School Governing Board Vacancy Filled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 6, 2017

CONTACT: Shane Wikfors, (602) 885-0499


Superintendent Watson Makes Appointment to Higley Unified School District Governing Board


(Phoenix, AZ) - Friday, Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson appointed Richard Thornock to the Higley Unified School District Governing Board. Richard Thornock fills the vacancy that occurred when Allison Ford resigned her position on October 26.


In accordance with A.R.S. § 15-302 and § 15-1441, County School Superintendents have statutory authority to appoint qualified individuals to fill vacancies on a school governing boards and the Maricopa County Community College District governing board or, if appropriate, to call for a special election.


Richard Thornock joins the Higley District governing board as a longtime resident and active member of the Gilbert community. Richard grew up in Gilbert where he attended public schools and has been an active member of the scouting community. He currently serves as the in-house attorney for a local fire protection company. Richard and his wife are raising five children, two of which are attending Higley schools with three others set to join. 


“I am very humbled to receive this special appointment and for the opportunity to serve my own education community,” Thornock said. “This is a responsibility I take very seriously with the goal of ensuring Higley teachers, parents and students have the resources they need in a highly competitive educational climate,” he said.


Upon the appointment, Superintendent Watson noted, “Each of the candidates I interviewed was highly qualified, committed and ready to serve.” He explained the process by noting, “Before making a decision, I make an effort to get a holistic understanding of the district - especially the culture for students and teachers. My decision to appoint Richard Thornock comes at a time when Higley faces some important competitive challenges in the region.”


Maricopa County is home to 58 traditional public school districts of which there are 276 governing board positions. In 2016, there were 17 vacancies.




For more information on the governing board appointment process, contact Shane Wikfors at (602) 885-0499.