The Walden Grove High School cheerleading program has come under scrutiny due to concerns regarding financial irregularities, procurement practices, and accounting protocols. This has prompted an investigation by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office, following the resignation of Denise Montano, the head cheerleading coach, who also stepped down from her role as registrar.
Current Situation and Concerns Raised:
Sahuarita Police Lt. Michael Falquez confirmed that the Sahuarita Unified School District (SUSD) has not reported any allegations of misconduct. However, the departure of Montano and subsequent financial concerns prompted the district’s Superintendent, Manny Valenzuela, to emphasize their commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility. Valenzuela stated that they take any such concerns seriously and swiftly report them for proper investigation.
Statement from SUSD Superintendent:
Superintendent Valenzuela emphasized the district’s obligation as stewards of public trust and funds. He highlighted the importance of promptly addressing concerns regarding financial practices and ensuring accountability. Valenzuela stated that upon preliminary reviews revealing potential financial discrepancies, the district took the responsible step of reporting the matter to the State Auditor General’s Office for thorough examination. Simultaneously, efforts were made to ensure that the cheerleading program’s activities, events, and services continued for the benefit of the students.
Actions Taken and Documentation Provided:
Records obtained from SUSD revealed that Lizette Huie, the district’s chief financial officer, engaged with the Arizona Auditor General’s Office representatives on December 6. The subsequent day, Huie furnished transaction histories, purchasing policies, meeting minutes, concession and fundraising records, along with other pertinent financial documents to aid in the investigation.
Analysis and Further Investigations:
The investigation by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office is ongoing, focusing on examining the financial records and practices of Walden Grove High School’s cheerleading program. The aim is to ascertain the accuracy of financial transactions, adherence to procurement policies, and accountability for funds allocated to the program.
Importance of Transparency and Accountability in Educational Institutions:
The scrutiny faced by the cheerleading program underscores the significance of maintaining transparency and accountability in educational institutions. Proper financial oversight is crucial to ensure that funds allocated for student activities are utilized appropriately, benefitting the intended recipients, and upholding the trust of the community and stakeholders.
The Walden Grove High School cheerleading program’s financial investigation highlights the critical need for vigilance in overseeing financial operations within educational settings. As the investigation progresses, the Arizona Auditor General’s Office aims to provide a comprehensive report, shedding light on the fiscal management of the program, while emphasizing the importance of accountability and transparency in all school-related activities.