|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00|
Two members of the Mingus Union High School District Governing Board were sworn into office by Yavapai County Superintendent Tim Carter during a ceremony shortly before the board’s regular meeting Jan. 25.
Cottonwood attorney Jim Ledbetter, who will serve his second four-year term on the board, and former MUHS guidance counselor Anita Glazar, who begins her first term, took the oath from Carter simultaneously.
Before her election to the board in November, Glazar worked several jobs at MUHS, primarily as a guidance counselor, including nine years as chairwoman of the guidance department.
Glazar was one of the originators of the Strive for .5 program, which recognizes hundreds of students each year for improvements in their academic performance. She also helped establish The Academy at Mingus, an alternative learning center for at-risk students.
During 27 years at MUHS, Glazar participated on numerous committees and attended a variety of professional training courses both inside and outside MUHS to improve both the school’s and her own performance.
During the campaign, Glazar said one of her top priorities would be to help manage the school’s budget to make sure cutbacks and funding shortfalls at the state Legislature don’t hurt students or their families. She said the state’s budget crisis means the school must continue to improve efficiency, but it must do so responsibly.
“We have to have a lot of information before we make decisions,” she said. “If you don’t have all the information I think you’re irresponsible to make decisions and I’m not an irresponsible person.”
Communication on the board, among students, teachers and administrators and with the public is another of Glazar’s top priorities. She said her background in counseling will enable her to improve the level of discourse and keep constituents on track.
Decision-making should be preceded by a full airing of all ideas from all MUHS constituents, including teachers, parents and students before a final decision is made, Glazar said.
“It takes a lot of time to fully communicate about any major issue, but the decision that comes out of it usually makes all the time spent worth it,” she said.
Ledbetter was first elected to the board in 2006 and served as the board’s clerk for four years. He was elected president of the board by unanimous vote following the swearing-in ceremony. He replaces board member John Tavasci in the role of president. Conversely, Tavasci was elected to fill Ledbetter’s position as clerk after another unanimous vote of the board.
During the campaign, Ledbetter said he was committed to continuing curriculum alignment with school districts from which MUHS draws students to attain an “excelling” rating from the Arizona Department of Education.
The rating, based on Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards, is “not the best way to measure a school’s performance, but we have the ability through our students and teachers to reach that goal,” Ledbetter said.
Just as MUHS prepares students to attend college, MUHS also needs to continue giving students looking at a military career the tools to achieve rank and success. The percentage of students entering college after graduation has increased by double digits each year he has served on the board, he said.
Ledbetter said he wants to continue to reduce costs at MUHS, particularly in light of the state’s projected budget shortfall of roughly $700 million. MUHS did not lose a single program during Ledbetter’s first term despite cutbacks in administration. Unlike Flagstaff High School, which severely cut programs, MUHS actually added an engineering program while preserving music, art and physical education, Ledbetter said.
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