Brian Garcia

Brian Garcia

Brian Garcia

Age: 25

Immediate family: Ismael Garcia, father; Catalina Garcia, mother; Ismael “Aaron” Garcia, brother and senior at Corona del Sol High School.

Community you live in:

I have grown up in multiple communities in the area. Since I was two-years-old, I have resided in Tempe. I spent my childhood with my late Uncle David Simpson in Ahwatukee and in Guadalupe with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, of which I am a tribal member.

How long have you lived in the Tempe Union district?

I have lived in the Tempe Union district since 1995. 

Educational background:

  • Graduated from Tempe Union’s McClintock High School in 2011.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies (2015) from Arizona State University (ASU).
  • Master of Legal Studies (2017) from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.
  • Current: Juris Doctor Candidate at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

What district do/did your children attend elementary, middle and high school and were they public schools?

I do not have children, but I serve as a guardian for my younger brother Aaron. Aaron attended C.I. Waggoner Elementary School, Kyrene Middle School, and is currently a senior at Corona del Sol High School.

Occupation: Current law student. Formerly served as the outreach coordinator for Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, a student prosecutor for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and the AVID program at McClintock High School.

Community involvement:

  • Former outreach coordinator for Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema
  • AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination), tutor and mentor
  • Kiwanis Club of Tempe Nuevo, member
  • Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy, Fellow
  • Native American Bar Association - Arizona, member
  • Arizona State University Career Services, mentor
  • National Native American Law Students Association, Board member
  • Arizona Leading For Change, Fellow
  • Human Rights Campaign, former Arizona steering committee member
  • Inspire Arizona (civic youth non-profit), mentor
  • Certified group fitness instructor
  • Native American Pipeline to Law Initiative, facilitator
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe, tutor
  • Tempe Elementary, tutor and mentor

Tempe Union District involvement:

  • AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination), tutor and mentor
  • DECA (a non-profit designed to prepare leaders in business), tutor and mentor
  • We The People (youth civic competition), Judge
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe, tutor

Why are you running for school board?

I am running for our students, our families, and our community. As a graduate of McClintock, the guardian of a Corona del Sol student, and Tempe resident, I know how important our schools are. I look forward to providing prospective and experiences that have shaped my life to help strive for continued excellence.

How should a board member carry out their duties?

A board member should be accessible to our students, families, and community. In addition, be accountable to an active dialogue with our community and attentive to the needs of our students. A board member should involve our families in the solutions for Tempe Union.

 How do you define a school board member’s role?

Our role should be proactive, accessible, and transparent. A board member serves Tempe Union and that should be the guiding principle of all decisions. In addition, being active with our students, families, and community. Cheering on our sports teams, attending choir concerts, meeting families where they are. Ultimately, continuing a high bar of engagement.

What is the district’s most compelling need that is not being addressed by the board right now?

Tempe Union has various needs. Our priority must be our students. We must consistently address effectiveness, safety, and the well-being of our students. We can do this by addressing classroom sizes, school counselor needs, and the need to retain dedicated educators and support professionals while being fiscally responsible. 

How would you propose addressing that need?

We start by listening to and collaborating with students, families, and our community for effective solutions. This will require meaningful engagement that will lead to robust discussions. Then, we can develop effective policies for continued success. 

In one of the following words, how would you rate the superintendent’s job performance:

Excellent     Good      Needs Improvement Poor. Why?

Tempe Union strives for excellence. As a board member, I would expect no less. I look forward to working with Superintendent Dr. Kevin Mendivil to ensure Tempe Union continues to strive for excellence in his work for our students, families, and community. 

Will you maintain the board policy of televising meetings live then archiving the videos?

I support efforts to increase accessibility and transparency with our families and community.

Should Tempe Union consider merging with Kyrene?

Our community has previously voted to maintain our respective Tempe Union, Kyrene, and Tempe elementary districts. Fiscally and pragmatically, our priority should be focused on how to provide a quality and accessible education to the 13,000+ students Tempe Union currently serves.

What three personal skills/attributes would you bring to the board?

Empathy, hard work, and determination. As a first-generation graduate, I understand our challenges. I have been able to thrive in my work with Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema as her outreach coordinator, a student prosecutor, and education advocate. I look forward to utilizing my skills, resiliency, and moxie that have shaped my life to help guide Tempe Union.

What, if anything, should the board do to improve school security?

The safety and well-being of our students is of the utmost importance. We should always be evaluating our security standards regularly. Our approach should be to remain proactive on matters of school security. In addition, working alongside our counselors and law enforcement partners.

What is the district’s most significant achievement in the last two years?

Tempe Union strives for excellence in every aspect of a student’s life and for true life preparation. Improvements in efforts for student well-being, the “We Want You Back” initiative, and teacher engagement are cornerstones for success. I look forward to working with the other board members to continue striving for excellence.

Why should people vote for you?

This is my home. I grew up here and attended our schools. I understand the challenges as a product of Tempe Union and as my brother’s guardian. I am not just running for Tempe Union, I am a stakeholder in its success alongside you. I hope to earn your support.

Learn more about Brian and his priorities for Tempe Union: www.GarciaForTempeUnion.com

Connect with Brian via email at Brian@GarciaForTempeUnion.com, on Facebook, or by mail at P.O. Box 51946, Phoenix, AZ 85076.

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