Margaret Pratt

Margaret Pratt

Margaret Pratt

Age: 35

Immediate family: Husband, Murray of 13 years; three daughters: Mary (11), Rachel (9) and Rebecca (7).

Community you live in: Ahwatukee for eight years.

How long have you lived in the Kyrene District? Eight years.

Educational background: AA, psychology; BA, communicative disorders.

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

We have a 6th grader in a Kyrene middle school, a 4th grader in a Kyrene elementary school and our youngest is a 2nd grader currently attending a private school. 

Occupation: Currently a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer. I started, ran and grew Lucky Duck Consignment (a local seasonal consignment sale). I previously worked in public schools as a speech therapist.

Community involvement: Lucky Duck Consignment, donation organizer (Kyrene Resource Center, Arizona Foster Families, Maggie’s Place, TeenAge Pregnancy Program); Church children’s ministry leader; camp director at church for girls; Girl Scout cookie sales organizer; raffle coordinator for paper drive.

Kyrene District involvement: Parent volunteer in classrooms for six years, school carnival co-chair, Art Masterpiece volunteer, school movie night organizer, room parent (planning and organizing special events for classroom), classroom coordinator for teacher appreciation weeks.

Why are you running for school board?

As the daughter of an educator of 36 years, mother of children attending Kyrene schools, small business owner, active community member, I have the care and concern to serve now and move Kyrene along on its mission and commitment to student success.

How should a board member carry out their duties?

Board members should act in a non-partisan, informed, respectful manner while carrying out the duties as described in policy and statute. Board member should do this while always acting in the best interest of students, teachers, and community members.

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

Each board member’s job is to strive to improve public education in our district. One must work to review, formulate and approve policies which guide the operation of the district, as well as approve an annual balanced budget. They should also accurately communicate what is going on at the district and solicit feedback from the community. 

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

One need is to keep the community better informed of issues the board is planning to address. I want to work collaboratively with all board members to keep our community abreast of the progress on issues and when they will be addressed in board meetings.

How would you propose addressing that need?

There are several ways – one being to include the list of items for future consideration on the public meeting agenda. This would give community members a sense of what the compelling issues are in Kyrene and when they will be addressed.

How would you rate the superintendent’s job performance? Good

Why?

I commend the superintendent for initiating the independent audit and addressing the issues brought forth. She has expressed the importance of being united in purpose, our purpose in Kyrene ultimately being to our students. She set in action the creation of five community councils, which welcome input from students, teachers, parents, business and community members.

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

Absolutely. Televised meetings increase the ability of our busy community to be apprised of what is going on in our district. It also enhances accountability as written minutes would leave the summation up to the scribe, while full meetings can be played back with more complete accuracy.

Should Kyrene consider merging with Tempe Union?

The community has voted down proposals for initiatives on the ballot to unify our local school districts. My concern is that by combining, we would create a district that is too large a bureaucracy to serve students and families well. I support the districts continuing to work together in joint purchasing agreements and shared programs.

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

I have a willingness to work hard and have demonstrated the ability to roll up my sleeves and get things done. I am a problem solver and will address challenges the district faces now and that lay ahead. I communicate by first listening to what others have to say and then striving for a consensus. 

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

Great improvements have already been made to increase security. In addition, SROs (School Resource Officers) at all of our middle school campuses and more guidance counselors would be a goal. I support looking into creating a position for certified police department retirees at schools without SROs.

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

It is difficult to pick one achievement, as they carry varied importance to different community members. The middle school redesign, increased student achievement, the dyslexia preschool pilot program, and the independent audit are all significant. These have all served to keep our district on an upward trajectory.

Why should people vote for you?

I am capable, smart and willing to work. I bring experience, communication, and a committed, caring attitude. I invest in relationships and bring people together to find solutions. I will foster positivity in our schools and a constructive atmosphere within the board. I will listen to every voice and make the best decisions for our children.

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