Morenci Area Schools has a new interim superintendent in place, and school board members didn’t have to go far to find a replacement.
The board voted unanimously at special meeting Monday night to appoint high school principal Nate Parker to the interim post through June 30, the end of the current school year.
After the meeting, board president Scott Merillat appointed an ad hoc advisory committee to look at options for the future. In addition to the superintendent position, Merillat said other administrative posts may be opening.
“We’ll start looking at how we’re going to align the administrative positions going forward,” he said, noting that Parker is not interested in taking the superintendent job permanently.
Board members Dwight Mansfield and Carrie Dillon will join Merillat on the committee.
Parker currently serves as Spanish teacher in the mornings and high school principal in the afternoons. A permanent substitute will be hired to take over his Spanish classes for the remainder of the school year.
The board emerged from a closed session—discussing contractual issues related to the previous superintendent—to discuss the interim superintendent job. Merillat asked for discussion and Mansfield nominated Parker for the job. After a second by Gary Ries, Merillat asked for discussion, heard none and the vote was taken.
Merillat said the board expects Parker to receive collaborative assistance from middle school principal Kay Johnson, elementary dean of students Mary Fisher and district finance director Erica Metcalf. All of the other administrators said they were willing to help where needed.
Retired Morenci administrator Ron Merillat attended the meeting and has offered assistance to the administration.
The board also accepted the resignation of former superintendent Kyle Griffith, effective Feb. 8. Griffith is developing the new Jackson Community College/LISD High School Academy program and will serve as principal.