KUSD board to welcome two new faces

KINGMAN - Bill Goodale and Margaret McBee will join the Kingman Unified School District Governing Board in January as new members.

They and incumbent Charles Lucero will be sworn in to four-year terms at the first regular board meeting after New Year's Day.

Mohave County supervisors appointed the trio as KUSD board members Monday during a vote on the supervisor's consent agenda. Lucero, Goodale and McBee get the three seats without going on the ballot in the November General Election due to Craig Schritter, the only other candidate, not submitting petition signatures by Aug. 10 to the office of Mike File, Mohave County superintendent of schools.

"Supervisors went through a statutory process whereby they cancel the election and appoint candidates that have fulfilled the necessary requirements," File said. Cancellation of the candidate's election probably will result in a cost savings of about $8,000 to the KUSD, File said.

It also will enable voters within the KUSD boundaries to focus all of their attention at the polls on the $80 million bond being sought by the district. Goodale expressed some disappointment that the election has been cancelled and he "backed in" to a board seat.

"Getting petitions filled out and then having the election cancelled indicates to me more community support for education is needed," Goodale said. "Residents may not be as focused as they should be."

Goodale said as a board member he will want to find out more about district dropout rates and test scores and what can be done to improve them. In addition, he wants a plan formulated on how to effectively utilize money if voters approve the bond.

During the next couple of years the district needs to find more elementary classrooms and do some work at the high school, he said.

"We must take care of the student population here now before there's any new high school construction," Goodale said. "We need to take another look at growth and be sure we don't build too soon." Goodale also wants to see more support for teachers.

He said the system from the board on down must be held accountable for improvements in student achievement and keeping kids in school and out of the criminal justice system.

Lucero was appointed to fill a term on the old Kingman Elementary School District Governing Board before unification in 2001. He was elected to a term on the KUSD board and will begin his third term in 2007.

For the past five years, the board has looked at long-term growth plans for the district and formulated a great plan for dealing with it, Lucero said. It will be fulfilled once voters pass the bond issue.

"We must provide students with exceptional services and give them an excellent academic learning environment, so when the bond passes, we must look at where new schools will be placed and implement the capital improvement plan."

McBee works in the Mohave County Information Technology Department as a PC/network support technician.

She wants to speak with Lucero and/or board President Mike Cobb as soon as possible for a rundown on district business before she can comment on what her priorities will be during the second half of the current fiscal year.

McBee has two sons who graduated from Kingman High School and a daughter who now is a senior there.

"One thing that concerns me is overcrowding in the schools," McBee said. "It's a very big concern, and I want to get it under control."