Farewell to Sneed, Jackson: district thanks public leaders

Outgoing Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board member George Jackson with gifts presented to him Dec. 13. (submitted photo)

The Scottsdale Unified School District and community saluted outgoing board members President Bonnie Sneed and George Jackson with a touching tribute and a standing ovation at its Dec. 13 meeting.

Superintendent Denise Birdwell directed the end of her “Superintendent Comments” portion of the meeting to publicly thank the two outgoing leaders. After the meeting refreshments, cookies and an award were part of a celebratory gathering.

The meeting was held at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave. in Scottsdale.

Showing a few slides of photographs of the board members throughout their years, Dr. Birdwell commended Ms. Sneed and Mr. Jackson for donating their time to advocate for education.

“While you’ve been serving, the district has had an ‘A’ rating four years in a row; we’ve had A+ schools; Blue Ribbon schools; world-renounced academics; arts and athletics,” Dr. Birdwell listed as some of the accomplishments the district has earned.

Ms. Sneed served on the board for eight years, while Mr. Jackson has served for four. During these times were the most difficult times in the state of Arizona for financial reductions, said Dr. Birdwell.

“Scottsdale would not be where it is today without your effort, support and leadership,” she said.

Mr. Jackson and Ms. Sneed emotionally thanked the community for their support.

“This has been incredibly touching and I’m very grateful — I think Bonnie is too,” Mr. Jackson said.

Scottsdale School’s Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell, on left, with outgoing Governing Board President Bonnie Sneed. (submitted photo)

“It has been an honor and a privilege to sit on this board and serve with my fellow board members.”

Mr. Jackson said he had never been in a position such as this one, and throughout his journey on the board has gained respect for the educators around him.

“Teachers and educators are heroes, plain and simple,” he said. “The work that’s done here is honorable.”

Likewise, Ms. Sneed expressed her gratitude for the people who have impacted her.

“I’ve learned from everyone,” she said of past and current board members and superintendents.

“Thank you all for having trust and confidence in my judgments,” she said. “I want to thank all of you, who helped us accomplish the things that Denise has told us about. And again, very best of luck to the continuing board.”

The new board is comprised of re-elected Barbara Perleberg; newly elected members Allyson Beckham and Sandy Kravetz; and continuing members Kim Hartmann and Pam Kirby who’s terms end in 2018.

The next meeting is a 3 p.m. Jan. 12 study session at Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Road in Scottsdale; and a 5 p.m. Jan. 17 regular meeting at Coronado High School.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be e-mailed at mfittro@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/melissafittro.

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