This is the same guy that harassed Kim Rhodes out of the district, and later tried to demote Gail Copeland from Miller School

(Because this couldn’t have happened to a more malignant asshole, we thought this post should be at least the highlight of the month, if not the whole year. It’s absolutely glorious.

From the late 50s on Kim Rhodes had been the heart and soul of the Burbank Adult School. Gail Copeland was one of the best principals in the history of the BUSD, if not the best. But back in the mid-1990s Pierce and a board majority tried to kick Gail out of Miller School until the public outrage grew so great that they were forced to bring her back.

Kim had no such luck — a few years earlier Pierce and Dave Aponik successfully harassed Rhodes out of the district into early retirement after years of loyal and loving service on her part. For the woman who actually brought Helen Von Seggern into the district’s nascent Parent Ed program, there’s not a stitch of remembrance for her anywhere.)

Former BUSD Superintendent Art Pierce’s grandson killed both his parents


(Andrew Balcer’s grandfather Arthur Pierce, 82, looks at photo of Balcer during a hearing Thursday in Augusta to determine whether Balcer should be tried as an adult for allegedly killing his parents.)

There’s probably a few people in Burbank who’ve already heard this sordid news, but here goes for everyone else.

Couldn’t happen to a bigger jerk.

AUGUSTA — For a while at Long Creek Youth Development Center, the Winthrop teen accused of killing his parents preferred to be called “Andrea” and wanted people to use female pronouns to describe him, a Long Creek program manager testified in court Thursday.

Andrew T. Balcer, 18, accused of brutally slaying both his parents during early Halloween morning last year, is back to using “Andrew” now and identifying as a man, testified Beth Peavey, who works in the detainee section at Long Creek. She said Balcer made the shift from female identity back to male because of “the possibility of him going to the adult system.”

Her testimony Thursday came in support of the defense’s contention that Balcer’s gender identity crisis and fear of his parents’ reaction to it probably was the impetus for his “snapping,” and stabbing Alice and Antonio Balcer to death nearly a year ago…

Balcer was a month away from turning 18 years old when he called 911 to say he had killed Alice and Antonio Balcer, both 47, at their Pine Knoll Road home in Winthrop.

A recording of that call, made about 1:45 a.m. Oct. 31, 2016, and a second, three-hour recording of Balcer’s interview by two Maine State Police detectives later that day, were played in the courtroom Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center.

He told police he plunged a hunting knife into his mother’s back as she as giving him a hug to comfort him during the early morning hours. Her screams woke his father, and Balcer stabbed him as well, following him into the dining room, where his father headed, apparently to try to get his handgun.

While Wednesday’s hearing was largely about the crimes and the results of the psychological evaluation of Balcer, Thursday’s proceedings started with McKee calling Balcer’s grandfather, Arthur Pierce, 82, of Brunswick, as a witness.

Pierce, a retired school superintendent, testified that Balcer spent his younger years camping, climbing and rowing, but was mostly a loner, content to be by himself and on a computer or a cellphone.

“He was demonstrably bright,” Pierce said. “Everything he did academically or otherwise, he was just a quick thinker; socially, not interactive.”

Pierce also said he didn’t recall Balcer playing with other children his age, at least not when Pierce was around.

“I don’t think he ever in my presence played with or had other interactions with other people of his age,” Pierce added. “He did interact very nicely with his cousins, but there were none were of his precise age.”

As Pierce identified photos from happier times, showing Balcer at ages 5 and 10 or so, in the Maine woods and in a dinghy, Balcer himself smiled occasionally in the courtroom. Dressed in the same long-sleeved white shirt and dark tie and pants he wore a day earlier, Balcer appeared more focused on his surroundings. On Wednesday, he paged through transcripts as the recordings were played, frequently held his hand to his head and left early in the afternoon portion.

Balcer’s hands were free, but his ankles were shackled. Pierce said that when he visited Balcer at Long Creek last spring, Balcer talked to him about his feelings about changing his sexual identity and was anxious about how he would take it.

“My reception to that was a big hug,” Pierce said. “Whether he’s male or female or transgender or seeking, it makes no matter to me or his grandmother.”


Yeah. A big hug for killing my daughter, dude. Pierce has always been an obtuse moron.


Other relatives of Balcer’s were also in the courtroom for both days of the hearing.

Peavey said the staff at the detention center have been supportive of Balcer’s gender identity quest — even offering him female clothing if that would make him more comfortable. She said that he completed his high school education remotely, is taking college courses and enjoys his work in the laundry department. She said he has made progress in opening up to people working there.


Sounds like a real sweetheart.





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12 responses to “This is the same guy that harassed Kim Rhodes out of the district, and later tried to demote Gail Copeland from Miller School

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for this news. Pierce was a bizarre guy responsible for a number of bad decisions that haunt the district to this day.

