school board meeting, as follows:

#3 Lori A. Baer, right below WAHS Athletic Director #1 Sean McCann and Stevens Elementary School Principal, #2 Kirk Felix.

Her signature appears four spots above fellow WASD board member #7 Patrick Dixon’s signature. He is also the signatory on the back of the page noting his role as “Circulator”, notarized and submitted to the Lycoming County Board of Elections on March 5, 2019.

On the back of this same Petition are the signatures of now former WASD administrator #20 Randy Zangara, his wife #21 Tina Zangara and WASD board member #22 Adam Welteroth; all of whom signed on February 24, 2019.

Another petition reflects, #1 Lori A. Baer, right below that is WAHS Head Principal #2 Brandon Pardoe; both of whom signed on February 19, 2019.

On the Democratic petitions, #1 Richard Poole Director of Student Services, right below is the signature of WASD board member #2 Nancy Story Somers followed by #3 WASD Solicitor Fred Holland all signed on February 19, 2019.

Former WASD Education Foundation Executive Director Greg Hayes trying to do his best Lori A. Baer impersonation signed a pair of Jennifer Lake petitions as well on February 19, 2019.

#5 Greg Hayes, right below #4 WAMS Principal Justin Ross, Somers circulated the Petition for Lake and garnered 29 signatures.

#1 Greg Hayes, right below, #2 Barbara Reeves both signed on February 19, 2019, Reeves circulated the Petition for Lake garnered 30 signatures. It was notarized and submitted to the Lycoming County Board of Elections on March 6, 2019.

#8 Jennifer Lake, signed her own petition which had 8 only total signatures on March 5, 2019. The same day it was notarized and submitted to the Lycoming County Board of Elections on March 5, 2019.

Lake garnered 61 signatures including herself, while Somers collected 29 signatures for Lake and Reeves collected 31 including herself and her husband.

Patrick Dixon garnered 118 Republican signatures for Lake.

 

JENNIFER LAKE EMPLOYMENT WITH BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES

Why has Jennifer Lake recently become so quiet publicly and on social media while her husband takes up for her from his bully pulpit?

Is it because the further into Dwell Orphan Care one digs; the more unanswered questions one finds?

Jennifer Lake worked for an organization called Bethany Christian Services based in Michigan.

For years Bethany specialized in international and domestic adoption as well as post adoption care of client children and adoptive parents.

Let me make the clear distinction now, Lake worked for and did not volunteer for Bethany Christian Services.

How is this is verified?

Multiple ways, Lake disclosed this fact on her election Statement of Financial Interests form from March 10, 2019 for the year 2018.

On the same form she claims income from First United Methodist Church of Williamsport where her husband is the lead pastor. The address for the church provided by Lake, according to the Lycoming County Tax Office does not exist on a map.

Fox Sports Williamsport further verified her employment history with the human resources director of Bethany Christian Services who stated, “Jennifer Lake was employed from November 3, 2016 until May 3, 2019.”

Lake began with Bethany Christian Services as a Resource Family Development Specialist and prior to quitting she was a Post Permanency Case Worker.

According to the human resources director of Bethany Christian Services; the reason for separation: “voluntarily left for a job change.”

When asked about any complaints lodged against Lake, “you need a release from Jennifer Lake for that information.”

So Jennifer, how about that release in the spirit of transparency as a publicly elected official?

You forgot to mark another box on your Statement of Financial Interests form last year C Public Official (current) – it was blank.

So glad to know you remembered the fact you held Public Office at the time, you must have been too tired.

On line 13 Office, Directorship, or Employment In Any Business you listed Dwell Orphan Care with an address of 1157 Market Street, Williamsport and the box asking for Position Held (i.e. officer, director, employee, etc.) – it was blank too.

Your bio page says you are the Founder and Executive Director of Dwell Orphan Care, why not list that?

You must have been too tired to remember that fact too.

My guess is you will look at the floor again while deciding not to agree and claim you are again the victim of a public forum attack of your credibility.

You know like JOHN DOE #1 in the Myrtle Beach case you still refuse call a victim.

Another irregularity in the Statement of Financial Interests affidavit filed by Jennifer Lake shows and address for Bethany Christian Services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania which is interesting since the information developed by FSW for this story clearly states she was working out of the State College office.

Just some of that proof, is her attendance as an exhibitor at the PASAP-PAMLE 2019 Conference held from February 24 – 26, 2019 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College.

