Carbon School Board worked closely with state agencies, but made its own decisions
The selection of Patsy Bueno to be the acting superintendent of Carbon School District last week was a big step in moving the district ahead concerning the present situation that was created when superintendent George Park was arrested on Aug. 6.
Bueno, who served as superintendent before Park took over last May, is regarded as an excellent leader to get the district though a difficult time, but that didn't mean that the committee that the Carbon School Board appointed a few weeks ago to run the district weren't doing their jobs.
"On the contrary, they did an excellent job getting us ready for school and moving the district ahead while we were in this difficult period," said board president Barry Deeter on Friday in a phone interview. "When we appointed them we said it would be a temporary situation and it was."
Deeter said that ever since the arrest the district has been working with numerous state resources to determine what route to go concerning leadership for the district until the Park situation is resolved. Park was put on paid administrative leave the evening of his arrest during a special emergency board meeting, because legal counsel had advised the board to do so.
"The Utah State School Board Association, the Utah State Office of Education and others organizations have been very helpful throughout this crisis," stated Deeter. "State Superintendent Larry Shumway has been in constant contact with us about the situation and wanted to be sure we knew he supported us in what we needed to do. But I also want people to know that the state didn't tell us what to do, but gave us advice concerning the position we have been in."
In Utah, as it is in most other states, decisions concerning local school operations are almost always left up to the local school boards. While the state might have say over many financial resources, they generally do not micromanage school boards' decisions.
Some news outlets erroneously reported last week that district superintendents are hired by the Utah State Board of Regents and that Park fell into that category. However, the board of regents reign is over the state colleges and universities in the state, not public education. And the Utah State School Board does not enter into those decisions either, other than to give advice.
Bueno has now taken over the reigns of the district and will be in charge until the situation concerning Park is clarified. He faces his first appearance in the Sixth District Court in Panguitch on Sept. 2.