CAMP VERDE – Looking for a job is much harder work than actually working a job.
That’s what Dennis Goodwin has experienced since the Camp Verde School Board reassigned him to home for the remainder of his three-year contract.
But make no bones about it. Home assignment for Camp Verde’s outgoing superintendent was not punitive. The board did him “a favor,” Goodwin said.
“I’m thankful that the board gave me time, to allow me time to find a new position and for the District to figure out where they want to go,” he said. “I’m not in trouble. This was not disciplinary.”
On Feb. 13, the Camp Verde school board officially reassigned Goodwin, whose contract expires on June 30.
In a letter to the superintendent, Camp Verde School Board President Tim Roth stated that “in light of your stated desire to move on to the next phase of your career, the governing board wishes to provide you the opportunity to complete your district obligations while [tending] to your future needs.”
“To accomplish this goal, the district hereby reassigns you to home with full pay and benefits for the remainder of your current employment contract,” the letter states.
Looking for his next job
In December, Goodwin said that he did not intend to seek another contract with Camp Verde Unified.
“It was not to cause them harm,” Goodwin said. “I wanted to give them the time to do what they need to do.”
Since his February reassignment, Goodwin has interviewed for five superintendent positions in the Midwest, with three of those districts having interviewed him a second time.
Driving from the Verde Valley to Phoenix is a good two hours. Add a three-plus hour flight and “it ends up being a day each way, especially when we don’t have an airport next to us,” Goodwin said.
“There’s always timing issues, like distance and travel,” said Goodwin. “It’s an event to travel. You have to plan a trip. And trying to find a job out of state is more challenging.”
Though he has not yet been offered a job, Goodwin said he remains hopeful that he will find the right opportunity.
Even if his next stop is in Arizona.
With two children and several grandchildren in Arizona, Goodwin said Thursday he would stay in Arizona “if the right opportunity presented itself.”
“Having family nearby is important,” he said. “Being near my kids and grandkids the past three years, it’s been a huge blessing.”
Still responsible ‘to the district’
Though Camp Verde Middle School Principal Danny Howe has taken over the district’s day-to-day leadership as administrator-in-charge, Goodwin is still responsible for responding to district inquiries by email or phone within 24 hours.
Available as needed, Goodwin’s “responsibility is still to the district, to be there whenever they need me.”
Before he began with Camp Verde Unified in July 2015, Goodwin worked in education for 16 years in the Midwest.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42