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Higley Unified School District announces new superintendent

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  • Michelle Reese/Higley Unified School District


The Higley Unified School District Governing Board voted unanimously Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, to name Dr. Mike Thomason the next superintendent of the district. He will begin in his new position July 1, 2015.

Dr. Thomason, currently the assistant superintendent of operations for Higley Unified School District, brings more than 20 years of education and leadership to the helm. He was selected following a nearly 7-month-long search that included input from Higley teachers, staff, parents, business leaders and community members. Dr. Thomason was one of four finalists for the position.

Higley Unified School District announces new superintendent ThomasonInside

Dr. Mike Thomason was named Higley Unified School District’s new superintendent Tues. Feb. 24. He will begin in his new position July 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Higley Unified School District)

“It is an honor to be selected as Higley’s next superintendent,”Dr. Thomason said. “My goal is to continue along the forward path created the last few years to connect, engage, and inspire every Higley student to reach his and her full potential. I am excited about this opportunity, especially the chance to continue working with our amazing teachers and staff.”

Dr. Thomason began his career as a special education teacher in Arizona. His past experience includes being a department chair, guidance counselor, assistant principal, as well as a high school coach.

He joined the Higley Unified School District in 2009 as the director of special education. In 2011, he was named assistant superintendent of student services. In 2013, he assumed his current role as assistant superintendent of operations.

“Through great discussion, collaboration and cooperation, we unanimously decided Dr. Thomason is the right choice for Higley,” Venessa Whitener, Higley’s governing board president, said. “We appreciate Dr. Thomason’s foundational knowledge of the district, Arizona school finance and the challenges that face public schools here. He appreciates the uniqueness of Higley, our community values and the drive the district has to constantly improve. Dr. Thomason is dedicated to the mission of propelling Higley forward.”

“I would like the members of our community to know that I am very proud to support Dr. Thomason as the new superintendent of the Higley Unified School District,” Kristina Reese, Higley’s governing board vice president said . “I look forward to working with him in the future and doing great things for our district, community, and kids.”

Dr. Thomason holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in special education and elementary education from Arizona State University. He received a Master of Arts degree in guidance counseling from Ottawa University in 2001. He earned his doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy from ASU in 2009.

Current Superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell announced her plans to retire in spring 2014. Her final day will be June 30, 2015, the last day of her current contract.

Higley Unified School District serves about 12,000 students enrolled in its 12 schools and two preschools. The district covers areas of Gilbert and Queen Creek in the East Valley.