Unification set for two Kingman districts<BR>

The final piece of the unification puzzle was put into place Wednesday when members of the governing board of the Kingman Elementary School District adopted a resolution to create a single K-12 district with the Mohave Union High School District effective next July 1.

"This is rather awe-inspiring for board members," Doris Goodale, president of the KESD board, said after all five members voted yes.

"It has been a long process that is going to change the course of history and public education in Kingman.

"Unifying from kindergarten through 12th grades brings the two districts together so we can have a greater sense of unity and education for the benefit of the children and our teachers, so I think it strikes a sound resolution positively for our students," she said.

Clerk Carolyn Stewart read the resolution into the record before the vote was taken.

Member Janet Watson made the vote unanimous, though she also read a prepared statement which explained her reservations about the how and when of the move.

She said she would have preferred that unification be decided by voters.

But she said the legislation that made it possible by resolution of governing boards precluded a public vote.

"Having heard no major opposition at two public forums we must assume that a majority of our community want us to move forward with this proposition," Watson said.

"Hopefully, this is correct.

"I also wish the state attorney general had time to review the law and render an opinion before today," she said.

"Again let us assume that it will stand but we do not know that today."

Watson concluded her statement by saying there are details to work out before unification is implemented in Kingman and that for a successful transition from two districts to one K-12 district it will take much planning and cooperation.

On Tuesday, members of the Mohave Union High School District Governing Board adopted a unification resolution, leaving the final decision in the hands of their elementary district counterparts.

Jim Baker, president of the high school board, and Mike Ford, superintendent of the high school board, were out of town Wednesday and not available for comment.

"It was about 13 years ago when (Miner publisher) Jo Adams used to coordinate public town hall meetings and unification was a topic discussed, so this has been somewhere on the burner for that period of time," Goodale said.

"As Mrs.

Stewart said there were a lot of complications, a lot of things that needed to change," she said.

"It was the right timing because you had both boards cooperating on this, the Todd study, the collection of data and the meetings we held together."

"I believe that's what will make it a stronger unification," she said.