MUSD received a national Field Maintenance Award: Coach Andrew Pollak, Paul Thibault, Chad Whittle, Elaizar Martinez, Dr. Steve Chestnut, Pablo Reyes and Casimiro Reyes. Photo by Adam Wolfe

The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board approved placing an override initiative on the ballot for the presidential election in November 2016 during their meeting Wednesday.

The district will request a 10-percent override over a seven-year span. The cost to Maricopa residents will break down to $11 a month or $132 a year for every $100,000 their home is worth. The funding would provide the district with approximately $3.2 million to hire more teachers, lower class sizes and improve the district’s education programs.

“I want to make sure that if we’re going to take this opportunity to the voters that it’s going to make a big enough difference,” MUSD Governing Board president Patti Coutre said. “Class sizes and academic programs are extremely important, but a lot (of the success of the override) will come down to the marketing and the boots on the ground.”

The board, which two weeks ago was split on which direction to go with the override, came together in the belief that a 10 percent override was more feasible for the community.

“I am pretty confident that together, with boots on the ground, we can get this passed,” MUSD Governing Board member Gary Miller said. “It is providing more services for our children,”

The board also honored the Rotary Students of the Month for September and October during Wednesday’s meeting. From Maricopa High School, senior student body president Cierra Reynolds was named the Student of the Month for September, and senior class president Christina Lorayes received the honor for October.

Rotary students of the month for October and November. Photo by Adam Wolfe
Rotary students of the month for October and November. Photo by Adam Wolfe

At the middle school level, Maricopa Wells Middle School swept the first two months of the award. Eighth graders Xiiomara Gomez and Ethan Atkinson took home the honors.

The board also took a moment to honor members of the MHS grounds crew for their work on the Matt Huffman Baseball Field. The MHS field received the American Baseball Coaches Association National Field Maintenance Award for the High School Division.

“This is a big deal,” MUSD superintendent Steve Chestnut said. “Every year the American Baseball Coaches Association names one high school field in the nation and one college field in the nation as the best. We’re proud of the fact that the Maricopa High School baseball field has been named the best in the nation for 2015-16.”

The MUSD Governing Board will reconvene on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m.