Pinal County Schools Superintendent opts to leave position vacant pending election
By Dana Trumbull
Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board member Mike Weaver will resign his position effective September 5, as he and his wife, Bonnie, are moving out of district to a new home in southeast Mesa.
The public is invited to participate in a farewell reception at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the District Office, 1575 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction, preceding Mr. Weaver’s last Board meeting.
The Gold Canyon resident has served on the AJUSD board for 5 ½ years; his current term would have ended January 1. Weaver first took a seat on the Board in 2012, when Board member Wendy Moore moved out of district. He then ran for the elected office, which carries a four year term. Previously, Weaver served for four years as a director on the Superstition Fire and Medical Department (SFMD) Board.
Weaver taught Technology Education in junior high and high school for ten years in the Gilbert Public School District, then spent the next ten years as an organizational consultant with the Arizona Education Association (AEA), prior to retiring early this year. During his time on the AJUSD Board, the district benefitted from his in depth knowledge of education issues, laws, policies and proposals, as well as the personal insight and perspective gained from daily interaction with teachers, school support personnel, administrators and Board members from all across the state.
“I would like to think that the district is better today than it was,” mused Weaver in an email response to questions. “The leadership team and the structures in place put the schools in a position to succeed. In addition, I am seeing a change in culture toward a greater emphasis on academics and meeting the needs of the whole child. I hope that I have been at least a small contributor to these needed changes.”
There will be two seats open for election this November, including Weaver’s and that of Board Vice President Dena Kimble. Candidates include Braden Biggs, Chelsea Connolly and Gilbert Cancio, as well as Kimble, who is seeking re-election. Candidate statements can be found at: ecrsc.org/pinalesa/elections/2018.
With only four months remaining in Weaver’s term, Pinal County School Superintendent Jill Broussard has advised the district that she will not appoint an interim replacement. The process of selection would take approximately two months, and even with the empty chair, the Board will maintain a quorum until the duly elected Board members are seated January 1.
Asked to comment on advice for incoming Board members, Weaver shared, “First, realize that governance is much different than running for office. You don’t have to change your values or beliefs; however, effective School Boards work together as a team to reach consensus by discussing various viewpoints and perspectives. Once decisions are reached, however, all members need to support the Board’s action. The district will move forward with the team members all pulling in the same direction much better than in a fractured way.”
As an active member of the Gold Canyon Lions Club and advisor to the AJ High School Leo Club, Weaver plans to maintain his ties with the school district, mentoring young adults toward active participation in leadership and community service.