Scottsdale Schools Governing Board to discuss severance packages for dismissed district leaders

Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Scottsdale Unified School District’s Governing Board is set to meet this afternoon to discuss severance agreements with its superintendent and chief business and operations officer.

The move comes amidst an Arizona Attorney General’s investigation into the district’s business practices, among other public outcries regarding school construction projects, teacher employment agreements, a hired architecture firm, procurement practices, nepotism, conflicts of interest and overall lack of community trust for several months.

In March the Governing Board moved to dismiss Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell and Chief Business and Operations Officer Louis Hartwell. The district claims an internal investigation into alleged wrongdoings revealed Dr. Birdwell violated 14 Governing Board policies and Arizona Administrative Code, as well as her employment contract.

A meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, April 6, at SUSD’s Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Road.

An agenda shows action items include possible approval of a severance agreement with both Dr. Birdwell and Mr. Hartwell. Additionally, an interim superintendent and superintendent search, including process, qualities sought, community input and timeline.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at or can be followed on Twitter at

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