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MUSD Governing Board: A night of R's - reviews, resignations, renewals ...
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
As soon as you walked into the boardroom for the April 25, 2012 Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board meeting, you could see that something good was going on. At least 75 people in the room (and the Board members) were smiling and laughing as they talked with one another before the meeting. Business Manager Aron Rausch was laughing and even Governing Board President Scott Bartle was out of character with half a smile on his face.
Bartle called the meeting to order. He called the roll, (everyone was there), said the Pledge of Allegiance, and then recognized Governing Board member James Irving. Irving made a motion to change the agenda order. Obviously, Board President Bartle has taught Irving the agenda tango, because Irving wanted to move agenda item number 5 (information items/work study) somewhere, then he wanted to move the last item in section 3 E to be right before the Consent agenda, which usually comes after Rausch makes his monthly financial report.
Confused? Join the club. You could hear everyone in the audience asking their neighbor the same question: “What did he say?” Someone seconded the motion, and it passed 5-0. Many people in the audience had bewildered looks on their faces trying to make sense out of what happened. Most of these people were at a MUSD Board meeting for the first time. This meeting could have been called "Recognition and Awards Night," because Deputy Superintendent Ember Conley distributed so many awards.
Recognitions and Rewards
Deputy Superintendent Conley recognized the winning 4th- and 5th-grade runners who competed in the Elementary Mile Run. On Friday, April 13, 4th- and 5th-grade boys and girls from the six MUSD elementary schools competed to see who could run the fastest mile. Dr. Conley presented the fastest five runners in each grade and group with a certificate. The winning students stayed on the top step of the boardroom platform (in front of the Governing Board), until all the names were called. Three teachers assisted Deputy Superintendent Conley with giving out the awards. They were Ronnie Buchanan, Manny Gomez, and Katherine Whittaker.
The five fastest boys and girls from the 4th and 5th grades receiving awards were:
Fourth grade girls
Fourth grade boys
- Calista Nielsen -- Saddleback -- 7 min. 15 sec.
- Dejah Wynn – Butterfield – 7 min. 17 sec.
- Casey Zimmerman -- Butterfield -- 7 min. 28 sec.
- Xiomara Gomez – Maricopa -- 7 min. 56 sec.
- Lynniece Andrews – Maricopa -- 7 min. 58 sec.
Fifth grade girls
- Kenny Fitzgerald -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 37 sec.
- Maverick Brasher -- Santa Cruz -- 6 min. 52 sec.
- Grady Beach -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 57 sec.
- Asher Miller -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 59 sec.
- Antonio Saine -- Pima Butte -- 7 min. 10 sec.
Fifth grade boys
- Shannon Coutre -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 50 sec.
- Joy Breul -- Saddleback -- 6 min. 54 sec.
- Daisy Mercado -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 54 sec.
- Catherine Dyer -- Pima Butte -- 7 min. 29 sec.
- Tara Ramirez -- Pima Butte -- 7 min. 35 sec.
The overall winners were Calista Nielsen from Saddleback for 4th-grade girls, Kenny Fitzgerald from Pima Butte for 4th-grade boys, Shannon Coutre from Pima Butte for 5th-grade girls, and Tommy Fitzgerald from Pima Butte for 5th-grade boys.
- Tommy Fitzgerald -- Pima Butte -- 5 min. 40 sec. (Wow! Talk about moving along!)
- Asa Miller -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 11 sec.
- Jacob Cowing -- Santa Cruz -- 6 min. 21 sec.
- Damien Sellers -- Pima Butte -- 6 min. 42 sec.
- Renzo Silva – Butterfield -- 6 min. 45 sec.
MUSD Deputy Superintendent Conley announced the winner of another mile run. Ronnie Buchanan, a teacher in Maricopa, won the 4-mile race called "Pats Run" with a winning time of 20 minutes,
Deputy Superintendent Conley also recognized Ivan Pour, Director of the Maricopa High School Chamber Orchestra, and the Maricopa High School Concert Band; Jan Gardner, Director of the Maricopa Wells Middle School Concert Band; and Kevin Floth, Director of the Desert Wind Middle School Symphonic Band. These four groups participated in the 1st Annual Maricopa Music Festival, which was held at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 14, 2012. "The Maricopa Unified School District is very fortunate to have such dedicated and encouraging music teachers working for the district," said Conley. She also gave Pour an award for his efforts with the Music Festival.
