Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, March 30

Unrest at Tuba City schools continues as Thomas faces administrative reassignment

TUBA CITY - Eugene Thomas was placed on administrative reassignment during a special Tuba City Unified School District (TCUSD) Governing Board meeting held April 16. Harriett Sloan-Carter, a primary school administrator in the district, was designated acting administrator-in-charge. Because the action took place during Executive Session, and the Board has to date kept their reasoning to themselves, there has been no explanation for the action.

This action followed only days after the announcement from the Coconino County Board of Elections that petitions for the recall of board members Linda Honahni, Jack Begay and Alvin Harvey fell short of the 673 necessary signatures to place the recall on the ballot in November.

Virginia Butler, Chairperson of the Tuba City Committee for Community Action and Recall, took the announcement in stride.

"We would like to thank the communities of Tuba City, Coalmine, Cameron, Gap and Red Lake for the over 800-plus signatures collected during the recall," Butler said. "It is clear these communities demand a change concerning the Tuba City Unified School District No. 15."

Butler conceded that over 120 of the signatures collected were from non-registered voters.

"From now until November, we encourage voters to update and verify that they are registered voters in Coconino County," Butler said. "We will need your signatures again. We will be making a strong push to have three new board members elected during the November elections. Three current school board members - Alvin Harvey, Jack Begay and Alan Numkena - will be up for re-election.

We thank our communities for their support and their concern for our school district," Butler continued. "We ask that you continue to attend board meetings, be active in parent/school communications and become involved in our school district. Our enrollment is down within our school district and we are losing teachers - quality teachers who have been committed to our children for many years - teachers who understand our culture and are sad to leave our district due to problems within our district. We again ask for your support and concerns and thank you for your support in the recall. We will not give up, but do better."

Candace Owens, Coconino County Recorder, said that the committee's efforts would be better spent finding new candidates for the seats of those board members whose term will be up.

"The group is past the time frame for re-filing a recall petition to place on the November ballot," Owens said. "There are four dates that elections must be held on, and the next election would be in March, 2009."

Owens suggested that members of the group consider running for the seats that would be coming open in November.

"The County will be sending out packets for those positions to the schools," Owens said. "Interested parties can obtain a packet at the Superintendent's Office at TCUSD. The packets can be filed between July 7 and August 8."

New board members are not subject to recall for six months after being seated, Owens said. Incumbents are subject to recall at any time.

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