Mon, Nov. 18

Mike Westcott named Mingus Union superintendent

Mike Westcott

Mike Westcott

COTTONWOOD – When Mike Westcott first stepped onto the Mingus Union High School campus as a freshman student in the fall of 1974, he had no idea he would one day be the district’s leader.

Though he hasn’t yet signed a contract, Westcott is Mingus Union High School District’s new superintendent.

Wednesday, the Mingus Union School Board unanimously decided that Westcott would replace Acting Superintendent Genie Gee, who will again serve solely as the school’s principal beginning on July 1.

Said Mingus Union Board Member John McTurk, Westcott “knows the district better than anyone.”

“He’s spent his entire life serving the district,” McTurk said. “He’s intelligent, compassionate, and he cares about our students more than most. He has a really great handle on the district’s needs, the community’s needs, and our children’s needs.”


Members of the Mingus Union community applaud as the district’s governing board votes 5-to-0 Wednesday to name Mike Westcott the district’s superintendent. VVN/Bill Helm

‘Privileged, lucky’

Following the meeting, Joni Westcott said she is “so incredibly proud” of her husband.

“He’s worked so hard,” she said. “We appreciate the support of the community, and the board recognizing he’s the right man.”

Westcott, who was Yavapai County Teacher of the Year in 2016, said Wednesday that he “feel[s] kind of privileged, lucky” to lead Mingus Union.

“It’s a critical juncture, in terms of importance,” Westcott said of the district moving into the 2019-2020 school year. “We have some challenges, some issues looming. Consolidation. That’s a challenge. We want to make sure that everyone is informed.”

Wednesday’s meeting lasted barely 10 minutes. Board President Lori Drake said she has “had the privilege of working” with Westcott for the past six months as he has interned with Gee.

“I’ve been very impressed with him,” Drake said.

Board Member Carol Anne Teague joked that she’d been “threatened if we don’t hire you.”

But longtime Board Member Anthony Lozano said that Mingus Union “will have an individual in charge who will build leadership from the ground up.”

The final two weeks of May, the Mingus Union School Board accepted applications from internal candidates to replace Gee.

Westcott was the only candidate.

Drake said Westcott hasn’t yet signed a contract. She is “hoping it will be [signed] by the end of the week.”

Mingus Union Superintendents since 1979

Henry A Barbarick 1979-1985

Ron Barber 1985-1993

Marv Lamer 1993-2000

John Christensen 2000-2001

Tom McCraley 2001-2003

Sharyl Allen 2003-2007

Dr. Wade McLean (Interim) 7/2007-9/2007

Scott Dunsmore 10/2007-9/2008

Nancy Alexander (Interim) 10/2008-5/2009

Tim Foist 5/2009-6/2013

Dr. Paul Tighe 7/2013-6/2016

Eric Harmon (Interim)7/2016-1/2017

Dr. Jack Keegan (Interim) 2/2017-6/2017

Dr. Penny Hargrove 7/2017 –11/2018

Regina Gee (acting) 11/2018 – 6/2019

Mike Westcott 7/2019

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