Douglas’ newly elected board member Natalio Sabal as well as returning board members Susan Kramer and Mike Ortega were all officially sworn in at last Tuesday’s regular school board meeting which was held in the DUSD board room.
Patricia Lopez, who is the longest tenured board member, was appointed interim president and did the swearing in for newly elected board member Sabal as well as the two returning board members.
Once that was done the board breezed through the consent portion of the agenda which included the hiring of Gemma German as a teacher at Paul Huber Middle School; Rosmary Owen as a teacher at Ray Borane Middle School and Jason Long as a substitute teacher. Adriana Aparicio and Charles Hill were approved as volunteers and Melissa Sanchez was hired as the principal’s secretary at Clawson.
Abe Grijalva had his resignation approved as an assistant football coach and Luz Romero had her resignation approved; Ernestina Ramsey and Lupe Martinez both had their retirements granted.
Albert Young, Dara Logan, Stephanie Phillips, Rudy Cota and Feranndo Morales were all approved as evaluators for the 2012/13 school year.
The board approved donations from the Douglas Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Community Foundation. Kramer excused herself from this vote since she is the Chamber of Commerce president.
At this point in the meeting the board began to select a new board president. Ortega and Dr. Ed Gomez were both nominated. At the end of the voting process the board was deadlocked 2-2 on both votes at which time Gomez withdrew his nomination and voted to name Ortega as the board president.
“I appreciate the confidence of the board and I look forward to working with the board to solve some of the very difficult issues that we’re facing as a district,” Ortega said after the meeting. “I believe we have a great board; a very diverse board and one that has the hearts and souls of the kids in mind.”
The board agreed to keep all meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month with the exception of this month which has the meetings being on the second and fourth Tuesday.
The board tabled action regarding dismissal hearings and all student expulsion hearings.
An intergovernmental agreement between the City of Douglas and the DUSD to provide community after school youth recreational activities which will begin shortly at Clawson, Joe Carlson, Sarah Marley and Stevenson elementary schools. The program will run from 3-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday’s.
Two executive sessions were also held for teachers Alex S. Tira Tira and Eliza M. Novoa Gonzales who were both seeking release of their contracts.
Following a brief executive session the board reconvened and granted both teachers their release without any liquidated damages.
DUSD Business Manager Cesar Soto reported that financially the district is “still in the black” and DUSD Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Lopez reported enrollment figures for the district had dropped from 4,000 students opening day to 3,896. Lopez said the 100th count day is Jan. 17.
The DUSD will be out of school and all district offices will be closed Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The next board meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 in the DUSD board room.