In the Letter to the Editor published on July 16, 2014, Mr. Neil Barwick, a former employee of the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology is reflecting on normal behavior. We in CVIT agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we also believe in operating based on facts not individual opinions. It is very clear that Mr. Barwick’s view of facts and opinions is blurred. As many of your readers know, school districts’ board proceedings are public and easily verifiable. There is nothing to hide. There are three major errors in Mr. Barwick’s letter: 1. I did not ignore his concern about the stipend and asked for advice from state officials before making a decision, 2. The Board took action on this issue on regular meeting on April 24, 2014, the board took my recommendation to take no action unless ADE in the future decided otherwise, they did not table it, 3. Auditors in the exit report said that the stipend may have to paid back if ADE made that determination in the future, not Mr. Barwick. I would be more than happy to sit down with Copper Basin News to provide documentation: emails, and board minutes, to verify these three major errors. The funding that comes from state and federal government is spent according to a previously approved budget. At no time has a CVIT audit shown that any money, state or federal was not allocated according to the approved plan. The federal grant system has changed in the past few years and accountability has become even stricter. We work directly with the Arizona Department of Education to ensure that we stay in compliance with the regulations. Mr. Barwick’s concerns were addressed by the Arizona Department of Education officials, investigated, and found to be invalid. That is a fact. The bigger question here is if Mr. Barwick was ready for all the changes that come with moving forward. It is difficult to accept that an informed professional would make accusations about a reputable organization and call it “normal behavior”. The answer is Mr. Barwick knew that CVIT was moving in a more positive direction concerning his position by eliminating the business manager’s position and contracting license accounting firm it saved CVIT $28000.00.
The CVIT administration is working hard to provide students in our communities with as many educational opportunities as possible. I would like the readers to reflect on this fact. We are getting ready to begin the 2014-2015 school year with eight central programs which are for college credit and industry certification. All tuition fees are free to the students. Students are also provided with books, uniforms, and supplies for their classes. We are giving young people a chance to become employable, respected members of society and have a good start in life. Last year, we graduated 42 students from two year programs in electrical and instrumentation, welding, nursing assistant, medical assistant, cosmetology, fire science, pre-engineering geology, and graphic design. We allocated $324,000.00 directly to the Globe, Miami, San Carlos, Hayden-Winkleman, and Superior school districts to enhance the career and technical educations programs. The CVIT governing board has also approved financial support for highly achieving students to attend national competitions. CVIT partners with educational institutions and industry to provide our students with the best educational options available. Our main goal in CVIT is to take care of our students. We appreciate all the support we receive from or communities. We will continue to operate with honor, integrity, and continually strive to improve and meet the needs of our number one concern, our students.
/s/ Pete Guzman, Superintendent
Cobre Valley Institute of Technology