TUHSD governing board candidates

Five candidates are vying for three available seats on the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board. After a few rounds of forums in and out of the community, each candidate has gotten the chance to speak directly to residents about issues like the proposed bond/override, the aimed sales-tax increase of Prop 204, and classroom size, among others.

Incumbent and board president Michelle Helm joins the ranks of Don Hawker, a previous computer programmer, Sandy Lowe, co-founder of The Parent Network, Moses Sanchez, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident and teacher, and Dave Wells, a professor at Arizona State University.

In less than a month, on Nov. 6, voters will be asked to choose three of the following candidates for the governing board that serves Ahwatukee’s own Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe high schools.

Don Hawker

Age: 60

City: Tempe

Campaign info: drhawker@centurylink.net

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

School boards are interfaces between the general community and the district education environment.

The community should have one or more representatives on the board that are not specifically education trained in order to balance more general concerns with specifically education concerns. There are many definitions of what constitutes education and the school board must keep focused through historic insight, not getting sidetracked by the latest cultural tendency or education theory.

I would bring an independent voice and vote to the board. Read more>>

Michelle Helm

Age: 67

City: Tempe

Campaign info: MichelleHelm.com or (480) 966-2064

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

I have always been passionate about providing an excellent education for the children of our community, and I have considered it my honor to sit on the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board, currently as president.

I am running for re-election because I believe that my educational knowledge and board experience are an asset to the governing board. Read more>>

Sandy Lowe

Age: 58

City: Tempe

Campaign info: SandyLowe.com or (480) 961-0388

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

I would love to serve our community in this way because of my passion for education and strong connection with this community. I understand the importance of students graduating with the skills they need to be successful in life.

I have the commitment, time and energy, and knowledge to take on this challenging role and would be honored to contribute any way I can to further the excellence of our district. There are many challenges today in education, but I believe they are solvable working together toward consensus, respecting each other through the process, and always keeping students the focus of important decisions. Read more>>

Moses Sanchez

Age: 35

City: Phoenix (Ahwatukee)

Campaign info: mosessanchez.com or (805) 459-6602

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

After returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan this past January, I knew that I had to get re-involved in our community.

Ahwatukee has the two largest schools within the TUHSD but it hasn’t had representation on the board in quite some time. Being from Ahwatukee, and having two kids in the TUHSD, I felt I could bring a unique perspective to the board.

If elected, I will bring thoughtful conversation to each decision the school board is required to make. I will carefully weigh the risks and benefits of those decisions for the students, the teachers, the staff and administration, and the tax payers.

My desire is to demonstrate responsible decision making that is not biased by external factors and puts the young people in our high schools in a solid position to face their future strong and wisely. Read more>>

Dave Wells

Age: 48

City: Tempe

Campaign info: Wells4Schools.com or (480) 269-3557 (26-WELLS)

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

Tempe Union includes great high schools such as Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista, which have outstanding students and programs.

I want to lend my ear and expertise to make our schools better, so that we improve student success and student engagement. Read more>>

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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