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Mingus Union looks to hire second assistant principal
New administrator would have ‘strong focus on curriculum and instruction’

Allen Mitchell and Genie Gee

Allen Mitchell and Genie Gee

COTTONWOOD – It’s been barely a year since Genie Gee took over as principal at Mingus Union High School – and fewer than six months since she also assumed duties as the district’s acting superintendent.

With a 4-to-0 vote, the district’s governing board voted Tuesday to support Gee’s plan to hire a second assistant principal for the school, a person who would complement Allen Mitchell, the school’s assistant principal and dean of students.

The duties of the new assistant principal, Gee said, would include a “strong focus on curriculum and instruction.”

“There is a specific vision for our school, and this person will be instrumental in the success of our goals for next year,” Gee said. “So this is a strategic hire with definite expectations in mind.”

Gee said that she considered several factors before recommending a second assistant principal.

“We haven’t had a dedicated curriculum director for quite a while, and we want to ensure that we are delivering the best instruction, fully aligned to standards and assessment,” Gee said.

Gee also said that one third of the school’s teachers have five years of experience – or less.

“They are amazing teachers, and we want to be able to offer high levels of instructional support while offering differentiated professional development,” Gee said.

As AzMERIT will no longer be the state’s scholastic aptitude testing mode after the 2018-2019 school year, Mingus Union has committed to use ACT, which Gee said “will require time and planning to align practices and review blueprints.”

“We will be implementing benchmark assessments and professional learning communities,” she said. “To implement with fidelity, we need additional support.”

The district will look at assistant principal candidates both internally and externally, Gee said, “and we will conduct interviews to determine the best fit.”

Who the district hires, Gee said, will be up to the district’s governing board.

“We have 1,200 students and their families, 63 teachers, and several classroom aides and support staff,” Gee said. “As an administrative team, we want to offer high levels of support and communication with all of our stakeholders. Adjusting the duties of the team and aligning them to outcomes will make a huge impact.”

As leader of the school’s leadership team, Gee is responsible for goal-setting and oversight of day-to-day operations, culture and instruction. Mitchell oversees safety, discipline and facilities. Director of Student Support Services Gretchen Wesbrock is in charge of counseling, as well as college and career student support and intervention.

Gee said that the district would like to post the administrative/certified position “within the next few weeks” and would like to have the new assistant principal in place for the 2019-20 school year.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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