Nov 122015


Photo by Nolan Madden

Navajo County District V Supervisor Dawnafe Whitesinger, District II Supervisor Jesse Thompson, Navajo County Superintendent of Schools Linda Morrow and District IV Supervisor Steve Williams (left to right) exchange fond memories with county staff, who extended their warm wishes to Morrow and her family after she announced her Nov. 30 retirement date.



Photo by Nolan Madden

Succeeding Navajo County Superintendent of Schools Linda Morrow will be Navajo County Education Service Agency employee Jalyn Gerlich (left), who was sworn into office on Tuesday, effective Dec. 1, by Navajo County Superior Court Presiding Judge Michala Ruechel (right).



By Nolan Madden

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” were the words of Dr. Seuss Linda Morrow quoted Tuesday morning, which marked the beginning of the next chapter of her life as she formally retires as Navajo County Superintendent of Schools, effective Nov. 30.

With mixed emotions and sporadic tears, Morrow submitted the notice to the Board of Supervisors, with whom she has served county residents since 2004.

Morrow related, “I do feel that it’s time to spend with family, my sweet husband and our seven grandchildren. I began teaching in 1975, so it’s not been a very short journey, but the opportunities and lessons have been very good for me.”

She has worked in the Office of the Navajo County Superintendent of Schools since 2004, when she was hired as the director and later became the associate superintendent in charge of the Education Service Agency. She was recommended and appointed in January 2006 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former superintendent AJ Brown.

In recommending to the board the appointment of her successor, Navajo County Education Service Agency employee Jayln Gerlich, Morrow said, “It would be typical for the superintendent to recommend either the chief deputy or the associate superintendent for the appointment process. Both are highly qualified, however, the chief deputy is not a certified teacher, which

is a requirement to hold this office, and the associate superintendent is a resident of Apache County, whom I couldn’t successfully convince to move to Navajo County, and therefore not eligible.

“Jalyn Gerlich has been an employee of the Education Service Agency for the past year. She is a dedicated and passionate educator, and has worked in this county for more than two decades. I highly recommend her for this position.”

The board approved Gerlich’s appointment, effective Dec. 1.

Morrow concluded, “I’m proud of the progress that our team has made and continues to bring to this office. I will always cherish my friends here on the board and staff, and I’m very honored to have been a part of this. I am truly grateful for all the blessings you have brought into my life. I will miss you all.”

In other action Nov. 10, the board:

*      Approved the consent agenda, including the Oct. 27 meeting minutes, October 2015 Warrant Report for vendor amounts over $1,000, and constable reports for Holbrook Precinct No. 1, September, and Show Low Precinct No. 5, October.

Also approved was Resolution 40-15 granting a special use permit to F-Bar Cattle Company/Cellular One to increase the height from 180’ to 250’ for the second cell tower previously approved July 14 by the board. The tower is in the Winslow area.

Resolution 41-15 granting a special use permit to Raymond and Nancy Fitzgerald on behalf of Verizon Wireless to allow for installation of a 199’ lattice cellular tower and 12’x26’ equipment shelter in the Holbrook area was approved.

A contract with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for $16,300 for one remote-video message/monitoring system to enhance the STEP enforcement program was approved.

A letter of support to Midwest Poultry Services, L.P. for consideration of Navajo County as a future site for the expansion of the company’s egg farm operations was approved.

Sympathy letters to Constable Pauline Hernandez and the family of Jack Brown were approved.

Letters to legislators regarding 2016 legislative priorities were approved.

An intergovernmental agreement between Navajo County and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) was approved, in order to establish procedures to accommodate AHCCCS eligibility suspension at the time of incarceration, reinstatement of an individual’s enrollment upon his/her release from incarceration, and transmission of match results for the county’s use in discharge planning for inmates about the be released.

*      Heard a presentation by County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Melissa Buckley acknowledging the service and commitment of county employees who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

*      Approved Resolution 42-15, which provides Navajo County and all Arizona counties with the financial stability measures necessary to continue providing mandated state services to local residents.

*      Approved the Navajo County Public Health Services District consent agenda, including a memorandum of agreement with Ganado Unified School District from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2018, for nutrition services, a memorandum of agreement between the Public Health Services District and Summit Healthcare Association for July 1, 2015, to June 31, 2018, for collaboration and partnership, and a professional services agreement with Monica Smith, RDH for dental hygiene services through the Arizona First Things First, Navajo Nation, Oral Health Fluoride Program effective Nov. 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, in the amount of $45 per hour.

*      Approved intergovernmental agreements with Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low for the management of maintenance and snow removal of shared boundary roads.

*      Approved Resolution 43-15, granting a zone change from RU-1 to IND-1 to allow for a contractor’s yard for Gary and Vickey DeSpain’s construction business.