Superintendent's Update - July 2020

Superintendent's Update - July 2020
Posted on 07/06/2020
The July edition of the EVIT Superintendent's UpdateReopening EVIT
Like other Arizona public schools, EVIT is complying with Gov. Ducey’s executive order to keep campuses closed until at least Aug. 17. In the meantime, EVIT staff are working on plans for reopening with the possibility of online instruction prior to August 17th, and then bringing back on-campus instruction as soon as the executive order expires. In a survey of over 2,300 EVIT students and parents, 96 percent said they would attend EVIT this fall if all instruction is offered on-campus; 70 percent said they would attend if all instruction is offered online. While we understand the COVID-19 concerns, we also recognize that EVIT was built to be the school where students receive invaluable hands-on training. We will keep that promise as soon as we are allowed to have students on campus again. In the meantime, we are working on safety protocols to make our campuses as safe as possible for our students and our staff.

Fair compensation for employees
The EVIT Governing Board has made it a goal to ensure that all EVIT employees are being properly compensated based on their years of experience and education. Last year after a thorough staff review of teachers’ salaries, the board adjusted the salaries of those who were underpaid when they were hired. This year, they reviewed the salaries of all other employees and made the same adjustments. EVIT now has salary ranges for every position. In June, the board approved a 7% salary increase for all certified instructional staff and a 2% increase for all other employees.

Transparency at the top
In June, the EVIT Governing Board approved a 2-year contract for Superintendent Dr. Chad Wilson. Often, a superintendent’s compensation includes benefits that are not always visible in records requested by the public, for instance, vehicle allowances and annuities. In an effort to increase transparency, the board and Dr. Wilson decided to eliminate hidden benefits and compensation, so when they negotiated his salary, they agreed upon an amount that is a fair reflection of current-market costs for a similar role and responsibility. “I was not comfortable with having benefits that are not easily identified, plus I think not quantifying the compensation as a base-salary devalues the position.  If the market defines X as the cost of attracting and retaining quality employees, then as an organization we need to do all we can to meet the expectation and openly communicate this to our communities. I think this is a much better way to move the organization forward and I’m thankful the board was agreeable,” Dr. Wilson said. 

Where heroes train heroes
2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a time when our nation and the world faced unprecedented challenges. But 2020 should be noted for something else: This is the year that we learned what is truly essential. Family, love, health. What it means to be a hero. We discovered that those employed in the trades -- the people who do the hands-on work that built America -- are the true heroes. They risk their own health to save lives and to provide infrastructure and support. In a television interview over the 4th of July weekend, a Vietnam veteran defined courage as “love in action.” It’s that kind of love that will get us back out there again providing the hands-on career training our students are counting on us to give them. We will keep changing lives by loving our students and serving our community because we are EVIT – the school where heroes train heroes.