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Community calling for Buckeye superintendent to resign following $1.7 million payout

Many parents were frustrated and heartbroken when they learned how much money the Buckeye Elementary School District paid Superintendent Dr. Kristi Wilson.
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:18 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - More than 100 teachers and parents filled a Buckeye Elementary School Board meeting Monday night. Many are calling for the superintendent to resign after a state audit revealed the district paid Dr. Kristi Wilson more than $1.7 million in additional compensation from 2016 to 2021.

“I do not believe that she supports our district at all. I think that she is living above the means of this community,” said Misty Porche, a teacher with the district for 8 years.

That payout was not made public under Wilson’s employment records and is far more than what superintendents in the state’s three largest school districts make. Buckeye teachers and parents we spoke with said they are outraged. Many believe that money should have gone to help failing schools and to give teacher’s raises. The Buckeye Education Association has gathered more than 660 signatures calling for Wilson’s resignation.

“Frustrating was the word that came to mind but also disappointing that we show up every day, work so hard, and give so much to these students, and for not a whole lot of money. Then to find out that this giant amount of money is being paid is disappointing,” said Joseph Kutcha, a PE teacher with the district for 15 years.

The school board sent Arizona’s Family a statement last week that said in part:

“We strongly disagree” with the Arizona Auditor General’s findings that were based on a “legal and public” agreement between the board and Dr. Wilson. This is not money that went directly into Dr. Wilson’s pockets. It was a payroll deduction that was sent directly to the Arizona State Retirement System. The board firmly believes Dr. Wilson has more than earned the salary she has been granted.”

There were a handful of people at the meeting voicing support for the superintendent, including board members, who said they will not ask Dr. Wilson to resign. We reached out to the district asking for an interview with the superintendent but did not hear back as of Monday night.