Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson

Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson appointed Alan Gaugert to Pendergast Elementary School District’s governing board.

Gaugert fills the vacancy that occurred when Ruben Gutierrez resigned on October 30. In accordance with A.R.S. § 15-302, county school superintendents have statutory authority to appoint qualified individuals to fill vacancies on a school governing board or, if appropriate, call for a special election in the district.

“I am honored to receive the appointment,” Gaugert said. “I look forward to the opportunity to add another voice to improve Pendergast Elementary School District’s role in the community.”

He and his wife have lived in the district for nearly three decades where they have raised their three daughters who attended Pendergast schools.

Watson applies three criteria in making an appointment to a governing board. First, candidates must be fully committed to the success of their local traditional public school district; second, they must be even-tempered, reasonable and respectful; and third, appointees must be fiscally responsible with a focus on getting dollars to teachers and into the classroom.

Pendergast submitted three names from a list of six candidates to Watson for consideration. The district placed an emphasis on voice, commitment and stakeholder status. Using his criteria and that of the district, Watson concluded that Gaugert was the best choice for the Pendergast appointment.

“Alan Gaugert brings to the district decades of service and experience that overwhelmingly meet the criteria of the current governing board and the community,” Watson said.

“At a time when teachers need an advocate and strong voice, Alan brings that to the table in Pendergast.”

Gaugert will serve out the term ending in November.  Gaugert retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel after serving 21 years as a fighter pilot. He has taught in the Peoria Unified School District and Maricopa County Community College District. He serves as a captain of the Villa de Paz block watch and a volunteer patroller and a civilian coordinator with the city of Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol program.

Pendergast Elementary School District was established in 1885 and includes Phoenix, Glendale and Avondale. The district covers 20 square miles and is home to about 10,000 preschool to eighth grade students spread across 12 campuses.