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YouTube pulls the plug on schools

For several years the Douglas Unified School District has been streaming their school board meetings over the YouTube network.

That changed recently when YouTube announced it was pulling the plug on all schools using its network and canceling all educational accounts. Because of that change the DUSD’s regular school board meeting that was held Tuesday, Aug. 6 was not broadcast over the internet.

DUSD Superintendent Ana Samaniego told the board the cancellation was a result of some districts misusing YouTube, but that DUSD was not one of those districts.

“Mr. (Marco) Durazo will be filing an appeal,” she said. “It will take a few weeks. So, until we get this resolved, our board meetings are not going to be streamed live.”

In other action at the meeting, the board hired Yecenia Quijada as an ESS teacher at Faras; Flordeliz Olvido as an elementary teacher at Joe Carlson; Michell Gastelum as an art teacher at Paul Huber Middle School; Karla Wallace as a Spanish teacher; Linda Cramer as an ESS teacher and Maricel Antonio, a P.E. teacher, all at DHS. Abner Cortez was hired as both a social studies teacher at DHS as well as the Bulldogs new basketball coach.

“All of our vacancies have been filled,” DUSD Assistant Superintendent Fernando Nunez told the board. “We are still waiting for some of our new teachers to arrive from the Philippines.”

Nubia Elias was hired to be the new Parent Liaison at DHS. Alonso Tapia was hired to be an assistant volleyball coach and Estefan Mora as an assistant boy’s basketball coach for the Bulldogs.

The board approved addendums to 12 different coaching contracts for the upcoming school year after additional information was requested from the administration following the July 2 meeting.

Donna Savill and Bosco Selchow, head coaches for swimming and golf, will each be paid a salary of $4,305 for the season; Andrea Barallardos, head coach of the DHS Spiritline, will be paid a salary of $3,500 per season; Clint Hill will be paid $3,642 as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs basketball team; Gilbert Rojas, $4,305 as head coach of the baseball team; Lorena Tapia, $3,500 as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs softball team and Savill will be paid $4,084 as head coach of the boys track team.

Also approved at the meeting was a five-page Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City of Douglas and the DUSD for the new School Resource Officer (SRO).

The SRO is Maria Cuevas, who has been with the DPD seven-years as a full-time officer and two additional as a reserve. The IGA details what her purpose on campus will be, her jurisdiction, supervision and duties, finances, etc. According to the IGA, the DUSD is responsible for 50 percent of the SRO’s base salary with Employee Related Expenses (ERE) at a rate of 50 percent. The salary (with ERE) is subject to change at established increments with the City’s salary schedule. The DPD will assume responsibility for any overtime compensation.

Officer Cuevas will be on campus Monday through Friday during school hours.

After meeting in executive session, the board agreed to release Abigail Griffin from her contract without any liquidated damages and she is rehirable. The board also agreed to reimburse Superintendent Samaniego $1,684 for four unused vacation days as per her contract.

Donations in the amount of $1,000 each from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and the Cochise County Sheriff’s Assist Team were graciously accepted by the board to the following organizations: Paul Huber Middle School girls’ basketball; Paul Huber Middle School boys’ basketball; Paul Huber Middle School folklorico club, the Paul Huber Middle School yearbook club and DHS Physics. A donation in the amount of $1,221.25 was made to Sarah Marley School from the Douglas Prison Complex Eggers Unit.

There will be no school on Monday, Sept. 2 and the next regular school board meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Fundraiser scheduled for Acosta family Aug. 17

October 24, 2018 is a day local residents, Ruben and Nancy Acosta will never forget. That was the day Ruben was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Surgery was not an option at the time and Acosta began 33 radiation sessions as well as six months of intensive chemotherapy. These treatments left him not only ill, but too weak to continue working.

On April 12, 2019, Ruben underwent surgery in Tucson and everything seemed stable for a while.

Unfortunately, the cancer has returned and so have the numerous trips to Sierra Vista for treatment and Tucson for appointments with various doctors. Every other Tuesday Ruben and Nancy make trips to Sierra Vista where two types of chemotherapy, FolFox and FolFox4 are administered intravenously.

The third, FolFox6, is administered through a pump which is attached to a port. Ruben is allowed to return home, but must return to Sierra Vista Oncology 48 hours later to have the pump removed.

The couple are the proud parents to three children; Ruben Jr., a 14-year-old freshman; Mia, a 13-year-old eighth grader and 10-year-old Genesis, who is in fourth grade.

Travel and medical related expenses have taken a toll on this young couple.

Friends have scheduled a spaghetti fundraiser on Saturday, August 17, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the local American Legion Post 11. Spaghetti, salad, bread sticks and dessert will be available for $7.

Baked goods will also be available for purchase as well as tickets for various raffles.

For more information or to donate baked goods, please call (520) 508-3430.

Bruce Whetten / By Bruce Whetten/Douglas Dispatch  

Bulldog quarterback Trey Rose carries the ball for a few tough yards Friday night in a night practice at Armando de Lucas Stadium.

CAS Elementary gets upgrades just in time for school

It was a time to celebrate as CAS Elementary officially opened a new building and unveiled the renovation of several of its classrooms and offices at its campus on Third Street on Monday, Aug. 5, the day before school started.

Marcela Munguia, principal of the three CAS (Center for Academic Success) schools in Douglas, said this will be the first time the fourth grade will actually be at the elementary campus. They used to attend school at the campus on 15th Street and F Avenue.

“Our executive director has been wanting to expand this campus for a while,” she said. “When we purchased this building from the city we did a lot of renovations. We soon realized we needed two or three more classrooms and so she started seriously looking at this about a year and a half ago.”

The new building includes a school cafeteria, two bathrooms, three classrooms, and an office area.

Bleuwave Construction out of Chandler and Garcia Construction of Douglas designed and built the new 5,500 square foot addition as well as did the upgrades on the existing campus.

“So many people were instrumental in getting this open,” Munguia said. “We actually moved in here Thursday, Aug. 1. We’re very happy and appreciative everyone came together to help us get this building ready for the first day of school.”

The principal estimates having 235 kinder through fourth grade students the first day of school and 650 overall, counting elementary, middle and the high school. Each elementary class will have approximately 20 students.

Vada Phelps, the executive director for CAS, said the new building was needed and replaces an old modular that had once been there, but was in very bad shape.

“It’s a more pleasant place for our students to be,” she said. ‘I’m very pleased with how things worked out.”

Phelps praised all those who had a hand in this renovation project saying it took a lot of different people all working together in order to get the project completed in time for school to start.

Louie Garcia of Garcia Construction said working with Bleuwave Construction was a good experience.

“Bleuwave was the general contractor who oversaw the entire project,” Garcia said. “He did all the scheduling and dealt with the sub-contractors. He oversaw the entire project. I was the superintendent and what our company did was all the demolition, utility work, we did all the earth work, the electrical and plumbing, painting.”

Seeing the finished project is rewarding, Garcia said, especially when you saw what was there previously.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to provide a building like we did for the students at CAS,” he said. “A lot of hard work, planning and coordination went into it. The entire project went really well, we didn’t really have any major issues or road blocks.”

Garcia Construction has been serving Douglas since the 1970’s and became licensed, bonded and insured since 1991.

Garcia said his company has done other projects for CAS and he is appreciative of the professional relationship he has with the administrators for that school.

According to Paula Terrell-Carrillo, the current elementary school was built in 1961 and completed in 1962. It used to be owned by the Catholic Diocese. The City of Douglas had it as its Recreation Center until selling it to CAS several years ago. The building needed a lot of repairs and upgrades in order to get it where it is today.