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The Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board voted 4-1 on Tuesday, Feb. 13 to reassign Superintendent Dennis Goodwin to his home for the remainder of his contract after reconvening following an executive session.

In December, the board accepted Goodwin’s letter of intent to not seek a contract renewal. Goodwin’s contract expires on Saturday, June 30, and this is his third year as the district’s superintendent.

For Cottonwood Middle School math teacher Michael Gilboy, being a teacher is the closest he can get to being a rock star — without the money, of course.

“The respect in the community is there,” he said. “99.99 percent of parents hold you in high esteem. I have an advantage where I’ve been at it long enough that I’ve been able to build those relationships.”

The Camp Verde Unified School District met Feb. 5 to outline goals in trust, ethics and board culture.

“Building a board culture is the starting point to move forward and improve communication,” board member Helen Freeman said.

For families with siblings attending schools in the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District, juggling between different schools will become a thing of the past starting in the 2018-19 school year.

The COCSD governing board voted unanimously on Tuesday, Feb. 6 to move forward with kindergarten through eighth-grade realignment, restructuring three of the district’s schools into two K-8 schools.

Arizona continues to dwindle near — or at — the bottom of the list for teacher salaries, and Verde Valley educators aren’t excluded from the hurt of low pay and rising housing costs.

For example, the average salary of a Sedona-Oak Creek School District teacher is $39,302, according to a 2017 Arizona Auditor General report. The median home value in Sedona is $404,400, according to latest data from the United States Census Bureau.

If there’s one thing that key players from Mingus Union High School District and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District can agree on is that, unification or not, the end game is to achieve what is best for the kids.
 
For some, it’s still not 100 percent clear if the answer is to consolidate the two districts based on current data. Others are pushing a petition for a vote on consolidation in November.

As crowds from all over the Verde Valley gathered at the Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education’s new campus in Cottonwood, fire science students Levi Parker and Jayson Martinez demonstrated the speedy yet challenging process of putting on firefighting gear.
 
“We try to get it on in under 60 seconds,” Parker said. “We will be racing to see who gets it on faster. Right now [Martinez] is the quickest.”
 

As members of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Governing Board continue to push for a vote on consolidation with Mingus Union High School District in November, board members from the Advisory Committee of MUHSD and COCSD are still hesitant.
 
The main concern: Not enough data.

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