Lake Havasu Unified teacher honored again

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instuction visits Oro Grande.
Mrs. Sautner speaks to the Arizona School Boards Association.

Ginny Sautner, Lake Havasu High School English teacher, was awarded the Golden Bell Award at the 59th Annual Conference of the Arizona School Boards Association in Phoenix on December 14. The Golden Bell Award recognizes exemplary programs in Arizona school districts. Mrs. Sautner was selected for the award because she is the National Rural Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for 2016. Previously, she was selected as the Mohave County Rural Teacher of the Year and the Arizona Rural Teacher of the Year.

In her acceptance speech before the Arizona School Boards Association, Mrs. Sautner described how a novice teacher transitions into an experienced professional—and why highly qualified teachers decide to remain in rural districts. Answering the question of how to meet those challenges, she stated:

I see the answer in mentorship and meaningful professional development. These two concepts—intentional mentorship and meaningful lifelong learning help grow teacher leadership and keep quality teachers. No learning experience supported my teacher leadership the way National Board Certification did. The process gave me the language to describe my profession: learner, leader, collaborator. It was an affirmation that the teaching profession is really a profession of learning. Without that continuous, meaningful learning, teachers lose their autonomy, drive, vision and dedication to stay. It also broadened my consideration of who I am responsible for—it is easy for me to love my students. It’s what we do. But what about mentoring new professionals? Not just friendly conversation in the hall, but explicit and intentional coaching and support.

As a result of her presentation at the Arizona School Boards Association, Mrs. Sautner has been invited to speak at the opening session of the Arizona Legislature on January 9, 2017.

Read a related newspaper story.

Tax credit 2016

Last tax credit payment of the year.While we can't give you a number yet, 2016 is looking to be a banner year for tax credit contributions. We thank all those who participate. As has become our custom, we are posting a picture of the last person to come to our tax credit office in the old year to make a contribution. Our thanks to Bernadette Chamberlain (in the green shirt) for making sure tax credit was on her to do list. We hope she found her missing glasses. Also pictured are Judy McClintock, our tax credit person (in red) and some other Lake Havasu Unified employees who help with tax credit during the busy, end of year time: Mary Heronema, Christi Richards, Alice Opie, and Kelly Morrison.

Our tax credit office is closed from January 2 to January 6, but the tax credit rules have changed. You can contribute to the tax credit program up to the 2016 Arizona income tax filing deadline in April and still put it towards your 2016 taxes if you so choose. So, if you did not come see us before the end of 2016, it is not too late! Judy is the expert. If you have a question, call her at 505-6917. Don't know about the tax credit program? Read all about it.

Upcoming events

  • For upcoming school board meetings check here.
  • Several of our teachers have successfully used crowdsourcing websites to fund materials for their classrooms. The list of open projects is always changing, and you can search by zip code for those that are currently open. As of 9/19/16, there are these:

Transfer of property

A new park for the city and savings for the district will result from a transfer of property. The Lake Havasu Unified School District Governing Board is pleased to announce the transfer of deed agreement for Parcel Number 109-29-044, 301 Cypress Drive, between Lake Havasu Unified School District #1 and Lake Havasu City.

The district and the city have been involved in an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for the use of this property for several years. This property is not suited to a school site and has been developed by the city for recreational use that benefits all of the residents. The city has identified a need to develop and improve additional areas for permanent recreational usage and requires additional property to do so. This property transfer allows the city to further develop this property into a robust recreational facility. The District recognizes the ongoing benefit to students and the community by the future development of this property.

The City and the District obtained a qualified appraiser to appraise the property; it has been determined that the “as-is” simple market value is $830,000, and the current gross sales potential amount is $1,250,000. Therefore an amount of $1,000,000 to be paid by the City to the District has been determined to be a fair and equitable amount and will allow the transfer of the title deed for the property at 301 Cypress Drive to Lake Havasu City.

The proceeds will be used to pay off the loan agreement the District negotiated with Horizon Bank to construct the transportation facility, located at the district office site. This loan originally required payments over ten years. In paying this off, the District will save approximately $165,536 in interest over the next nine years and will retire that debt.

Diana M. Asseier

Our kids and our community won! Bond/Override

The Lake Havasu Unified School District Board, Staff, and Students would like to thank the voters of Lake Havasu City for taking the time to vote and pass our school bond and override initiative. Lake Havasu City is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Schools are the lifeblood of a community. They touch the lives of all residents, from infants to seniors, providing the future workforce and lifeforce of our city. We are confident that this investment in the future of our students and community, along with the continued efforts of our great team, will help strengthen our school district. Our school district educators are humbled by your vote of confidence and your dedication to the future of our community—our children. More...

Refunding excess taxes

Newspaper says, LHUSD to return tax dollars.In a move that made the front page of the local newspaper, Lake Havasu Unified will be using $748,540.28 left over from the district's 1996 bond to reduce future district taxes. The decision was approved at the district's regular monthly board meeting for October. Arizona Revised Statute 15-1028 details two ways the money may be used as a credit for taxpayers.

If a bond issue and interest thereon have been fully paid and a balance remains in the debt service fund from taxes collected for payment of the bonds and interest, the balance may be applied on the payment of other outstanding bonded indebtedness of the school district payable from the levy of taxes on property within the school district in which the excess tax monies were collected, or if there is no outstanding bonded indebtedness, the balance remaining in or accruing to the debt service fund, on written request of the governing board of the school district, shall be used for reduction of school district taxes.

If the bond which is on the November ballot passes, option one will be used. If not, option two.

During the October meeting, the board also said thank you to local realtor Brenda Atkinson for leading a fundraising drive that collected $8,000 for school supplies from members of the Lake Havasu Association of Realtors, and the board welcomed new teachers from Thunderbolt Middle School and Lake Havasu High School.
More about the October 18 board meeting. | Newspaper article.

State superintendent's AZ Kids Can't Wait! plan

Diane Douglas, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, recently visited Parker as part of her We Are Listening Tour. She was there to talk about her plan of action for Arizona schools called AZ Kids Can't Wait!, and to answer questions from the public. The plan is available for download from us or from the AZ Kids Can't Wait! website.
AZ Kids Can't Wait! download Opens a PDF document | AZ Kids Can't Wait! website

Thanks to River Scene Magazine for these stories

A generous community

Lake Havasu Unified administrators accept a donation from Relics & Rods.Our community is very generous. The schools of Lake Havasu Unified receive many donations form individuals, businesses, and organizations. Last school year, we received a total of $217,283 in donations. This year the donations total is already over $100,000, including a recent donation of $2,400 from Relics & Rods of Lake Havasu. This donation will be divided between our elementary schools.

Pictured (left to right): Debbie Morgan, Relics & Rods; Claude Sanders, principal of Havasupai Elementary; Gary Morgan, Relics & Rods; Connie Hogard, principal of Smoketree Elementary; Diana Asseier, superintendent of Lake Havasu Unified; and Jo Navaretta, president of the Lake Havasu Unified governing board.

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