Campaign info: electmichellehirsch.com or (480) 250-2577
Why are you running for the Kyrene School board?
I’ve always had an interest and passion for education. I was a good student, I went to ASU to be a secondary education teacher — and before I graduated, I took a turn to be in journalism — but I still did my student teaching at Corona del Sol High School. Having three kids go through public education, I see the importance of it.
I just have the passion and interest and I feel the importance. I have a lot of experience and knowledge that contributes to being a good board member. Not just the four years I have served, but before that I served on many councils and committees in the district. Being a reporter helped as well. I reported on lots of school events and issues. Between my knowledge and passion, that’s why I’m running.
What do you believe are the most prominent issues in the near future?
Class size will continue to be a challenge. Not only because of the task of managing that, but because the reason class sizes are higher is because we can’t afford another teacher or two teachers to lower class size. When we talk about class sizes, it’s all related to being able to hire more teachers. I think class size sounds nicer than saying “we can’t afford more teachers.” That’s really the issue.
I also think resources will continue to be an issue. There is never a guarantee of more money. And yet with Arizona Common Core Standards, we will need new resources and textbooks that align with those standards.
Compensation is also an issue. We want the best teachers and administrators. We want people managing out human resources, facilities curriculum and data analysts, but costs become an issue. Technology is also significant. People think of technology as laptops and computers and sometimes software, but it is also the grading system and training that teachers get. That is all software we have to pay for.
The challenges will be to fund these things that we know work and make the district more efficient, but we don’t have the money for it.
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
How does this word play in to how you would act as a governing board member?
Learner is identified as one of my top strengths. I can come to the governing board with my experience as a parent, my experience serving on district committees and experience as a journalist, my experience as a school teacher. All of that is valuable, but I need to understand the issue today.
It has to be about how things impact all of our students today. In order to understand that, I have to ask questions, read, and talk to teachers, staff, and other education leaders to understand from various perspectives — not just my own. I am always trying to learn and understand in order to make the best decision.