King returns to Cedar Hills school board

County superintendent filled the position when no other candidate filed

KINGMAN - More than a decade after he left the position, Cedar Hills resident Danny King has found himself once again named to the Hackberry School District Governing Board.

King was appointed to a four-year term on the school board on Aug. 5 by County Superintendent of Schools Mike File. According to File, King was the only person to file election paperwork for the position, making him the outright winner of the November school board election. Normally, that meant he would have taken his seat in January, but File chose to intervene, explaining his appointing policy.

"I explained to people and administrators that that's my general practice," he said. "If someone's going to take the measures to file the appropriate papers and is the only one running, then why not get them started early?"

Sense of optimism

King will replace board member Rick Mauldin, who resigned from the board in March. Like new interim Superintendent Gary Heitz, King is approaching the district with a sense of optimism and a hope that, despite the district's history of acrimony and vitriol, that he can work with the community and help bring its members together for the good of the children.

"I've talked to (Heitz) several times, and he seems to be on the same page as I am," King said. "I'm doing everything I can to talk to members of the community now. I know there's still a lot of animosity out there, but for the good of the district, we've got to work together. None of us can do it alone."

King said that one of his hopes is that the board can establish committees that will be staffed by concerned citizens from within the community who can help manage the district's affairs and take ownership of its challenges.

"I am trying to work with everybody," he said. "We need to get this school back on track."

Careful observer

File noted that King had originally been appointed to the board in 1997 following the resignation of all three previous board members. After completing his initial term, King remained a careful observer of the district's affairs, up through the current controversy surrounding the district's investigation and subsequent charges against its principal, Bradley Ellico.

Ellico has been on paid non-disciplinary administrative leave since March 2009 pending the outcome of a hearing into more than two dozen charges against him alleging insubordination, unprofessional conduct and violation of district policy. The hearing has been indefinitely postponed by a judge's order following Ellico's own filing of a lawsuit against the school board.

"Over the years (King) has certainly kept up on the laws, those types of things," File said. "He's from that area so he certainly has an ear to what the feeling of the people is. I think he'll do fine, and I'm looking forward to it - we've got to get this district moving forward."

King takes his place alongside board members Laurie Lawson and Naomi Bargholz at the next meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today at Cedar Hills Elementary School, 9501 E. Nellie Drive, located about 15 minutes east of Kingman along Interstate 40.