Mike Cowan thanked the many volunteers who helped at the Lost Dutchman Days rodeo. The club grossed $17,220 in beer sales, which was $5900 less than last year, but not bad, considering the cold and cloudy weather. We did break our record in tips, collecting $1,687.

 Jim Erickson has been selected as the District 5510 District Governor for Rotary year 2017/18. Congratulations to Jim!

 President Bryant Powell asked Dana Hawman to share the recent Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board’s decisions about budget cuts.

o The failure of the override election in November 2014, an aging bus fleet, postponed maintenance, rising healthcare costs, and decreasing enrollment contributed to a 2015/16 projected budget deficit of $2.7 million.

o To achieve the deep cuts needed, the School Board has voted to close one elementary school and switch to a four-day work/school week as of August, 2015.

o The two schools considered for closure were Superstition Mountain Elementary in Apache Junction and Peralta Trail in Gold Canyon. The Board voted to keep Peralta Trail Elementary open, stating that they could not claim to be a "Unified" school district if they closed the last remaining school in Gold Canyon. Although Peralta Trail has the lowest enrollment, it services students from as far away as Queen Valley, which is on the eastern edge of the district’s boundary.

o The decision to move to a four-day work/school week (Fridays off) was influenced by a staff survey that indicated teachers who have been with the district 1-3 years would consider the four-day week a strong incentive to stay. The Apache Junction school district cannot afford to compete with the salaries of the larger neighboring districts, so teachers hired straight out of college will usually work for the district long enough to gain experience and then move on. By retaining experienced teachers, the district hopes to provide a better education for their students.