Written by Anita Christy with contributing reporter, Denine Driggs
It was quite the evening at the November 5 Higley School Board Meeting. On the agenda was a vote to hire Core Construction Company to build a new elementary school, to be located in the Bridges Development. With the recent resignation of board member, Denise Standage, the board was left with only 4 members to vote on the issue. Surprisingly, the administration went ahead and held the vote anyway. The vote outcome ended in a stalemate with both Jake Hoffman and Kristina Reese voting No, and Venessa Whitener and Kim Anderson voting Yes.
That put the brakes on building the new school, at least for now.
This didn’t please Higley’s Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell…..at…all. After the meeting had adjourned, as parents, teachers, and members of the community were mingling, Dr. Birdwell decided to set an example of professionalism. She stormed up to board member Mrs. Reese, shouted an expletive at her, then turned on former employee and recent board member candidate Michelle Anderson, accusing her of lying during the election. Mrs. Anderson replied that she had run a clean campaign, and tried to calm Dr. Birdwell, suggesting they “talk it over.”
Continuing her stellar performance, Dr. Birdwell’s response was to stomp into her office, slamming the door behind her, leaving Mrs. Anderson in tears.
My oh my.
What is the rush in building a new school, especially when schools near the projected school are not yet full to capacity? Doesn’t an important issue such as building a new school need time for consideration, especially since the district’s budget is already bulging at the seams with the building of the last two middle schools?”
The following video clip was from a year ago. It offers a hint of Dr. Denise Birdwell’s arrogant treatment of board members who question her authority, in particular, conservative board member Jake Hoffman.