Tue, Feb. 18

Jason Finger seeks position on Mingus Union board
Yavapai County Supervisors expected to cancel 7 of 10 school district elections

Jason Finger

Jason Finger

VERDE VALLEY – Jason Finger promised himself more than a year ago that he would leave the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board when his term ends on Dec. 31.

On Wednesday, Finger made it official. He’s leaving C-OC after 12 years.

But Finger is not going very far, barely two miles to be exact.

He’s going to Mingus Union – provided he’s elected to the Mingus Union School Board.

A self-proclaimed “long-time supporter of consolidation,” Finger said that should the merger be supported by vote in November, “those seated board members would serve to lay the groundwork and put together the pieces, and hash out the difficulties of such, with the new unified district.”

“I feel that it is only appropriate that I offer myself to help be a part of that solution as well,” said Finger, who will compete with Carol Anne Teague for a two-year seat.


It’s ‘fairly common’ for school board elections to be canceled due to lack of candidacy, says Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter.

This year, seven of the Verde Valley’s 10 school board elections will likely be canceled when the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors meet on Sept. 5.

Both Beaver Creek and Camp Verde school districts will have new board members come Jan. 1 as each has two persons running for three open seats.

But neither of the two districts will have a school board election in November, and neither will Clarkdale-Jerome, Sedona-Oak Creek or Valley Academy of Career and Technology Education.

In Beaver Creek, incumbent Betty Hart and Rimrock resident and former Mingus Union employee Brandi Bateman filed the necessary paperwork to run for the school’s board, which means that Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter will appoint them to the school’s board in January.

Same goes for Camp Verde’s Bob Simbric and Tim Roth, who also turned in their papers by the Aug. 8 deadline.

Carter said that in October, his office will begin the process to fill the open seats on those two boards by appointment, as well as openings on the Clarkdale-Jerome, Sedona-Oak Creek and Valley Academy boards.

Aug. 23 is the deadline to file papers to be a write-in candidate for a school board, according to Jenn Nelson, Education Elections coordinator for Yavapai County Education Service Agency.

Visit if interested in becoming a write-in candidate.

McTurk, Currie to serve on Mingus Union School Board

At Mingus Union, there are currently four candidates for three board seats. But two of those seats are four-year terms, and two of the candidates have filed paperwork for those two seats – so there will not be a four-year election this year at Mingus, as Carter will appoint candidates Stephen Currie and John McTurk in January.

Though she pulled a packet to run for both the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school boards, longtime Mingus Union board member Anita Glazar has decided to not return to the board.

Other openings

At Clarkdale-Jerome, two incumbents, Laurie Lozano and Dale Williams, filed papers, but a third, Becky O’Banion, did not. Neither did anyone else pull or file papers, so Carter will appoint Lozano and Williams to Clarkdale-Jerome in January.

Valley Academy has three openings this year, but one of those representatives – Cottonwood-Oak Creek rep Steve Dockray – announced earlier this year he is not returning.

As nobody has filed papers to run for that seat, VACTE’s Camp Verde representative Steve Pike and Mingus Union district representative Leland Wieweck have filed their papers, and will be appointed in January.

At Sedona-Oak Creek, incumbents Karen McClelland and Lauren Robinson have filed paperwork to run for their seats, but with three openings, Carter will appoint McClelland and Robinson in January.

Yavapai College elections

Elections will be held for two openings on Yavapai College’s District Governing Board, as District 1 and District 3. Current board member Connie Harris and former Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee Member Paul Chevalier will run for the District 3 seat, and incumbent Ray Sigafoos will try to defeat challenger Wayne Meddaugh for the District 1 seat.

With the college looking to replace President Penny Wills retiring at the end of the year, Sigafoos said recently that “it is critical that the board retains continuity of experienced members to guide the new leadership.”

Three-for-three at C-OC

Cottonwood-Oak Creek will not have an election this year, as there are three candidates for three openings. In January, Carter will incumbent Eric Marcus and challengers Mindy Bejarano and Neil Manzenberger to the board.

Things you should know about the Nov. 6 school board elections

Anyone interested in becoming a write-in candidate must turn in papers by Aug. 23. There are write-in openings on the Beaver Creek, Camp Verde, Clarkdale-Jerome, Sedona-Oak Creek, Mingus Union and Valley Academy boards, which means that if a write-in files paperwork, Carter’s office may not need to go through the process of finding candidates for that particular board.

For more information, call Jenn Nelson at 928-442-5138 or email her at

Or visit

The YCESA website also includes links for the next elections, an explanation of the election process, as well as an updated list of all candidates for each of the county’s school board elections.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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