Deer Valley Unified School District Board Hits New Lows

Holy moly, who whoulda thunk it, but here I am working on another Substack. I wasn’t really planning on shifting things on my to-do list, but the last meeting of 2023 in Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) was, quite possibly, the worst example of board governance I’ve ever seen.

I know what you’re thinking, “Secular Activist Lady™, you say that all the time.” But I’m here to tell you:

The December 12, 2023 DVUSD meeting was, quite possibly the worst example of boardsmanship and local governance I’ve ever seen. 

So buckle up, Secular Fam, because it’s about to get stupid up in here.

 

Person in car wearing multiple seatbelts with caption "Me, getting ready for the latest DVUSD meeting"On the evening of the meeting, I was hanging out with family for a celebration, and when I said that I’d like to get home early, they asked why, and I told them I needed to watch a school board meeting. As you can imagine, they all looked at me like I had grown another head, and my son said, “Well that makes sense, Mom, since you like to unwind with trash reality TV (don’t you DARE judge my Bravo addiction), this is just trash reality TV that isn’t produced.” 

And I had to admit that he’s right. Every week, so many deeply unserious elected officials and members of the public come to these meetings, and now, we’re all in to see where their character arc ends up. I’m hopeful that in November, 2024, many of these characters will be written off their shows.

Where to even begin? I guess the beginning is as good as any. The meeting started in the usual fashion, and President Paperman and VP Fisher were there in-person while Board Members Carver, Ordway, and Simacek were calling in. Mr. Carver was traveling, Ms. Ordway is battling cancer and needs to avoid enclosed spaces, and Ms. Simacek has COVID.

Click here to read the rest of this post on Secular AZ’s Substack. 

 

Jeanne Casteen, Secular AZ Executive Director

JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.

Author: Jeanne Casteen, Secular AZ Executive Director

JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.