Peoria USD searching for new governing board member

Ashley Paredez
3 Min Read

PEORIA — Governing board meetings for the Peoria Unified School District have had plenty of fireworks this past year.

“With regard to the vote tonight to not set policy… I think our district is going down a very dark road morally,” said Rebecca Hill, former PUSD governing board member.

Hill resigned last week amid controversy. Now, all eyes are on the high-profile appointment of her replacement. The decision lies in the hands of Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson.

“I’m not looking for a person to agree or disagree with a perspective, but we want somebody who is going to go in there and vote their conscience when it comes time to be a good governing board member and then, if the vote doesn’t go their way, they can continue to get along with their governing board,” said Watson.

Peoria Unified said the deadline to apply is Monday. The list of those candidates will be made public the next day, allowing the community to give feedback through an online form. The district can then submit up to three names to Superintendent Watson but he will be interviewing all who apply before making his decision.

Watson says the characteristics he wants in a governing board member are fiscal responsibility, care for the district and being temperamentally ready to govern

“I want you to be temperamentally ready to govern. Those are some interesting words, but this is an interesting time right now and we have a lot of conflict going on right now on our school boards,” said Steve Watson, Maricopa County School Superintendent.

For PUSD, conflict has surrounded the board’s decision not to create a bathroom policy back in April. The policy would have limited the use of restrooms and lockers based on biological sex. Heated debate followed, taking a toll on many of those who are part of the transgender community.

A rally was held Wednesday, near Desert Harbor Elementary School, in support of a special education teacher there who is non-binary and has spoken out about feeling victimized.

“We have to do a better job of creating an inclusive environment, a diverse environment for everybody,” said River Chunnui.

Ashley Paredez

2023-08-24 05:44:56 , Peoria News

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