Super Intendent's Corner

Dr. Howard Carlson began his career in the state of Washington where he taught agriculture, science, and math courses at the middle school and high school levels. He earned his B.S. Degree from Washington State University and his Master’s degree from Heritage University. He completed his doctorate at Washington State University in 1997. 

As an administrator, Dr. Carlson has served at the building and central office levels; first becoming a superintendent in 1997. He has served as an assistant superintendent and superintendent in the states of Washington, Minnesota, and now Arizona. Dr. Carlson co-authored a book for new superintendents titled, “So Now You’re the Superintendent,” which was selected by the American Association of School Administrators to be jointly published with Corwin Press.

Dr. Carlson has been recognized as a state and national “Teacher of the Year,” “Administrator of the Year,” and was recently named Wickenburg's “Man of the Year." In 2011, he accepted an appointment by Governor Jan Brewer to serve on the state’s E-Learning Task Force.

Dr. Carlson has four children, all of which are school age and attend WUSD schools. His wife is also a certified teacher, and she currently teaches art and music (including band) at Festival Foothills Elementary School.

Dr. Carlson welcomes your comments and concerns.  You may e-mail him anytime or give him a call at (928) 668-5350.

District Sponsored Charter School Update

As mentioned in last week's front page Wickenburg Sun article, we are continuing to work with the Arizona Legislator and the Governor's Office regarding how district sponsored charter schools will be handled in next year's budger and thereafter. Proposals have been offered almost daily and at this point we still do not have a resolution, although I write this article understanding that by the time it is read an agreement may have been achieved.

Currently it looks a though district sponsored charter schools, which were approved a year ago, will only be allowed to operate one more year (2014-2015) at which point they will be required to revert back to traditional district schools. It is curious that although the statue allowing governing boards to approve district sponsored charters has been in place since 1995, that only those schools which were started in the past year would be impacted. In other words, district sponsored charters which were started between 1995-2012 would be allowed to continue to operate, but those started a year ago, 2013 and beyond, would be discontinued. Normally legistlative actions are prospective in nature, meaning the new law only applies moving forward. In this case an arbitrary date going back to 2013 would be put in place, which is likely to face statewide legal action.

During the course of working on this issue we have received great support from both Representative Darin Mitchell, who represents our district, and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin. Both individuals have been very engaged and supportive in bringing this issue to positive conclusion, and I thank them for their efforts.

Once this issue comes to a final conclusion, whether that is next week or a month from now, I will be sure to provide an update. I appreciate the hard work our community has put into supporting our schools during this situation and thank all of those who have contacted our legislators. It is important to understand the dramatic impact the legislature can have on Wickenburg and its schools and to become engaged in enhancing and protecting our community.