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School board denies Superintendent Foist’s resignation
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 00:00

Over Superintendent Tim Foist’s protest, Mingus Union High School District Governing Board voted 3-2 Thursday, Sept. 9, to hold Foist The Mingus Union High School District Governing Board voted 3-2 Thursday, Sept. 9, to hold MUHSD Superintendent Tim Foist to his two-year contract, denying his request to resign at the close of the 2010-11 school year.

“That’s not fair,” Foist said after the vote. “You’re making me work with people who don’t want me here and I’m not going to trust.”

Chairman John Tavasci and board members Jim Ledbetter and Brenda Zenan voted to enforce Foist’s contract, which does not expire until the end of the 2011-12 school year. Board members Andy Groseta and Mike Mulcaire voted he should be allowed to resign.

“In my experience, when an employee says they want to resign, they should be allowed to do so,” Groseta said.

Foist told the board he previously pledged to resign if ever he lost the confidence of a single board member. Mulcaire stated he wants Foist to go.

On the surface, the argument between Foist and Mulcaire involves a performance review of Principal Tamara Addis and Assistant Principal Allen Mitchell conducted by former MUHS Superintendent Nancy Alexander in anticipation of the consolidation of MUHSD and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

The review was completed for the administrators as a self-evaluation tool and to help them set goals. It was never intended to be made public, Foist said.

The board voted unanimously in August directing Foist to provide it with copies of the reviews. He has so far failed to do so, Mulcaire said.

“It’s insubordination, as far as I’m concerned,” Mulcaire said.

Even though Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District discussed Alexander’s reviews at an open meeting earlier this year, Foist said releasing the reviews would be unethical.

“I’m not going to undermine my administrative team,” Foist said. “They were never told it was going to be released.”

An e-mail from Tavasci to all board members dated July 6 forwards a message from Alexander which confirms Foist’s understanding of the confidential nature of the reviews. Alexander did not provide copies of the reviews. No board member responded to the message, Tavasci said after the meeting.

On a different matter, Foist accused Mulcaire of directing him to fire MUHSD staff who did not support Mulcaire’s election to the board. He refused to fire the employees, which upset Mulcaire, Foist said.

Mulcaire said he asked Foist to fire a certain teacher and continued to seek the unidentified teacher’s termination.

Tavasci said so far, Foist followed every direction the board had given him. Distributing evaluation packets to Foist and the board, Tavasci urged members to meet in executive session to review the superintendent’s performance instead of releasing him from his contract.

“Right now is not the time to accept his resignation,” Tavasci said. “Mr. Foist has done a lot of good things. We’re in a whole lot better shape since he came here.”

“We need to go into executive session to find out what’s going on and what’s not going on,” Zenan said. “We need to be able to work together and work it out so everyone understands what they need to do.”

A special meeting of the board to go over evaluations is set for Wednesday, Sept. 22.

“We voted 5-0 to get an item and we still have not gotten it,” Mulcaire said.

After the meeting, Mulcaire said he was angry Foist did not turn over the evaluations as directed. He also said Foist improperly makes decisions before the board gets a chance to comment or direct him.

“Everything’s decided before we get to the meeting,” he said.


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