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Recall planned against Apache Junction school board members

Apache Junction, Arizona — There has been a violent backlash in communities in the Eastern Valley this week after the local school board cut ties with a popular superintendent.

Local teachers and parents Apache Junction Unified School District Superintendent Heather Wallace’s ouster is to blame for partisan politics. Residents are now organizing recall activities.

12 News reported Monday that board chairman Dena Kimble and board members Gil Cancio and Gail Ross voted three to two to cut ties with superintendent Wallace, who is serving a less than two-year term. decided to Mr. Wallace has over 20 years of experience in the district. Her contract was to last until 2025.

All three directors received support from Republican volunteers during the election. They have remained mostly silent since Monday’s vote, refusing to explain the nature of the executive meeting with Wallace. The two dissenting directors allege Wallace was forced to resign.

Kimble said online. Mr. Wallace and the board recently decided that they had different visions for the district. Accordingly, both parties have worked in a positive and cooperative manner to bring an end to their existing working relationship. “

At a public board meeting on Tuesday, full support for Mr. Wallace was expressed. Parents, teachers and coaches repeatedly criticized the three members who took the vote.

One principal shocked the audience by announcing he was resigning because he could not trust the board to make sound decisions. She lamented the district’s termination of three superintendent contracts in six years.

Supporters of board members Kimble, Cancio and Ross allege Wallace misled the board by failing to unite employees as leaders during last year’s deal process.

Recall proponents fear Kimble’s successor is already on the running list, imposing a rigid academic vision that does not meet the needs of students. The three board members are seen as supporters of State Superintendent Tom Horn’s rigorous, conservative vision of schools.

Kurt Kretzschmer, husband of a school district teacher who volunteers with the recall effort, said: “Life is more than test scores. The emotional and mental health of our students is extremely important during the pandemic. I learned,” he said. “I’m a Republican and I’m furious at what she (Kimble) did,” she said.

1,500 signatures are required for the recall to be adopted in a future vote, but the date has not yet been revealed.

“We have momentum,” said Kretzschmer. “People are upset.”

State Superintendent Tom Horn also attended this week and spoke out in support of the three school commissioners. Horn said he was reinforcing his “academic-oriented approach” by severing ties with Wallace.

Wallace’s retirement agreement includes a $90,000 acquisition. Mr. Wallace could not be reached for comment.

“Heather was pushed, bullied and gassed until she couldn’t take it anymore. They would say this was a mutual decision. It wasn’t,” said board member Bobby Bowders. said on Monday.

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