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Top cop now sits on school board

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Mingus Union High School District named a new member to its Governing Board July 31.

Cottonwood Police Chief Steve Gesell joins the board to replace Robb Williams, who resigned when he moved out of the school district.



Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter made the appointment, as Williams’ departure is between board terms.

“Gesell will represent the residents of the district extremely well,” Carter said in a statement released by the Yavapai County Education Service Agency. “He exhibits a cooperative spirit and a service-oriented attitude, and has a history of working in concert with others and listening to diverse opinions.”

Gesell was one of nine candidates who applied for the board opening. With a bachelor’s in justice studies and a master’s in educational leadership, he has 28 years of experience in law enforcement in addition to experience teaching as an adjunct professor.

“We’re preparing our youth to succeed, to go out into the workplace, to go on to college and to be productive citizens,” Gesell said. “I take it very seriously. I don’t think there are many callings that should have a higher priority in our society.”

Gesell has also served on nonprofit boards in the past, including as chairman of the San Luis Obispo County Criminal Justice Administrators Association, on the board of directors for the California Police Chiefs Association, and on the board of a nonprofit women’s shelter in California.

“It’s a form of governance that I’m familiar with, being in the field that I’ve been in for the past 28 years,” Gesell said. “I’m very familiar with the governance and the form that school boards take. It’s another opportunity to serve the public in another capacity.”

In addition to his appointment to Mingus Union’s Governing Board, Gesell served on two of the district’s superintendent searches and serves on two MATForce subcommittees.

“Gesell’s resume was impressive and we look forward to his joining the Mingus board,” said Governing Board president Anita Glazar. “His insight and strong work ethic will be an additional asset. We have a great board and I’m sure he will fit right in.”

Gesell’s term lasts until Dec. 31, 2018, when three board seats will be up for election: Two with a traditional four-year term, and the third with a two-year term because of Gesell’s midterm appointment.

“I’m excited to roll my sleeves up and get started,” Gesell said. The Mingus Union governing board meets Wednesday, Aug. 23.

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