Michael Middleton

Michael Middleton

Michael Middleton

Age:  55

Immediate family:  Wife – Nancy, Daughter – Kristin, Son – Ryan

Community you live in:   Club West

How long have you lived in the Kyrene district?  25 years

Educational background:  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

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

My children attended public schools K-12.  Both children attended Kyrene de la Sierra, Kyrene de la Estrella, Kyrene Akimel, and Desert Vista High School.  Both children graduated from Arizona State University. 

Occupation:  Intel and Realtor

Community involvement: Citizens’ Budget Committee member for Kyrene School District, Ahwatukee YMCA; former board member, Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee, former member; American Foundation for Cardiomyopathy, former chair.

Kyrene School District involvement: Citizens’ Budget Committee member for Kyrene School District.

Why are you running for school board?

My children attended Kyrene and my grandchildren will someday attend Kyrene.  My children received a quality education while attending Kyrene and I want the same for future generations.  I find it a privilege and a duty to share my time and talents with the community.  

I want to use my connections to benefit Kyrene.  I will meet with the legislators to make Kyrene a better district as I have done for other organization I have served.  I will be open to any parent, teacher, or community member showing concerns and ideas to improve Kyrene.   

How should a board member carry out their duties?

The most important duty is to focus on implementing policies that are best for all students.  We can only do this if we work together.  We need to have 360 feedback between all board members, superintendent, teachers, and community.   With communication, we can set a clear vision and goals of the district.  Communication with the public is a must to achieve sustained progress to ensure all students meet high standards of education. 

Meeting with the federal and state legislature will be of the highest priority as a board member.  Arizona must fund education at a higher level to achieve successful and strong public schools.  A board must adapt a fiscally sound budget.  The community will be more confident in a school district when the fiscal health of the district stable.

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

If I am privileged enough to serve, I define my role as someone elected to oversee the Kyrene School District.  A school board member role is children first, teachers, staff, and the Kyrene community.  Everyone benefits from a strong Kyrene.  

We cannot achieve the vision and goals of Kyrene if the district is not fiscally healthy.   A board member must listen to what the schools need, what the community wants, and what the budget allows.  A board member must ensure the community gets the most for their tax dollars.  My priority is to the students of the Kyrene School District, not to any special interest group.

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

Schools addressing mental health issues.  

How would you propose addressing that need?

State needs to provide funding for schools to hire psychologists.  I will meet with legislators to address this issue

How would you rate the superintendent’s job performance

Excellent

Why?

Salary increases for 2018-2019 school year before any additional state funds were provided for teacher salaries.  Bond and capital override spending was reviewed and reprioritized to help address issues created by state budget cuts to capital funding.

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

Yes.  Everyone should have access to what is going on in their public schools.  I have been going to school board meetings for years but sometimes work and family commitments make it impossible to attend.  

Should Kyrene consider merging with Tempe Union?

Yes, only if it can get more money to the classroom. A merge of districts has been discussed for decades. It would have to benefit all to work.  

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

I am very persistent to work through any problem. I have held leadership roles with other organization, so I know what it takes to get things done. I have been active in this community for 25 years.  I have compassion for those in need through charitable organizations I have served. 

I can be diplomatic to get the most I can for the organization I serve. I have used my connections to get state grants to both nonprofits I have served. I know I can do the same for Kyrene.  

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

Keeping our children safe is a top priority. Kyrene needs state funding to achieve this and the district needs more freedom to spend their money where needed.  

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

Adding A+ schools-Cerritos, Estrella, Mariposa, Colina, Esperanza, Manitas, and Pueblo, Sierra. Development of Citizen’s Budget Committee to review and recommend 2017 ballot items. Increased social media communications. Creation of Kyrene app. Facebook pages created for all school sites.  

Why should people vote for you?

My experience is why I am qualified.  

I have local business experience, so I understand the importance of a top school district.  Just look at the commitment and money companies have brought to the Kyrene community.  

I will bring solid community experience to the board.  I was Chair for the American Foundation for Cardiomyopathy.  The American Foundation for Cardiomyopathy gave free heart screening and Automated Defibrillators to area schools and youth clubs.   I was a member of the Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee which helped established the family first culture of this great community.  I also severed on the Ahwatukee YMCA Board. 

Serving on the Citizens’ Budget Committee for Kyrene School District and giving budget recommendations to the Kyrene Board that helped teachers get stipends.  

I work in this community.  I have worked at Intel for 12 years, so I know the education our children will need to have a successful future.  

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