On April 24, the Amphitheater School District Governing Board appointed Patrick Nelson to be the next superintendent.
Nelson, who is currently the district’s associate superintendent, was one of four finalists in line for the position to replace current Superintendent Vicki Balentine. Balentine announced earlier this year that she would be retiring in June.
Nelson will officially take over the district’s top position on July 1.
Nelson’s appointment followed a rigorous search process that took place over the last several months that included an advertisement of the position nationwide, several forums for public input, and a governing board interview process for three finalists in early April.
Nelson has been a member of the Amphitheater School District since 2001, initially serving as executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development, and then assuming his current position as an assistant to Balentine in 2002.
Nelson’s service to public education spans more than 39 years, including teaching, serving as a school principal, and in various leadership positions.
Prior to the board’s vote to appoint Nelson to the position, Dr. Kent Barrabee, a member of the district’s governing board, said, “We were fortunate to have many well-qualified candidates and several finalists who really shined. But we were even more fortunate to find that the one who shone the brightest was one of our own.”
Governing Board President Diana Boros agreed.
“We are so lucky to have someone of Mr. Nelson’s caliber,” she said. “We are so confident in his abilities. He is already such an asset to this district, and we are grateful for his willingness to assume even greater responsibility for its leadership.”
After thanking the board for the promotion, Nelson made a short statement during the April 24 meeting.
“Amphitheater is a tremendous school district,” he said. “for the last 11 years, I have had the great pleasure of being a part of a culture that truly keeps the focus on its students, a culture that has always existed at every level of the organization. It is personally and professionally satisfying to be a part of that, and I am humbled by the Board’s confidence in me and by the opportunity to further serve in this new capacity.”
Nelson’s employment contract for the Superintendent post has not been finalized, and will be approved by the Governing Board at a future meeting.