Ballots set for school board races

Mingus board attracts most attention

Wednesday was the last day for candidates to file for school governing board elections.

Robin Bascom of the County Superintendent's Office said the public has 10 days to challenge any of the candidates' filing status. She said the most likely challenges would be based on whether all signatures were from registered voters who reside in the proper school district.

Mingus Union High School District has a five-member board with three seats up for election. The only incumbent running for reelection is Tom Parmarter.

Seven challengers have filed for the three MUHS board seats. An earlier story reported that Ron Agoglia, Rodney Fielitz, Mark Miskiel and Brenda Zenan had filed.

The Verde Independent learned Thursday that three more candidates have field for the MUHS board. Those candidates are Tom Mulcaire, Mike Mulcaire and John Tavasci.

Tom Mulcaire previously served on the Mingus board and also was on the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District board for eight years.

Mike Mulcaire also served on the C-OC School Board.

Tavasci is the former C-OC superintendent. The newest school in the C-OC District - Tavasci Elementary School - was named for him.

Tom Mulcaire said Thursday that he, Mike Mulcaire and Tavasci are kind of running as a team. "It was a late-time thing," he said. "We figured if there was ever a chance to make that school what it should be, it is now or never."

But the three candidates are not running with a group agenda. "We kind of all have our separate issues," Tom said.

He said it was wrong for the MUHS board to close the campus and then open it. "We should have had a closed campus a long time ago," he said.

"It we as a team can make it better for the kids, that's what it's all about," Tom said.

Tavasci agrees that it's all about the kids, but he said his only agenda "is to do the best I can for the kids.

"I served for 30 years in the school systems in the Verde Valley," Tavasci said. "I had this sense of loss, that I was no longer contributing."

He said he is excited about the possibility of serving on the Mingus board.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is also a five-member board with two seats up for reelection. Incumbent Board President Randall Garrison and incumbent board member Eric Wyles have both filed. The only challenger is Celestia Ziemkowski, business manager for the Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education.

Clarkdale-Jerome School District has three members, with one of those seats up for election. Incumbent Jane Phillips has filed to run for reelection.

One challenger, Arthur Moncibaez, has also filed for Phillips' seat.

The VACTE board has five seats, with two of those seats up for election. Incumbents Pearl Lansing, representing Camp Verde School District, and Mike Westcott, representing Clarkdale-Jerome School District, are not running for reelection.

Two candidates have filed for those two seats on the VACTE board. Jeffrey Neugebauer has filed for the Clarkdale-Jerome seat, and Steven Gresham has filed for the Camp Verde seat.

The Yavapai College Board of Governors has an open seat for District 4. Challenger Charles Leon has filed for Incumbent Donna Michaels' seat. Michaels is not running for reelection.

Incumbent Herald Harrington's seat in District 5, which represents Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Jerome and Cornville on the college board, is not up for election until 2010.

Incumbent Patricia McCarver has filed for reelection in District 1, and incumbent Dale Fitzner has filed to keep his seat in District 2.

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