In the list of exhibitors it clearly states:

Bethany Christian Services 2147 East College Avenue. Suite A State College, PA 16801

Telephone: 814-867-2848  (portions redacted)

Booth Representatives: Jennifer Lake and Rebecca Baughman – Booth #8

Bethany is a not-for profit adoption and family services agency with more than 65 years of delivery compassionate, professional services to a hurting world. Our worldwide team of more than 1,100 experienced staff ministers to children and families in more than 80 locations across the US and on five continents.

Our Central PA location, with office in Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, State College and Martinsburg, WV offers Foster Care and Foster Care to Adopt, Domestic and International Adoption, Post Permanency Services, Safe Families and Save Families PLUS for Children, Counseling, ADOPTS and equine therapy, Refugee Services, and Pregnancy Counseling and Parent Training Services.

Bethany Christian Services manifests the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality of services.

 

Bethany Christian Services has been challenged in court all over the country for a miriad of issues related to their claim of “manifests the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality of services.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer has been following the Bethany Case “The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Philadelphia dispute over same-sex foster parents.”

From the article, “The path to the Supreme Court started in March 2018, when a same-sex couple interested in becoming foster parents said they were turned down by Bethany Christian Services because they were lesbian. An Inquirer story about the incident found that CSS had a similar policy of not working with LGBTQ people. Bethany agreed to change its policy to align with the city’s anti-discrimination rules. CSS did not, and the city ended its foster-care contract.”

BCS subsequently amended their policy on same-sex couples becoming foster parents and regained a contract with the City of Philadelphia.

So does Bethany Christian Services, the firm that employed Jennifer Lake have the best interest of the child in mind at all times or is something else at play?

An article titled “Shotgun Adoption” was published by thenation.com chronicling ironically enough a story involving a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina case.

“Such enthusiasm for Christians to adopt en masse begins to seem like a demand in need of greater supply, and this is how critics of current practices describe it: as an industry that coercively separates willing biological parents from their offspring, artificially producing “orphans” for Christian parents to adopt, rather than helping birth parents care for wanted children.”

This same scenario played itself out in when a biological father in State College sued Bethany Christian Services claiming his rights as a father had been violated and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania agreed.

According to a Centre Daily Times article from August 7, 2017, “State College adoption agency sued for more than $1 million.”

From the story, “The suit alleges that “Bethany knowingly, voluntarily and tortiously interfered” with the man’s parental rights by refusing his requests for custody of the child and to visit the child on all but one occasion. The suit also claimed that Bethany Christian Services provided the man with false information about the pre-adoptive parents, would not provide information about the child’s whereabouts and refused to facilitate a paternity test.

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled in August 2016 that “the father has been deprived of (the) child without any evidence in the record that he is an unfit parent, and without the benefit of due process protections.”

The court also opined that the adoption agency’s actions were “troubling.”

In the court’s conclusion, it expressed sympathy to the pre-adoptive parents’ efforts to raise the child, but that “our sympathies must give way to (the) father’s fundamental constitutional rights” and that he is presumed to be a fit parent.

The case was transferred to York County, where Judge Todd R. Platts ordered in June (2017) that the child’s biological parents share custody on a week-on, week-off basis.

The lawsuit alleged that Bethany Christian Services’ motive was to protect business profit, which caused economic damages and emotional pain to the father in his quest for custody and also harmed his relationship with the child. The suit has requested more than $1 million in punitive damages, more than $50,000 in compensatory damages and more than $20,000 in legal fees.

Jennifer Lake began her employment with Bethany Christian Services on November 3, 2016.

FSW, has also confirmed multiple civil court cases against Bethany Christian Services in the Philadelphia region.

Jennifer Lake, you remember the one who was “too tired” for nearly 8 years to address systemic racism and nearly 5 years as a member of the WASD school board sat down for an interview with macaronikid.com on February 26, 2018 for an article titledSome common misconceptions about adopting from foster care include:

1. “It’s too expensive.” The reality is that the costs are very minimal. Adopting a child from foster care is often funded by the state, and in many cases, there are little to no fees (varies by state). Medical assistance and financial subsidies are often available as well.

2. “They need unconditional love. They need consistency. They need someone to show up for them. They need a family.”

Lake unequivocally states, “They need unconditional love. They need consistency. They need someone to show up for them. They need a family.”

So in the case of JOHN DOE #1 in the Myrtle Beach case when you were asked for to second a motion for an independent investigation; you showed no love, no consistency, and never showed up, instead history shows you sat silently while looking at the floor.