Call to the Public -- resignations and requests
Very few people wanted to talk to the MUSD Governing Board members.
The President of the Maricopa Elementary School PTO spoke to the Board members about the resignation of the principal, Rachele Reese. She stated that she hopes that this is the last of disruptions at Maricopa Elementary.
A mother and her son from Desert Wind Middle School wanted to know why her telephone calls and e-mail questions have not been answered or even acknowledged. She stated she had called Board President Bartle and Deputy Superintendent Conley several times and even sent e-mails. President Bartle asked Deputy Superintendent Conley to help her and the MUSD to resolve the problem.
Paul Jepson, Intergovernmental Manager from the City Manager's Office, announced ED3 is sponsoring a residential customer energy workshop presented by All American Energy on May 22, 2012, from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. in the MUSD Board Room. Every workshop participant will receive an array of useful energy-saving tools. Workshop reservation requests will be taken on a first come, first served basis by contacting Nancy Messer at (520) 414-0401 by May 17, 2012. Space for the workshop is limited to 45 participants.
Deputy Superintendent Conley announced all teachers are receiving information about Summer Professional Development classes. Discipline policies will be reviewed and changes/revisions may be made.
Review of future board items to be placed on the agenda list during the months of May, June, and July
These items are:
- Report of additional positions as a result of Title 1 Allocation
- Certified Renewal List
- Report 2012-13 Budget
- Report from Evaluation Design Team
- Technology Override Discussion
- Annual Review of Elementary/Secondary Handbooks
- Report from Evaluation Design Team
The Consent agenda, consisting of approval for Payroll and Expense Vouchers; approval of the April 11, 2012 and the April 16, 2012 minutes; approve the 2012/2013 salary schedules; approval of the 2012/2013 classified work agreement; and approval of the 2012/2013 District Benefit plan. Motion was made and seconded to accept all items in the Consent Agenda. Motion passed by a vote of 5-0.
Closing Consent Agenda
The Governing Board discussed, but did not take action, on discipline policies JK, JKD, and JKE. However, the Board will recommend revisions for the 2012/013 school years. These policies are about drug, alcohol, and weapons on the campus of any MUSD school. Torri Anderson said there needs to be clarification of consequences if a student brings drugs, alcohol, or weapons on campus. It was decided that Anderson would work with Dr. Conley and her team concerning these discipline policies and recommend revisions for the 2012/2013 school year. Anderson wants discipline to be clearly stated.
Money! Money! Money!
MUSD Business Manager Aron Rausch gave the financial report for the month of March 2012. In 2006, Maricopa citizens approved a $58 million bond issue. Since 2006, the district has built the $12 million Performing Arts Center, a new centrally located bus compound/depot, and the new MUSD Administration Building. After all this construction, even with the Performing Arts Center running $3 million over budget, there is still about $1 million left over from the 2006 voter-approved bonds. With a surplus of money, Rausch said, "The MUSD Governing Board will form a committee to recommend several ways to implement the remaining amount of the Bond issue money."
Governing Board member Patti Coutre suggested to Rausch that the District could spend some of the money to repair the playgrounds and fields of the elementary schools in the District. Rausch replied, "You can't use the money that way. It can't be spent to repair an existing item. It has to be spent to add onto something or to build something new. It has to be new construction." Coutre replied, "If nothing has been done to the fields, then that work wouldn't be repairs." Rausch said he would talk to the architects to see if the fields would be eligible for any of the million dollars. Then he added, "If the fields don't qualify, we could probably use some money from our maintenance and operations budget."
Executive session – or, here we go again
Like a song in your head that you can't seem to stop hearing, the Governing Board returned to talk and decide on issues behind closed doors. Of course, there isn't a report on anything they decide behind those doors. The Governing Board did this twice on April 25. The first time was to discuss employment, appointment, or salary of the incoming Superintendent.
The second time the Board went into closed session was to discuss with the Board's attorney items about the incoming Superintendent’s contract.
Do YOU have any ideas on how the MUSD should spend the million dollars? Why don't you come to the next meeting of the MUSD Governing Board and tell the members of the Board how you would like to see the money spent?
The next meeting of the MUSD Governing Board will be at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 8, 2012, in the Board Room of the District Office Administration Building, located at 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa. You can call (520) 568-5100 for an agenda or more information.
Marilyn Netoskie / CopaNews.com
MUSD Board President Scott Bartle has taught the "agenda tango" to board member James Irving.