Higley USD extends superintendent’s contract for 3 years

The Higley USD governing board extended the contract of Superintendent Mike Thomason for three years at its June 26 meeting.

Thomason, who is finishing his fourth year as the district’s superintendent, will be paid a starting base salary of $185,000 under the contract, which runs through June 30, 2022. The board approved the contract by a 5-0 vote.

The board previously had rated Thomason as highly effective in its annual evaluation.

“He has financially stabilized our district,” board President Kristina Reese said. “He has improved our curriculum, our technology, and he is putting mechanisms in place to keep our district moving forward. That was the goal of the board when we brought Dr. Thomason on.”

After the vote, Thomason thanked the board for its support.

“I’m grateful and honored to work for this board,” he said. “I would say it is one of the strongest boards this district has had in several years.”

HUSD board approves budget

The board also voted 5-0 to give final approval to the budget for fiscal year 2019-20.

The maintenance and operations budget calls for $82.1 million, up from $76.8 million in FY 2018-19.

Much of the increase comes from pay increases. The average teacher salary is projected to go from $54,070 to $56,568. Minimum-wage staff members also will go from $11 to $12 per hour in January 2020 under the provisions of Proposition 206.

The unrestricted capital budget will be nearly $23.8 million.

However, the district projects the combined primary and secondary property tax rate to fall from $7.21 to $7.04 per $100 in assessed valuation.
By Tom Blodgett

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.