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The Fountain Hills Unified School District Governing Board voted 4-0 Wednesday evening, Feb. 10, to extend Superintendent Kelly Glass’ contract for three years. Only a few weeks into his latest tenure on the board, Dana Saar abstained since he did not feel he was up to speed yet on the current contract.

The only action item on the Feb. 10 agenda, Board Member Jill Reed opened the conversation concerning Glass’ contract by noting that it has been “a really tough year” for school districts grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also noted that, being involved with FHUSD for the past 16 years, the word “unified” has always been important to her. She discussed the years of effort that has already gone into creating a unified school district with more seamless standards, programs and transitions from one school to the next. Reed said that one of the impacts of the pandemic is that it has made things very divisive, which can hinder those efforts.

Glass was offered her initial contract with FHUSD last March, just as the pandemic was taking hold. Reed noted that the first year for a new administration will always have challenges, adding that the current administration has been working toward advancing the district under the added pressure of COVID-19.

Reed called for a stop to the divisiveness, saying “we need to grow together…be unified…When we vote, we need to look at the big picture and consider everything.”

Board Member Dr. Wendy Barnard agreed.

“All of our decisions are made with students at the forefront,” she said. “…We need to do what will make our kids great in the 21st century. If we’re going to do that, change needs to happen.”

Before going to a vote, Reed expressed a desire to see more parents and community members become better informed concerning the ins and outs of the district by attending meetings and getting the details firsthand.