Mon, Nov. 18

Superintendent discussion before Mingus School Board tonight

COTTONWOOD – Tuesday, the Mingus Union School Board will go into executive session to consider employing a superintendent – and to consider terms of that superintendent’s contract.

The district currently has one internal candidate – 2016 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year Mike Westcott.

Westcott, who is interning as superintendent with Acting Superintendent Genie Gee, applied for the position following Gee’s May 14 announcement that she wanted to serve solely as the school’s principal.

“All options” regarding the district’s superintendent for the 2019-2020 school year will be “thoroughly and transparently discussed by the governing board as a whole at our June 11 meeting,” Mingus Union Board President Lori Drake said in a June 5 story in the Verde Independent.

In May, Drake said that if the district’s internal search is “not fruitful,” the board could continue its search by first hiring an interim superintendent.

But the June 11 agenda not only states the board’s superintendent discussions will take place in executive session, but the board will then return to regular session for “discussion and possible action concerning the selection of a superintendent and the terms of contract with the district and a superintendent.”

Gee’s last day as acting superintendent will be June 30.

Consolidation election delay

On May 31, attorneys for the Committee for Better Upper Verde Valley Schools filed a Motion for Relief from Judgment to allow the consolidation of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Mingus Union school districts to be part of the November 2020 general election, instead of a November 2019 special election.

Tuesday, behind closed doors in executive session, the Mingus board will consider its position regarding the request to delay the election date.

In a May 31 email to the Verde Independent, pro-consolidation committee members Andy Groseta and Phil Terbell said that the committee “does not want any confusion about what is the law and will it become law.”

“For this and other reasons, it seems practical to extend the call for an election until the general election in November 2020,” they said.

Bateman ruling

Also Tuesday, the Mingus Union School Board will seek legal advice from the district’s attorney in executive session about possible restitution from former administrative assistant Brandi Bateman.

May 22, Bateman was convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor for forging a letter that was addressed to the Office of the Arizona Attorney General Civil Litigation Division and purporting it to be authored by former Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove in January 2018.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff gave Bateman 18 months’ probation, as well as a $750 fine and 50 hours of community service.

The restitution, which Mingus Union will consider in both executive and regular session on Tuesday, remains open.

The Mingus Union High School District governing board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 at the school’s library, located at 1801 E. Fir St. in Cottonwood. Call (928) 634-0580 for more information.

For the most up-to-date agenda, visit

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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