2 candidates get interviews to succeed MUSD’s Jordan

Robert Downey is chairman of the Maricopa Unified School District Board of Trustees. The board will revert to five members shortly after the recent passing of board member Jim Jordan.

A new Maricopa Unified School District board member will likely be announced next week.

Pinal County Schools Superintendent Jill Broussard said she plans to name a replacement soon for late council member Jim Jordan, who died Feb. 15 after suffering a stroke while undergoing treatment. in hospital for COVID-19. Jordan, 74, was appointed to the board in April 2020 and successfully ran in the November 2020 election to retain his seat.

Broussard said she had scheduled interviews with two candidates: Dr. Gary Miller, a healthcare provider and former MUSD board member, and Carla Munkirs, a curriculum designer and bona fide novelist. policewoman.

The selection of a new board member is at the discretion of Broussard. She gave some insight into what she looks for in candidates — and what she isn’t.

“I’ve been in this office for about 10 years, and it’s alarming how many times I do these interviews and people don’t once mention students or education,” Broussard said. “Let’s just say I’m probably not going to be attracted to candidates who have an ax to grind, something like they want to fire the football coach from work, or they hate their kid’s math teacher.

“I read a poll that said the number one reason people run for a school board job is to fire the football coach, followed by the fire of the superintendent and to have higher political aspirations” , she added.

The candidate selected to complete Jordan’s term will have a brief stint in office unless he chooses to run for the job in November. Jordan’s tenure runs until January 2023. With that in mind, Broussard said she will try to find someone with the right priorities for the job.

“I would like to find someone who is passionate about supporting the students, teachers and staff who are there every day,” Broussard said. “We want someone who is educated and aware of the issues facing students and educators right now, whether it’s COVID, funding, school safety, or any other issue. I try to keep those things in mind and extract their motivations, thoughts and feelings.

The MUSD Board of Directors may recommend candidates for the Pinal County School Office, but not as individual members. MUSD Superintendent Dr. Tracey Lopeman can also make recommendations.

Broussard said she expected to see more interested applicants.

“I’m a little surprised that we only have two interviews,” she said. “Open seats at Maricopa usually generate a lot of interest.”

Once a candidate is chosen, the county will conduct a private background check; if successful, the position will be offered. If they accept, they will be sworn in at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors. It will likely be April 13, as it is unlikely that the background check can be completed in time for the March 30 meeting.

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