Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Alton “Toby” Payne to the Yavapai College Governing Board to represent District 3 (Sedona and the upper Verde Valley).

Mr. Payne is a second-generation Arizona native, raised in Phoenix, who spent twenty-five years in Cave Creek/Carefree, and now lives permanently in Clarkdale. He spent thirty years as an entrepreneur in the audio-visual industry, as the founder of State Sound of Arizona. He has toured with Andy Williams, Sammy Davis Jr., Waylon Jennings, and designed and supplied the sound systems for the Papal Visit to Arizona State University. He also taught for ten years at the International Communications Industries Association Institute for Professional Development.

Mr. Payne has served on the Governing Board of the Cave Creek Unified School District, serving as President of the Board twice. The district spanned 144 square miles and included several municipalities including portions of Scottsdale, Phoenix, Carefree and Cave Creek. His service was at a time of rapid growth for the area when school construction was needed. He has been working with various non-profits and community groups for many years, including Arizona Town Hall, Kiwanis, site survey for the Mabery Pavilion on the Clarkdale campus of Yavapai College, Growth Committee of the Clarkdale-Jerome School District, and the Verde Valley Amateur Radio Association.

Mr. Carter received a letter of resignation from Yavapai College Governing Board Member Paul Chevalier, effective January 30, 2023. Dr. Chevalier said, “today I turned 84 and, while my health is good, this is the moment for me to step down and let someone younger take my position.” Mr. Carter thanked Dr. Chevalier for his service to the residents of District 3. Mr. Carter posted the vacancy for this non-partisan seat for the remaining two years of the existing term. Prior to the deadline for receipt of letters of interest and the supporting information, Mr. Carter received the required materials from five qualified candidates.

Superintendent Carter makes use of a Candidate Review Committee in making community college appointments. This is a process which engages a cross section of community members from District 3 in the process. He would like to express appreciation to the committee for their volunteer services to the community. County Supervisor Donna Michaels (Sedona) served as the elected official as she represents the same geographical area and residents within Yavapai County, Mrs. Barbara U’Ren (unincorporated areas) represented taxpayers, Chell Smart (Clarkdale) represented students, Kimberly Gould (Cottonwood) represented the college faculty, and Ruth Ellen Elinski (Cottonwood) represented economic development entities. The committee reviewed the materials, prepared interview questions, decided who to interview and participated and evaluated the interviews. The committee also provides Mr. Carter with insight about their collective perception of each candidate, and they made very valuable recommendations for his consideration. The Superintendent and committee interviewed three finalists on Monday, March 6th in Sedona.

Mr. Carter hosted an opportunity for the public to meet with him personally in face-to-face meetings on March 9th in Sedona. He provided his email address and cell phone number for those individuals wishing to use one of those options. He spoke individually with many of the current Yavapai College Governing Board Members and college administration in person or on the phone prior to making the appointment. Forty-four (44) residents communicated with the Superintendent in one manner or another about their preferences. He appreciated and respected the responses.

Mr. Payne will be sworn in at a public event at Yavapai College, Sedona Campus at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. His term will end December 31, 2024. He has indicated an intent to run for the seat in the 2024 election cycle for a six-year term starting January 2025. He may be reached at 480.544.2290. Mr. Carter may be reached at 928.925.6560.