Governing board meeting discusses prevalent community issues

The board meeting on March 24, 2021 discussed a wide-range of community issues such as music and speech programs, internet and infrastructure, healthcare, and safety surrounding end of year activities for the graduating class.


Ashlyn Miner

Associate superintendent for support services Frank Fletcher answers questions from the governing board. Fletcher presented the internet portion of the agenda.

The Chandler-Unified School District board meeting opened at 7 pm with the usual roll call and pledge of allegiance followed by a brief moment of silence, acknowledging victims of the recent violence. Director of Community Relations, Terry Locke then recognized Alberto Esparza who founded an organization that strengthens families and encourages youth in the community. Following the introduction by Locke, Esparza received a certificate for his “lifetime contributions to the students and staff of the Chandler Unified communities”. The board members then invited both the student body president, Ellie McClure who attends Casteel, and Cianna Ibarra who attends Chandler to present the achievements of their sports teams as well as involvement and activities planned by the student government. McClure presented a video presentation of Casteel’s involvement in spirit weeks and Ibarra presented a visual representation of athletes who stood out in winter sports.

The floor was then opened to parents and teachers who expressed opinions on a variety of pressing issues in the district. CUSD teachers Erica Marsh and Katie Nash expressed their support for the board’s consideration to reinstate a $400 wellness incentive to eligible employees. “I know not all of the employees depend on this incentive, but for those that do, we are willing to work to receive it,” Nash remarks.

Superintendent, Camille Castille briefly laid out the agenda for the evening, which covered donations, implementing the Quaver music program to spark student interest in the arts, as well as human resources, and an improved approach to speech therapy. This motion was then carried by the members of the board. Following this motion, the board reviewed technological concerns as well as infrastructure for the new high school. After a series of questions were asked by board members, Associate superintendent for support services Frank Fletcher clarified, “We are increasing the bandwidth because of the additional needs of the district via technology” The motion was then carried to approve Cox Communications to provide Internet and Wide Area Network services for a total expenditure of $2,380,190.00. Casteel ended the meeting with her thoughts in explaining the concerns raised by parents over their graduating seniors not having their usual activities such as prom. She calmly emphasized that this was proposed “in an effort to protect kids for their graduation” Governing Board President, Barb Mozdzen then poignantly addressed the issues in our society today and reaffirmed the district’s commitment to helping students feel safe and equally represented. With that, the board moved to adjourn the March 24 meeting.