New year, new superintendent

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors have voted and appointed Cheryl Mango-Paget as the Coconino County Superintendent of Schools, effective earlier last month. 

With about a decade of involvement in education, Mango-Paget held positions as a professional development coordinator and associate superintendent within the county’s education system, according to Coconino County Arizona’s website. 

Mango-Paget spent 20 years as an educator in Indianapolis, prior to her role in CoconinoCounty, as stated on the website.During that time, she earned a Teacher of the Year award,Olin B. Davis award, two school-based National Blue-Ribbon awards and received manyprogrammatic grants for her school in Indiana. 

With the 2020-21 school year underway, school leaders and educators are on the frontlines ofa new, uncertain education world,” Mango-Paget said. “My goal is to work with countyadministrators and community partners to identify the needs and level of support desired.” 

The Coconino County Education Service Agency (CCESA)is an organization that focuseson exemplary education for preschool through grade 12, as well as directing funds into theschool system.The CCESA has received grants moving forward in 2021.

“To address the special education and youth mental health needs of county schools, theCCESA developed a special education team,” Mango-Paget said. “The special education teamincludes a school psychologist/special education director, special education teacher/coordinatorand a projected full-time school psychologist and special education teacher.” 

Carole Gilmore, Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) governing board president, said shelooks forward to the school board meetings that occur biweekly, expecting to proceed withMango-Paget’s ideas. 

“The board will meet and a portion of the agenda will include a recommendation by thesuperintendent about this topic,” Gilmore said. “The board is not only focused on options for theremainder of this school year, but also next year.” 

At the end of January, the board’s meeting consisted of an update on FUSD coronavirus rates.The FUSD Benchmark Health Updateasserted thatCoconino County schools are still inthe “red” zone of decision-making, meaning there are 75 or more positive cases and COVID-likeillness above 10% within the area. 

The board previously decided to remain in remote learning, while health benchmarkdata continues to be monitored.

New research released by Illuminate Educationlast year observed that K-12 students will losetwo to four months of learning loss, due to setbacks from COVID-19. The research also suggests the most impacted subjects will be mostly reading and math, especially kindergarten throughgrade 5. 

Mango-Paget realizes that Governor Doug Ducey has directed the reopening of schools as a “local issue”and said she meets with the Health and Human Services Department to advise different districtson data to make the best decision. 

“Our county’s future is built on the success we have educating the county’s children and youngadults,” Mango-Paget said. “It is my hope that my knowledge and experience, and passion forserving our children and community are evident.”