Scottsdale Education Community Rallies As Another District Administator Resigns

By Mariana Dale, Mark Brodie
Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 9:03am
Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 3:24pm

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SUSD Rally
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
Calls for new leadership, transparency and respect for teachers and students were common on signs held by ralliers.

At least 300 parents, students, teachers and community members rallied before the Scottsdale Unified School District governing board meeting Tuesday.

The crowd chanted "Bye Bye Birdie," a reference to Superintendent Denise Birdwell.

The event was a response to recent reports about conflicts of interest in the district's financial office and alleged corruption related to the construction of new schools.

"Being a working parent, sometimes you put your head in the sand and hope that things are OK,” said Nicole BoBo, who has two children in the district.

She said the idea that public dollars were misspent spurred her to participate in the rally. 

"I'm still learning and researching, but I want to be more involved and aware,” BoBo said.

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Claudia Vickers has been a teacher for 11 years and said she's never been as distressed as she is now.

"I never have been worried about my job,” Vickers said. “We need to make a stand of what we believe."

During the meeting, Birdwell announced another top administrator, chief operations officer Louis Hartwell, would be leaving the district.

Hartwell’s departure follows that of the district’s chief financial officer last month.

“I appreciate the work that he’s done,” Birdwell said. She gave no reason for his departure.

“Even though we’re dealing with many issues that sometimes seem not to be as positive as we’d like to see them, we’d like you to know there are a lot of good things going on in the district,” Birdwell told the governing board before recognizing top educators in the district. 

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