Menifee Union School District governing board approves major construction bid

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The Menifee Union School District’s governing board met Tuesday, July 25, beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a prayer led by Rob Altice, pastor of the Menifee Valley Church of the Nazarene.

The first agenda item was the district’s ongoing search for a new superintendent.

Joseph Condan and Suzette Lovely, consultants with Education Support Services, addressed the characteristics being sought, which were taken from two public surveys.

“We’ve talked to over 25 (applicants) in the last couple of weeks,” Lovely said.

From the same survey, Condan presented poll results showing parent and staff overall satisfaction rates with the district.

Board president Jacquelyn Johansen closed the item, stating the board’s belief that an emphasis on student achievement would enhance a contending superintendent’s application.

“I would add something on student achievement. Recognize the growth potential of our student population and actively work with Ed. Services to increase student achievement,” she said.

Next, a letter was read from Albert Lopez, president of the Menifee Council of Classified Employees, regarding his final year as union president.

“I would like to take this time to thank the board members and the management team for their efforts over the past several years,” Lopez said in the letter.

A report from Shelli Sullivan, president of the Menifee Teachers Association was read as well. The members of the teachers association voted to approve the memorandum of understanding for reopening Menifee schools which was negotiated between the teacher’s union and district officials, she said.

Following both reports, the board opened the floor to members of the public to address items not on the meeting’s agenda. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, community comments were sent in to the board and read by Betti Cadmus, the district’s public information officer.

Reports from board members were addressed.

Johansen and the district’s deputy clerk, Robert O’Donnell, said they both separately visited Menifee Valley Middle School in the previous week, where major headway has been made in the school’s $38 million renovation.

J. Kyle Root, the board vice president, expressed gratitude to the teachers union for working with the district in navigating the new challenges presented due to the ongoing pandemic.

Superintendent Gary Rutherford agreed with Root’s report.

“I wanted to acknowledge our employees at the MTA and our partners from the MCCE,” Rutherford said.

The board made unanimous motions for meeting formalities as well as financial budgeting approvals.

The largest financial approvals came from the budgeting reconciliation between BakerNowici Design Studio and the renovation of Menifee Valley Middle School. The board approved an increase of $520,087 for Phase 3B of the project.

Subsequently, the governing board adjourned the meeting at 6:10 p.m. following the financial approvals.

Jeremiah Tatola can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.