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2/15/2012 12:54:00 PM
Dan Brown in crosshairs at Camp Verde Schools
CVUSD Superintendent Dan Brown and board member Helen Freeman have had a strained relationship.
CVUSD Superintendent Dan Brown and board member Helen Freeman have had a strained relationship.

Raquel Hendrickson
Bugle Managing Editor

CAMP VERDE - At least two members of the Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board are unhappy enough with the superintendent to rethink renewing his contract.

That become clear during discussions of the evaluation process and Dan Brown's contract Tuesday night. The decision on the contract was ultimately tabled until a staff survey can be conducted, but the intent of some of the board members was moved into the open.

The turn came as Judy Gilbert and Helen Freeman voiced disagreement with several items, including a raise, in a proposed one-year contract for Brown for 2012-13. Gilbert said his recent evaluation did not warrant a raise, and he should no longer need a mentor. She also said the district and not Brown should be writing up the contract.

"No one in the district is getting a 7.6 percent raise," Freeman pointed out.

She also cited unnamed sources who were disappointed with Brown and/or the contract, and even used the phrase "gross misuse of public funds." Freeman said the district needed to redefine a work day before including 20 more personal days in the contract.

But the discussion went off the contract and moved into more generalities about Brown's performance as superintendent.

"What has hurt us is a lack of experience," Freeman said. She referred to a failure to follow up on the details and suggested CVUSD's foundation was unsound.

Pressed by Board President Tim Roth to candidly state that it was her opinion that Brown was not the right person for the job, Freeman agreed with that assessment.

Though board member Trent Hackett suggested that the board direct questions about the contract to Brown himself, no one did so.

Brown volunteered his own side of the matter, saying the response he received from around the district conflicted with Freeman's information.

"I don't think I was asking for more than the average rate," he said of the salary dispute. He added that he did not think it was fair to add 20 days to the contract without compensation. He said he has not used a mentor this year and could do without it in the contract.

Brown said feedback he has received from around the district has pointed at improved leadership.

"There is nothing that tells me what Helen says," he said.

Roth and board member Rick Anderson, who moved for the one-year contract, have long been Brown supporters. Freeman and Gilbert had a controversial squabble with Brown a year ago over communication and lack of trust. Hackett has been listening to both sides without publicly expressing his stand.

When it became apparent that Brown's job was on the line, the conversation began to echo, almost verbatim, the 2009 meeting that brought about the departure of Brown's predecessor, Jeff Van Handel. Brown said his evaluation by the board - satisfactory to good - did not indicate that the board was unhappy with him. He told the board that if they were not going to renew his contract he needed to know as soon as possible because he has financial obligations to meet.

The district will distribute opinion surveys to staff members in the next two weeks to get feedback in time for a March meeting, when the contract renewal will be discussed again.

Taylor Waste
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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Tar and Feathers

Really CVUSD? Is it time for the tar and feathers again? You have culpability in not managing to maintain a positive work environment. Contempt and self-righteousness have no place in K-12 public education. The bias you demonstrate tarnishes our entire community.

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Stephen Rice

Mr. Brown, I think your bus stop is around the corner.

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Randy Strickland

Comment Submissions regarding Dan Brown and our local school board make for interesting reading. I can't understand why people are willing to share their thoughts but not their name.

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: inquiring minds

Inquiring minds want to know. Does he dye his hair?

Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Article comment by: Karma Karma

All I can say is Karma!! Although I am not a fan of Ms. Freeman, I have seen her grow in her position as a Board member. She used to be a supporter of Mr. Brown and is now raising question about his performance. What person would think their staff is going to tell them they are doing a bad job to their face?!?! People need their jobs in this tough economy. "Brown Fan"?? Definitely not!! Never have been after seeing the treatment and attacks on other people. Remember the saying, treat others as you would like to be treated.

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