Public School Retooling Takes Community Leadership
From: Arizona Daily Sun – Our View August 6, 2017
If there has been a Flagstaff school year that started with a bigger turnover at the top, we can’t recall it.
The challenge will be not only mastering a steep learning curve by the newcomers but also finding common ground for effective educational programming with limited resources.
The Flagstaff Unified School District has a new superintendent in Mike Penca, and three out of five board members weren’t in place at this time last year.
In fact, Penca comes in from a small district in Iowa with only two votes for his hiring among current board members.
Of the three others, one was a “no” vote, another recused herself and a third is a recent appointee. We urge all of the board to coalesce behind his leadership, regardless of past differences.
Then there is former longtime board member Paul Kulpinski, who withdrew from his reelection campaign to accept the top job at LAUNCH Flagstaff, an umbrella partnership that looks to “share resources, share accountability, share success and have a collective impact on improving educational outcomes.” It has major financial support from Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff, United Way of Northern Arizona, and The Wharton Foundation.