Mingus expected to approve new superintendent contract

Unification/consolidation talks also on Tuesday agenda

Tuesday, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board is expected to approve a contract with Dr. Penny Hargrove, pictured, to become the district’s next superintendent. Dr. Hargrove is currently superintendent at Hiawatha Public Schools in Hiawatha, Kansas. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Tuesday, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board is expected to approve a contract with Dr. Penny Hargrove, pictured, to become the district’s next superintendent. Dr. Hargrove is currently superintendent at Hiawatha Public Schools in Hiawatha, Kansas. (Photo by Bill Helm)

COTTONWOOD – After two days of contract negotiations, Dr. Penny Hargrove left the Verde Valley at about 6 p.m. Thursday before her Friday morning flight back home to Kansas.

But the Midwest won’t be Dr. Hargrove’s home for much longer.

Tuesday, the Mingus Union High School District Governing Board is expected to officially welcome Dr. Hargrove as the district’s next superintendent.

“We will be bringing Dr. Hargrove’s contract to the board for approval,” said Mingus Union board President Anita Glazar. “We are very pleased with our selection for our new superintendent.”

Until Dr. Hargrove’s contract with the school district is final, no details are available. But Dr. Hargrove said Thursday evening from Phoenix that she “anticipate[s] that the board will approve the negotiated terms of our contract.”

“I am excited to work with the amazingly talented staff and community members that I have been working with the last two days,” Dr. Hargrove said.

Dr. Hargrove and her husband, Grover, plan to be back in the Verde Valley in late-April to “look for a house.”

“Then I will be back permanently on July 1,” Dr. Hargrove said.

Through a daylong interview process, the Mingus Union school board selected Dr. Hargrove on Feb. 28 from a pool of four finalists that included two candidates who reside in Arizona.

Mingus Union talks unification/consolidation

Though on the verge of having a signed contract with Dr. Hargrove, the Mingus Union school board is expected to continue unification/consolidation talks Tuesday, as confirmed by Andy Groseta.

“We are on the agenda,” said Groseta, formerly president of Mingus Union’s district’s governing board. “I will be making a presentation.”

Groseta said that he “will have several folks attending who are in support of consolidation/unification.” He also said that his group has “talked to several” members of the district’s governing board.

Glazar said she is “looking forward to hearing from Groseta and his pro-unification group.”

“I’m trying to keep an open mind on this issue,” Glazar said.

Unification/consolidation talks

March 7, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board directed Board President Jason Finger, as well as the district’s administration, to hold consolidation/unification discussions with both the Mingus Union and Clarkdale-Jerome school boards.

That night, Cottonwood-Oak Creek agreed to a contract with Assistant Superintendent Steve King to replace outgoing Superintendent Barb U’Ren. In April, the COCSD board should make that contract with King official.

Earlier this week, Glazar spoke about consolidation/unification discussions with Finger.

“We did not agree on some of the obstacles I believe our district may face and we agreed on others,” Glazar said. “I’ve been through two unification community studies [and] votes in my 30 years as an educator while at Mingus. I am loyal to and love Mingus, and if hard facts show unification is absolutely best for our students and staff, I am listening.”

Tuesday, the Mingus Union High School District Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m. at the school’s library. Mingus Union is located at 1801 E. Fir St. in Cottonwood. Call (928) 634-0580 for more information.

The district will post a copy of the agenda no less than 24 hours before the meeting. The agenda can be found at www.mingusunion.com/Governing_Board.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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