Phoenix Murphy Elementary School District Board Holds Special Meeting Amid School Leadership Changes

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 8:57pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 9:07am
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
The Alfred F. Garcia Elementary School is in the Murphy Elementary School District.

A small school district in south Phoenix is trying to rebuild as it remains in receivership by the state. But, there are concerns about leadership decisions.

The state put Murphy Elementary School District under receivership last year, when the Arizona Board of Education learned the schools were having major budget problems.

The receiver did a district review and picked a new superintendent Dennis Goodwin. Goodwin is a former Camp Verde Unified School District superintendent. The district report found pest, mold and lead problems. The high lead problems have led to Alfred F. Garcia Elementary School being shut down and the students and teachers reassigned within the district. 

At a special meeting this week, the board and superintendent discussed two employees for an hour and a half in executive session. One employee that was discussed is a principal at William R. Sullivan Elementary who is currently placed on home assignment. The other was a district performance coach who was picked to act as acting principal at Sullivan.

The teaching coach had previously worked with Goodwin at Camp Verde as a principal there.

The board has already denied transferring the performance coach to be the interim principal at the last board meeting in February.

Half a dozen teachers and parents came to the meeting this week, some from Sullivan Elementary. After the executive session, the superintendent would not comment on why the current principal is on home assignment.

No decisions were made Monday. The regular Murphy school board meeting is planned to be March 25.