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At last -- MUSD Board meeting over in less than an hour
Monday, January 30, 2012
One might dream of winning the lottery, or an Academy Award, or both. We all have our dreams. One might even dream of a Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board meeting being concluded in less than an hour. That dream might seem strange to some people, but not if you sat in the audience while the MUSD discusses their problems "behind closed doors" for over three hours. Some things one knows just won't happen. January 11, 2012 was an exception.
The January 11 meeting started out in the usual way. President of the MUSD Governing Board Scott Bartle started battling the agenda order. Bartle wanted purchase orders pulled from the consent agenda and put in the regular meeting agenda, and pulling item 9F from the agenda (the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps -- AFJROTC program) and putting it somewhere else. Bartle didn't say where he wanted that item. (One might think he likes to confuse the audience on purpose.) President Bartle had roll call and everyone was present. This Governing Board does have excellent attendance. There is no word yet about who will be the next member to be appointed.
Election of Governing Board Board officers
Patti Coutre nominated Bartle to serve another year as President, Jim Irving seconded, and Bartle goes on to serve and battle the agenda for another year. The motion carried 4-0. Irving then nominated Torri Anderson to serve another year as MUSD Governing Board Vice-President. Coutre seconded and the motion carried 4-0.
There was no one who wished to address the board in the Call to the Public.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ember Conley announced that Principal of Maricopa High School June Celaya was elected to be a member of the Board of Directors for "Communities First," a national nonprofit organization.
Governing Board Members’ Report
Irving praised everyone involved in the District Spelling Bee and congratulated winner Lynneice Andrews, a fourth grade student at Maricopa Elementary School. He also congratulated Elijah Northern, a seventh grade student at Maricopa Wells Middle School, and Luke Stroschein, a fifth grade student representing Pima Butte Elementary. All three students will go the Pinal County Spelling Bee. In addition, the fourth, fifth, and sixth place winners will serve as alternates. The Pinal County Spelling Bee will be at 9:30 A.M. on February 17 at Vista Grand High School in Casa Grande. The Pinal County winner will compete at 1:00 P.M. on March 24 in the Arizona State Spelling Bee, which will be on the Arizona State University downtown Phoenix Campus.
President Bartle read a formal complaint to the audience that was filed by Geoff Goddard on October 27, 2011. The complaint alleges that President Bartle and members of the board violated ethics and had conflicts of interest with the MUSD Governing Board. In the section, "Projected Solutions," Goddard suggested removing President Bartle from the Governing Board. There were 14 allegations and it was found that Bartle, Anderson, and Coutre were at fault with only one of the allegations. They did not have a conflict of interest form on file, which should have been completed and on file by the end of January 2011. This investigation cost the MUSD $6,000. The three Governing Board members have since completed this form.
Abby Fink and Kendra Shultz, of HMA Public Relations firm, reported to the Board a review of media activities for the month of December. Activities involved the Homeless Education Program, the candidate selected for the Deputy Superintendent Appointment, the local Food Drive, Facebook and Twitter articles, events at the Performing Arts Center, and preparation of quarterly press capsules for the Governing Board to review and keep for its records.
Exceptional Student Services --Gifted Education
Dr. Kymberly Marshall, MUSD Director of Exceptional and Gifted Student Services, presented a short program about the Gifted and Talented program in the District. The Coordinator of the Gifted and Talented program is Leticia Abbott, who was hired in September of 2011. There are presently 105 MUSD students in the program. This fall, 37 additional students were tested and 13 qualified for the program. Middle and high school students are enrolled in the AP and Honor Classes. New this year, the MUSD is adopting an inclusionary approach to teaching the gifted student. Students will receive gifted instruction from their general education teacher under the guidance of the Abbott. Teachers will use differentiated instructional methods to provide the needed challenge for gifted students to succeed. This approach will meet the new requirements set out by Arizona Revised Statues and the Arizona Department of Education.
The consent agenda, which includes various vouchers, donations, and approval of the intergovernmental agreement with the Pinal ITV Consortium, was approved.
Closing Consent Agenda
The Personnel Schedule, including resignations, reclassifications, stipends, new positions requests, leave of absence, and FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) were approved by a vote of 3-0.
The AFJROTC Air Rifle Program was removed from the agenda.
The MUSD Governing Board unanimously selected an Omaha Nebraska firm, McPherson & Jacobson, to conduct the search to replace Superintendent Jeff Kleck. The Board also voted unanimously to pay the executive consulting firm a base fee of $16,900. The firm is in the process of setting up the first meeting with governing board members to establish criteria the MUSD Governing Board believes is needed to identify a superintendent.
At 6:49 P.M. – 47 minutes after President Bartle called the MUSD Governing Board meeting to order -- Patti Coutre made a motion to adjourn and Torri Anderson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0, and history was made. The meeting lasted less than a single hour!
Will this happen again? Will lightening strike the same spot twice? You may want to be in on a possible history-making event by attending the next MUSD Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, at 6:00 P.M. in the MUSD Office Administration Building Board Room. The District office is located at 44150 W. Maricopa -Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa. You can call (520) 568-5100 for additional information.
Marilyn Netoskie / CopaNews.com
MUSD Director of Exceptional Gifted Student Services Dr. Kymberly A. Marshall.