CCUSD exodus continues

By Linda Bentley | July 11, 2008

County superintendent appoints Virgil Cain to fill vacancy
CCUSD – Although it was not announced until the next day, Cave Creek Unified School District President Stephanie Reese and board member Gladys Styles Johnston had already prepared their own resignations, dated July 8, by the time they voted to release Superintendent Tacy Ashby from her contract during Tuesday’s governing board meeting.

Reese began her resignation by saying it has been an honor to serve the district for the past 13 years, “in a variety of ways.”

She then outlined all she has done since moving to the district in 1995.

stephanie reeseCiting a personal family situation as the reason, Reese said, “I find myself in a difficult situation. It is with an immense amount of sadness that I must announce my need to resign from my position as a governing board president and governing board member …”

Reese then announced to present and future board members what her understanding is of their role as board members and said, “Board members are charged with hiring the superintendent and then supporting that person, evaluating and encouraging them as they do their job. It is ludicrous to believe we, as board members, regardless of our backgrounds, can even begin to know more about the educational needs in this district than the superintendent who can see the big picture.”

In closing, Reese stated, “I would like to encourage this community to be one that embraces the school district in a way that benefits the children who reside in it. This community has allowed itself to be held hostage by a few very negative people who use both oral and written methods to speak with very loud voices. Imagine what it would be like if those who believe in the great accomplishments of CCUSD were to speak in an equally loud voice.”

gladys johnstonJohnston said she had been “critically reflecting on my effectiveness as a school board member,” and, as a consequence, decided to resign her position, effective July 31.

“After several months of board meetings and prodigious effort that, by my standards, my ability to offer satisfactory and satisfying service to the community and students through the board, has not been achieved,” wrote Johnston.

She concluded by saying, “If community support can be sustained and transparency in daily operations maintained, the district is poised for continued superior educational recognition.”

The next day, Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Sandra Dowling announced the appointment of Virgil Cain to fill the board position vacated by Marvin Christensen.

Cain is currently president of the Tatum Ranch Homeowners Association.

Top Photo: Stephanie Reese
Lower Photo: Gladys Styles Johnston