Young says his experience will benefit CRUSHD
BULLHEAD CITY — Pat Young says he plans to use his experience in education to benefit Colorado River Union High School District students.
Young, along with Richard Cardone, was elected Tuesday to the district’s governing board. Voters also tabbed incumbent Lori Crampton for a third four-year term.
Young said Wednesday that he thinks his experience appealed to voters. Among things he said he plans to focus on are transparency, improving teacher recruitment and retention and continuing to increase student achievement at CRUHSD schools.
“I think my experience will help a lot,” he said on transparency. “I like to talk to people and make sure people understand and are informed. The idea that the board hasn’t been as communicative as some would like — I think I can dispel some of that.”
One contentious effort has been the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse, approved by district voters last year.
After that bond election, a vocal opposition emerged, with some residents criticizing board members at meetings and saying that insufficient information on the project had been presented to the public.
“My concern is to be very open and frank about what needs to be done and the management of the fieldhouse,” Young said.
He said that his career, as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and district-level administrator, has meant he has worked with parents, students and teachers.
“It gives me an insight to define what our concerns are more clearly,” he said.
That understanding, he said, equips him to find better remedies for the challenges the district is facing.
“I’m a firm believer in strong recruiting and retention,” he said. “Having gone to the job fairs, I know what they’re (teachers) looking for. I know what needs to be done.”
Young retired earlier this year as an assistant superintendent with the Bullhead City Elementary School District. During the campaign he touted his involvement in streamlining transportation services, including merging the BCESD and CRUHSD operations in that area. The two districts have realized annual savings running to six-figures through several shared services agreements.
Unofficial numbers from the Mohave County Elections Department showed Young running second in the eight-person race behind fellow challenger Richard Cardone.
Cardone on Tuesday noted that Mohave and River Valley high schools have seen their letter grades from the Arizona Department of Education fall to “C”s, from an “A” and a “B,” respectively.
Young defended the efforts of leaders at the two schools.
“We’ve been doing better over the last few years, he said. “(The dropping grades) are not our fault — they’re the state’s fault. The state keeps changing the grading system.”
Young said part of his role as a board member will be to show the public and parents that the district is doing the right thing.
He also expressed confidence in principals Steve Lawrence of Mohave and Dorn Wilcox of River Valley.
“No one wants more student achievement than the principals of our schools,” Young said. “That’s how they grade themselves. That’s how we grade them.
“They want it badly. They would try anything they thought showed some kind of promise.”
Young also spoke in support of the schools’ staffs.
“We could find fault in all the things we do,” he said. “I’m trying to find ways to do things that are stronger and better.”
The Wednesday evening vote tallies — still not confirmed as final results — showed Cardone with 6,616 votes, followed by Young at 5,784 and Crampton at 5,729.
Challenger Eva Corbett had 4,004 votes, and incumbent Laureen Davidson was fifth with 3,946.
Challengers Royanne Ortiz (2,914 votes), Carlos Lopez (2,534) and Mishaun Newman (2,209) rounded out the balloting.
Cardone, Young and Crampton will be seated in January, alongside Donna Williamson and Kerry Burgess. Board President Kari Hoffman did not seek re-election.