Board Expects Improvements

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The Payson Unified School District Board is most proud of three major accomplishments last year.

Don Engler, vice president of the board, said that the number one goal of the board was to participate and advance a $34 million bond that would upgrade the schools in Payson.

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Don Engler, Payson School Board vice president

"It has been a goal of the board's to get the bond passed," he said. "Our involvement with the bond and the fact that it passed was very important to us."

The improvements to several schools in Payson, including about $20 to Julia Randall Elementary and more than $7 million to Rim Country Middle School, will result from the bond, which passed in November 2006.

Payson High School will see some improvements as well -- primarily the expansion of a larger parking lot and the addition of artificial turf to the baseball, football and softball fields, principal Roy Sandoval said.

"The bond represents the number one changes that we'll see in the schools over the next few years," Engler said.

The board plans to work on spending the bond money as soon as possible, to expedite the improvements in area schools.

"We want the spending of tax dollars to be done as wisely as possible," Engler said. "So we can get the most for our schools."

Engler said that the board was proud to be involved with the remodeling of the administration complex at the high school.

The board participated in the preparation of the information about construction of the building and approved and assisted in the completion of the construction, Engler said.

The schools' improvement in test scores was a major accomplishment for the board as well, Engler said.

"All across the board, the education bar has been raised," he said. "The test scores for elementary, middle and high schools reveal considerable improvement."

Engler said that the strides students have made in education were a credit to the accomplishment of the schools' staff.

A few changes to the board occurred last year as well.

Albert Hunt retired from the board and didn't seek re-election because he was planning on moving out of the district, Engler said.

Rory Huff was elected in November to fill the seat left vacant by Hunt. Huff took office in January 2007.

Board President Viki Holmes was also re-elected in November.

The board consists of five members: Holmes, Engler, Huff, Mike Horton and Charles Brown.

Superintendent of schools, Sue Myers also announced her retirement plans to the board. Engler said the board knew of Myers' plans to act as superintendent for only two years.

"She has done an excellent job for the district and for the board," he said.

The board set in place a search for a replacement superintendent and hired an outside consulting firm, Search Solutions, to assist the district by overseeing the candidacy process.

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