HUACHUCA CITY — Tombstone Unified School District opened its Wednesday board meeting with a moment of silence in remembrance of TUSD school board member and former football coach Mike Hayhurst.

With a coaching career that spanned 53 years, Hayhurst started working for TUSD as a coach and science teacher in 1998. He also served on the district school board for a number of years, a position he continued to hold until his death on May 31.

There will be a couple of administrative changes this fall.

Jeanette Paz, the current assistant principal at Huachuca City School, will be the new Walter J. Meyer School principal, replacing Scot Roppe, who is retiring.

Former Sierra Vista Unified School District teacher James Gordon has been hired as assistant principal at Huachuca City School, where he will be working with Principal Kevin Beaman.

The two administrative changes were announced at the board meeting.

The board approved an updated COVID mitigation plan in which students are no longer required to wear masks to school. In addition, the board eliminated remote education as an option for TUSD students, unless the state mandates remote learning.

TUSD Superintendent Robert Devere has been authorized by the board to sign all documents relating to the pending sale of the Old Tombstone High School building on Fremont Street. The building has been shuttered and on the market since 2006, which is when the current school opened. The property’s potential buyer is PB&J ECO Ventures LLC of Mesa in the amount of $730,000.

In their reports to the board, elementary school principals Kevin Beaman and Scot Roppe expressed being pleased with AZMerit (standardized testing) scores for third grade students.

“We received our preliminary AZM2 scores for our third grade and all of our third-graders passed the minimal standard needed for promotion to the fourth grade despite the challenges of 2020-2021,” Roppe said. “I think it is safe to say that people generally appreciate their teachers this year far more than ever.”

Beaman mentioned multiple construction projects that are going on at the Huachuca City campus, along with holding summer school during the month of June. The town of Huachuca City is using Huachuca City School for its Summer Splash program. Free breakfast and lunch is being offered in the school cafeteria to all children, regardless of where they reside, Beaman said.

Tombstone High School Principal David Thursby reflected on the uncertainties that COVID caused for parents, students and teachers at the start of the school year.

“There were many struggles along the way, but we had a very good school year,” said Thursby, who praised the senior class for the $1.1 million in renewable scholarships and a list of successes.

“This was a very good group of students,” he concluded.

The next school board meeting is 5:30 p.m. July 14 at Tombstone High School.