In other words, you failed JOHN DOE #1 and his family.

 

Jennifer Lake your website is quite amazing, in your biographical information it states; “She is the Founder and Executive Director of dwell Orphan Care; a non-profit seeking to support foster and adoptive families so that children have a safe, loving, forever home in which to dwell. She has been alongside her husband in ministry for over 20 years and understands the unique challenges that come along with being “The Pastors Wife”!”

It goes onto ask:

ARE YOU CALLED TO LEADERSHIP?  THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING “YES”.
IT ISN’T A QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE A LEADER BUT INSTEAD,
“HOW WILL YOU LEAD?”

  • Maybe you have a ton of responsibility and no support system to push you towards excellence.

This entire community is still waiting for you to practice what you are handsomely rewarded to show up and preach as your side hustle.

“If you resonate with this quote from Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” then working with me is going to change your life for the better. You need clarity. You need direction.  You need a Coach.”

Really?

JOHN DOE #1 was looking for a coach in Myrtle Beach, however after Ryan Miller picked up two prior convictions for DUI you approved him to be an assistant baseball coach before allowing him to become the head baseball coach.

Jennifer, you and your fellow WASD board members allowed Miller to take nearly 40 student athletes multiple states away with no hotel room assignment list with only paid and volunteer coaches as “chaperones”.

Of course, Miller let you and the WASD off the hook from firing him by resigning in disgrace after showing up to a game drunk; when he was suppose to be coaching.

Some would call his and your actions endangering the welfare of children and when you found out what happened on that trip; your response could be called depraved indifference.

I have a snapshot of Jennifer Lake after she just read this part; she again is looking at the floor, just so tired of facts getting in the way of the truth she has tried to spin of all these years.

 

KIND WORDS GET REWARDED

In the interesting world of Jennifer Lake, if you say nice things about her and for her, you get rewarded.

According to her own coaching website John Machak, President of The Wealth Factory offered the following after working with Jennifer Lake:

“I would highly recommend working with Jennifer Lake as a mentor and personal coach. She has been a tremendous help to my business and personal life. She listens and pays attention to you as an individual and caters her coaching to fit your specific needs. Her personalized Yoda-like coaching skills were invaluable to my success and I wholeheartedly recommend her to anyone trying to improve personally or professionally.”

John Machak is currently a Dwell Orphan Care board member.

FSW, confirmed Dwell Orphan Care received $3,590.66 on March 20, 2020 as part of the Raise the Region campaign from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

FSW also inquired about the formation documentation and IRS Form 990 for Dwell being provided to the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, FCFP declined comment on those matters citing existing policies and protocols.

Jennifer, in the spirit of transparency how about providing the IRS Form 990’s for Dwell since its inception?

Why not?

 

As a footnote, your inability to stand up for a defenseless child and offer a second to a motion may have also cost your husband his ministry too; since you are using the church and your home which the church owns as offices for your non-profit.

Hope it was worth it to stay in the cool kids club.

No worries, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his team will do a real thorough job of investigating who knew what when and who did favors for who and in the end; history will show exactly how wrong you were to sit quietly as the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child victim came and went.

Your response wasn’t even a whisper, it was depraved indifferent silence.

Maybe the cause was the The Dragon of Self-Doubt you spoke of in your blog on April 7, 2015.

You are unfit to serve as a WASD school board member.

As you relinquish your seat on the WASD school board, take the rest of those that also sat silent with you that evening including; Lori A. Baer, President, Dr. Jane Penman, Vice President, Patrick Dixon, Star Poole, Barbara Reeves, Marc Schefsky and Nancy Story Somers.

On your way out, ask WASD Solicitor Fred Holland to join you since he apparently has no understanding of the difference between “indecent and inappropriate behavior” and “criminal sexual misconduct.”

Can everyone also thank you for the “Racism Has No Home Here” signs in there yards when all the different protesting factions show up in a few weeks looking to destroy property?

Just to be clear, there was never going to be a Jennifer Lake statue erected for a future generation of protesters to tear down or have removed someday.

There may have been if you would have stood up for JOHN DOE #1 instead of sitting silently in your seat staring at the floor.

As I previously stated Jennifer, you effectively resigned from the WASD school board on February 4, 2020 just like you quit Bethany Christian Services on May 3, 2019.

Jennifer, will all do respect with these types of facts in the record you have a blind spot for that elephant in the room in regard to the Myrtle Beach case.