PALMER — Mat-Su Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Monica Goyette agreed to an amendment of her contract with the MSBSD School Board on Wednesday, mutually agreeing to termination at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Goyette signed a contract through the 2022 school year, but agreed to the amendment to her contract on Wednesday. According to the amendment, Goyette will serve as the principal of an undisclosed large elementary school in the 2020-2021 school year. Goyette will be placed at an elementary school by MSBSD Superintendent of Instruction Amy Spargo and maintain the tenure that she has acquired throughout her career in MSBSD. The amendment does not state a reason for the mutual termination of the contract, which passed the school board by a vote of 5-1 with only board member Ole Larson voting in opposition.
“I also wish Dr. Goyette the best,” school board member Kelsey Trimmer said.
Goyette updated the board on the count being conducted in MSBSD schools currently. The MSBSD is only nine students under the projected count, but the final count of students has yet to be taken. Goyette continued her report by honoring award winners in the MSBSD. The Society of Health and Physical Education honored as Cottonwood Creek’s Laurie Ethridge as Alaska Elementary PE Teacher of the Year. The Alaska Career and Technical Education Career Guidance Award was awarded to district-wide CTE counselor Larilinn Hill.
The announcement of Goyette’s exit coincides with the turnover of other board members. The next meeting on Nov. 20 follows the Nov. 5 election determining the makeup of the school board for the next year to include a new board President as after six years, Dr. Donna Dearman will no longer be on the school board. As the agenda came to board member comments near the end, each member of the board thanked both Goyette and Dearman. Goyette grabbed the signs positioned in front of each board member that read “is it good for the children?”
“I’d like you to take it because nobody ever has to question where your sincerity and your motivation is. You genuinely gave your career to public education and you gave your retirement and your husband’s retirement to public education,” Goyette said.
Mat-Su Educators Association President Dianne Shibe looked on the bright side of Goyette’s exit.
“People are lamenting the fact that this will be your last year as our superintendent,” Shibe said. “I’m glad that I have until June to continue working with you.”
Dearman’s husband, Larry Dearman, a stalwart at often empty school board meetings used his opportunity during public comment to thank his wife and the school board.
“Do what you have to do, take care of the kids, and thank you for what you have given my wife for the last six years,” said Larry Dearman.
Donna Dearman became emotional during her comments and read a poem from Aristotle.
“It has been a privilege being a part of this board and an honor to serve as board president,” Dearman said. “You have been my driver, companion at graduations, school concerts, plays, promotions and then some. However, the one thing I am most grateful to you for is that now you finally understand that education is my lifesblood and that teaching and learning runs deep in my soul. For that I thank you and I love you more than these words can express.”