|Written by Lu Stitt|
|Wednesday, 11 July 2007 13:24|
One day after Doug Wilson turned down the offer to become Mingus Union High School’s new superintendent for what he said were personal reasons, the governing board made the decision to offer the job to Scott Dunsmore.
As of Monday, July 9, the contract has been written and mailed, according to board President Andy Groseta.
“I tendered him a contract today,” Groseta said. “We’ve been negotiating and we’ve agreed verbally but have not formally signed a contract.”
Dunsmore was one of three candidates interviewed for the high school district’s superintendent job to replace Sharyl Allen, who asked to be released from her contract. The other two candidates were Wilson and John Larson, from Ohio. Dunsmore is from Michigan.
Dunsmore has been a teacher, a principal and a superintendent in Michigan and in Arizona, and he briefly worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Dunsmore’s first job teaching was seventh-grade science in Winslow, then high school mathematics. He took the principal’s position at Hopi Junior High School for about two years, then went to Gray Hills Academy, in Tuba City, and helped the school cut $1 million out of the budget, he said.
Following are Dunsmore’s answers to some of the questions asked at a June 26 forum at the school in Cottonwood:
How does your previous experience and training make you the best
Dunsmore said he believes his diverse background, such as with the Hopi, will be an asset at Mingus.
“Through working with cultural diversity, I’ve learned how to deal with people of other cultures. I do feel
comfortable talking with people and seeking others’ opinion. I like to take in as much information as I can before I make a decision,” Dunsmore said.
What is your vision for building a balance between academic, career-technical education programs and extracurricular programs?
Dunsmore said he is a firm believer that a school needs all three areas for a well-rounded education.
“We have to concentrate on academics in this day and age to make sure our kids are ready for college and for life. We need kids to play basketball, football and in the arts,” Dunsmore said.
He also said there is a need to add more academics to the CTE programs.
The first step for Dunsmore is to find out how much revenue the school has then figure out the needs.
“You also need to ask ‘What is it our community wants from our school district?’ What are the needs of our district, our school and our students? — involve all the stakeholders,” Dunsmore said.
He would monitor the budget on a monthly basis to see where the district stands financially at any point in time and make adjustments where necessary.
How do you regularly communicate with parents and staff, including violation of security situations that demand immediate communication?
“I have an open door and I want to listen to people. I need to be available, need to be open and need to be honest,” he said.
If an emergency occurs at Mingus, he said a letter should be sent home that day explaining the situation.
“I want parents to know what the problem or concern was and how it will affect their child,” Dunsmore said.
“I believe it’s very important to have ongoing communication to develop a trust with the community,” he said and talked about community meetings.
Dunsmore agreed that building relationships is the No. 1 element among every area of the district and between every group.
“That’s the best way we’ll get buy-in,” he said.
The Mingus Union High School District Governing Board
For more information, call 634-8901
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