Governing board hires new principal at Williams High School

Eric Evans is the new principal at Williams High School.

Photo by Wendy Howell.

Eric Evans is the new principal at Williams High School.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Williams Unified School District Governing Board has selected Eric Evans to be the new principal at Williams High School.

Evans will replace outgoing principal Rick Honsinger, who will be retained by the district as the part-time superintendent.

Evans is the current principal at American Heritage Academy in Cottonwood, Arizona, a post he has held since December 2014.

“We really feel good about him,” Honsinger said about Evans. “We interviewed him and (he) is just a natural fit for our school.”

Evans plans to begin work at WHS in the summer months before the 2019-2020 school year.

Other governing board news

Williams Elementary-Middle School Principal Carissa Morrison told the board the school will not receive the Preschool Development Grant for the school’s preschool next year. She said the grant received 90 percent less funding this year and WUSD was not chosen to receive funds. Morrison said the school is looking at alternative funding options and will report on their plans at the April 10 governing board meeting.

The governing board approved a $500 longevity pay incentive step for long-term district employees.

“This is a positive thing to do for our employees and show them we value their longevity, and we recognize that they basically gave their entire career” said Natalie Mann, who is a WUSD teacher on the budget committee.

The board approved the 2019-2020 salary schedule for returning certified employees. The schedule includes a salary increase of $2,000.

Honsinger said the district has a choice on what to do with the pay increase Governor Doug Ducey approved for teachers in 2018. The 20 percent boost in teacher pay over three years included 10 percent in 2018 and 5 percent in 2019 and 2010.

Honsinger said the district could give everyone a 5 percent increase, but the budget committee recommended a different approach to encourage new teachers.

“This (5 percent for each teacher) would mean those who have been here longer and have a bigger salary, would get a bigger increase than the new teachers,” he said. “But we’ve decided to do just a flat rate for everybody.”

The board approved numerous returning staff and accepted the resignation of WHS math teacher Catherine Kowalski. Kowalski was the 2018 Coconino County Rookie Teacher of the Year.

“Catherine is breaking our hearts that she decided to move on,” Honsinger said. “She has been a big part of our school in just the two years she has been here. She coaches everything, whenever we need someone she steps right up. I just want to thank her for what she has done for the district.”

Several members of Deniz Chavez’s third-grade class presented to the board about their annual trip to the Phoenix Zoo. Chavez said the fall carnival raised enough money for the entire class to attend the overnight trip.

The governing board approved the 2019-2020 WUSD calendar. The calendar is similar to this year’s calendar however, Veterans Day falls on a Monday which will replace the October fall holiday.

The board approved 2019-2020 contracts for Honsinger and Morrison.

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