By Shawn Byrne
After missing out on the approval of a $2.3 million bond in 2018, Nadaburg Unified School District in Wittmann promises to make every effort to ensure voters in that district understand what is at stake when it presents a $2.4 million bond on the ballot this November.
“Research has been done showing us where the voters were located,” said Dr. Aspasia Angelou, superintendent of NUSD. “We want to share all the information. Community members are volunteering to go to homes and tell constituents what entails the bond measure.”
If the bond is going to pass, community outreach will be the key that makes it happen.
“I believe the bond can pass this time because we have more volunteers working to ask for voters’ support,” said Matt Varitek, NUSD board president. “Last year, we found much more support than opposition among the people with whom we spoke. This year, we’ll just work harder to reach out to more people.”
The school district would like to see the return of about 350 students to its district by opening a high school on its Wittmann campus. Currently, those students attend either Wickenburg or Dysart schools. Should the bond pass, NUSD could retain 80 students in the first year of its high school opening. For three years following, another grade would be added until the high school had all grades 9-12, according to the plan, Angelou predicted.
“That’s our goal,” Angelou said. “We’re going to shoot for as many as we can. Some will still opt for programs at those other sites, but we’re going to try and offer something for everyone.”
The district is going to have to recruit new teachers onto its staff as the high school expands a new grade each year.
“The hiring process would include recruitment of more teachers who are certified in the high school subject areas needed,” the superintendent said. “We would do this through our local colleges of education and competitive workforce websites.”
Remodeling to make room for a high school is expected to take up about $700,000 of the bond money. It would be used to remodel existing rooms, the interior and exterior of the school, secure fencing for safety, and everything it would take to put together science lab.
Angelou expressed that there will be a clear vision for the high school, and it’s going to have an innovative program for families and future generations. A completed plan hasn’t been finalized but is in the making.
“By an innovative high school, I mean addressing the how we are preparing students for the future of work and learning,” the superintendent said. “My vision is to create a program that graduates students prepared with the soft skills, technical skills and knowledge to be successful in a career and/or college.”
Angelou’s first day as the leader for Nadaburg was July 1. She brought success with her after spending eight years as principal of John Marshall Mid-High School in Oklahoma City and was named the 2017-18 principal of the year. She spent last year in Tulsa, Okla., as director of high school design, according to the Tulsa World.
Angelou was the front person for a program called Tulsa Beyond, which designed models for three schools that opened this school year.