New county building provides room for growth

KINGMAN ­ Mohave County School Superintendent Mike File isn't certain when the extra space of his new office in the Mohave County Administration Building may be needed ­ only that it will be put to use in time.

"The entire building was built with an eye toward county growth," he said. "We have room for two more people with cubicles in place for them.

"As growth continues, we may need another payroll technician or accounts payable person. That's why the extra space was provided for us."

File's office, the Mohave County Educational Service Center, does payroll for 12 of 13 school districts in the county. That includes roughly 3,000 employees.

The new office has roughly 2,000 square feet of space on the third floor of the county complex and was occupied by File and his staff of five on Oct. 1. The old office on the second floor of the Negus Building on Beale Street encompassed about 1,450 square feet.

"As technology advances, we're able to do much of our technical support and assistance to schools by shadowing through computers," he said.

"The biggest volume of traffic we used to get were parents coming in to get home school affidavits. But we've put that online, and parents now can sign up for it on our Web site (www.mcss.k12.az.us) and simply mail it in to us."

A number of online charter schools hold state accreditation and parents that are dissatisfied with public schools are enrolling their children online for their education. That largely explains the drop in home-schooled children in the county from 1,300 last fiscal year to 981 now, File said. Children may be enrolled for an online charter school by going to the same Web site, he added.

File was asked if he currently is working on any project he may have postponed until moving into his new office.

"No, we're still working on our teacher-training program and expanding it for next year," he said. "We're doing some grant writing to make the individuals doing the training part-time now into full-timers, so they can offer more services."

Sharon Bay and Sue Fleishman, both longtime teachers in Kingman, are teacher trainers for the Mohave County Educational Service Center. They instruct educators in math, science and reading, so they can become more proficient in their classrooms.