  2. M

    We had Pierce and we had jumping jolley. Want to wonder why schools and kids in them are FUBAR ? Schools are being run by the insane. Maybe we need new laws to keep insane people from running schools. Burbank Unified has a creepy past and present.

    • semichorus

      The school board members were big problems as well.

      Historically you’d have one or two conscientious individuals outnumbered by two or three clowns.

      • Anonymous

        I’m glad applebomb is gone but what the hell is almond whats his name doing there. That Dr Almond is a danger to kids mental health

  3. Anonymous

    You would know semi since you where the fired janitor back then.

    • semichorus

      Sorry to disappoint the many morons and assholes in town, but nobody got fired. I do love the lies though. It’s a wonderful town.

      For the few decent people left in Burbank, what happened is that I finally told the BUSD to fuck off after they tried to illegally retaliate against me for a second time. They violated the law by going after a clearly protected activity. I had kicked the district’s ass the first time they did it, and had no interest in doing it again. I had a life to live.

      Oh, I take that back. Someone did get fired. Dave Aponik got fired a few years later. Pierce got forced out before that. Both went down in flames. I by contrast was considered by many people to be a hero.

      You know what they were retaliating against me about the second time?

      I was starting to go public about how Pierce and the BUSD were knowingly (and illegally) allowing Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard materials in some of their remedial classrooms with the more vulnerable kids. And then outside members of Scientology were starting to come on campus and harass me about speaking out. Ever seen how those middle-aged fat boys behave? I complained about that as well.

      About two days after I finally went to a friendly board member about it (Vivian Kaufman), I was ordered transferred to an inferior position with a complete hour change and immediately replaced with a substitute employee.

      They’d been going after me for months as well after I first started complaining about the many number of big problems at that site, but this time I told them to go to hell. I wasn’t going to put up with those horrible and incompetent clowns any longer. They knew where to put their retaliatory transfer.

      “Bah Hahbor” Pierce is getting everything he deserves.

      • Anonymous

        My wife knew Kim Rhodes when she was active in the Emerson PTA. A very lovely woman. Why did they want to get rid of her?

        • semichorus

          She represented the old regime, which was a threat; she ran the ESL program, which was hated among much of the traditional Burbank community that was full of bigots, and so unlike Parent Ed. and Helen Von Seggern she had no political constituency; and they wanted some place to dump the odious Ann Brooks, who Pierce was grooming for higher places. Brooks replaced her. Aponik didn’t like Brooks, but Pierce did.

          Kim was great. The greatest person in the world to work for. She and Bill Doyle and the rest of that group like Roy Beach and Bill Flora were total dreamboats.

          The oldtimers were the best. But later management (and their attorneys) made a political decision to waylay their influence. They wanted younger tough guys from outside the district who’d write people up and change things around. No more home growns like the wonderful Dolores Palmer. As to Kim, they made life absolutely miserable for her after she hurt her leg one night on school property, and then they forced her to retire early. She didn’t want to.

          Previous to that – and right after they’d also just fired David Bayer, her old boss (and who just died last year btw), she came back from summer vacation to find that the new principal had cleaned out her entire ESL office. Threw everything out.

          Horrible, horrible people, and who also very quickly ran the place into the ground.

  4. Anony Miss

    Personally, it’s nauseating to hear the comments of people coddling this murderer. After stabbing his parents, i don’t care how he feels about his pleated skirt or jockey shorts. I don’t care about his college achievements. It’s alright to know that he’s not in physical pain but I don’t care one inch about his future struggles.
    Good thing Pierce was receptive to Balcer’s desire to change his sexual identity or the hug may have been piercing!

    • semichorus


      I can only imagine how people would be acting if I’d stabbed my own parents. They certainly wouldn’t be hugging me or letting me get away with trying to change the subject to that of confused gender identity. I was never given credit for anything. Overdue library books were treated like heroin possession or ritual child murder. If they’d killed ME people would be defending them and pleading with the court for mercy.

      For real. So I don’t get it.

      Pierce was a strange and pretty nasty guy. Someone should ask Bob Kramer about him. Every time Bob would go down to speak at a board meeting Pierce would suddenly disappear into the back and call the police.

      Then the cops would show up in the doorway and stare. He was clearly going out of his way to intimidate board critics. He did it to me once too. And McConkey, all the time.

      Nolan might remember this as well.

  5. Anonymous

    Kim hired me at the Adult School many years ago too many to count. She was a wonderful educator and really loved her students. She built both programs from nothing but ESL was her first love. We had students come from all over just to be in our programs. I’m so sorry to hear what happened to her as I lost track after my husband retired and we moved to central California. She was a real doll and the best boss imaginable.

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