Melvin to take seat as school board decides superintendent contract


A new board member will be sworn in, a coach is departing and the superintendent’s contract is on the table for the Maricopa Unified School District.

The board breaks from its usual Wednesday routine and meets on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. First, however, at 6 p.m. Rhonda Melvin, newly appointed by Pinal County Superintendent Jill Broussard, will take the oath of office from Justice of the Peace Lyle Riggs.

A two-year contract for Superintendent Steve Chestnut is on the agenda. It includes an annual salary of $137,000, health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, 24 days of personal time off, a car allowance of $650 per month, and cell phone allowance of $100 per month. The contract would run through June 30, 2017.

Before voting on the contract, the board will discuss it in executive session along with the performance pay plan.

The district is busy hiring new personnel, with nine new hires on the docket Tuesday. However, it is also saying goodbye to four employees. That includes high school girls basketball head coach Kati Burrows, who reportedly is taking an assistant coaching job at her alma mater Montana State University.

Also resigning are high school teacher Justin Mobley, mechanic Johnny Manriquez and bus driver Eddie Ware.

Newcomers are Maricopa Elementary School teacher Charline Smith, high school teachers Phylis Salsedo and Gwendolyn Platt, Butterfield Elementary teacher Cindy Rice, Santa Cruz Elementary teacher Heather Cabral, Pima Butte teacher Rachel Rubright, speech language therapy assistants Alyssa Jonas and Megan Gore and Maricopa Elementary attendance clerk Jeannette Breden.

***ADVERTISEMENT***Jeckson Quinones is being reclassified from a substitute to a teacher at Maricopa Wells Middle School.

 The board will formally end its district charter school sponsorships. That means as of July 1, Butterfield, Saddleback, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Maricopa elementaries and Maricopa Wells Middle School will convert back to their original status as district schools. They had been operating as charters since 2013. The Legislature enacted Arizona Revised Statute 15-183 prohibiting districts from sponsoring charter schools.