Still in his first year as superintendent of Mingus Union High School District, Tim Foist impressed the Verde Pride Award selection committee of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce enough to be picked as Educator of the Year. The committee was impressed with Foist's initiative in taking on some difficult projects.
Officially, Foist started as superintendent July 1, but he was on site working for weeks before his contract began. A couple of his projects were underway before the school year even started.
His first goal was to have "a sense of pride and a sense of accomplishment" create a "can-do attitude" on campus.
"You build this school district from the ground up," Foist told the Verde Independent in July.
One of his first actions was to promote Tamara Addis from the chair of the math department into the administration as director of curriculum. He also asked Anita Glazar to take the lead in putting together The Academy At Mingus, a technologically based school that gives dropouts and students at risk a second chance at a high school diploma. The Academy has already graduated students.
During the same time period, Foist initiated the consolidation of the transportation departments for the Mingus Union and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Districts. He and Cottonwood-Oak Creek District Superintendent Barbara U'Ren worked through their governing boards to put together an intergovernmental agreement to share transportation services. That agreement gives the two districts one year to work out the kinks and combine the two transportation systems.
Foist also took the lead in putting together a proposal that could give the district a new sports complex. His plan called for the community to be involved in the project by raising $175,000 to help the district complete the complex.
That complex would include an all-weather track, artificial turf for the football field, including widening the field to accommodate soccer, and an additional 1,000 bleacher seats.
Currently, Foist and U'Ren are leading their boards through an effort to unify the two districts into a single district. Early in the process, Foist told the two boards that a savings of about $500,000 could be realized just in administration costs.
Before coming to MUHS, Foist worked as superintendent on a retired extended contract in 2007 at Yuma Union High School District. He was superintendent at Holbrook Unified School District from 2000 to 2004, and he also served as district superintendent at Auburn Community Schools in Auburn, Neb. from 1998 to 2000. From 1996 to 1998, he was superintendent of Republic Valley in Indianola, Neb.
Foist worked as an elementary school principal in Sabetha, Kan. from 1986 to 1996, and as a K-12 principal in Fort Peck, Mont. from 1983 to 1986.