Three candidates vie for two spots on Kyrene board - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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Three candidates vie for two spots on Kyrene board

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Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:00 am

Ben Benedict, Beth Brizel and Bernadette Coggins are campaigning to fill two open spots on the Kyrene School District Governing Board. Rae Waters and Patrick McGill are leaving, as their terms end in December 2010. The candidates took time out of their busy schedules to speak with the AFN.

Benedict received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University. He became a certified public accountant in 1996. He also received his Juris Doctorate degree from California Western School of Law and became a member of the State Bar of Arizona. He is a founding partner of Benedict and Martin, P.L.L.C., which focuses on Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration. Reach him at bkbenedict@cox.net.

What made you decide to run in the first place?

My wife and I specifically moved to the Kyrene School District because we knew it was a great district. I believe in volunteerism and I have skills that I think could help out the school board.

How has your work experience prepared you for a position on the governing board?

I was a professional certified public accountant so I understand the financial aspect. I'm not unfamiliar with budgets. I am a licensed and practicing attorney so I can read complicated documents, sift through them and analyze them.

How do you see yourself fitting in with the Kyrene Governing Board?

I am collaborative by nature. I don't have an agenda and I work well on a team. The goal in Kyrene is to maximize student achievement and making sure we are fiscally responsible. I want to help continue that trend.

Favorite subject in school and why?

History. That's probably due to when I was in high school. I had a phenomenal history teacher. He taught me a lot about life and learning. And it has stuck with me ever since.


 

Beth Brizel graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. She is a past president of the Kyrene del Cielo PTO and Kyrene del Sureno PTO. Brizel owns a small business, Recruiting Connection, and was a team coordinator for the Kyrene chapter of Stand for Children. Her website is www.Beth4Kyrene.com.

What made you decide to run in the first place?

I have been thinking about it for awhile. My son goes to Corona del Sol and I have a daughter at Aprende Middle School. They are a little older, and now I have a little more time. I waited until I had the time to devote to it.

How has your work experience prepared you for a position on the governing board?

I have always been very involved in classroom. I have been president of two PTOs and I see the difference in schools that have parental participation. I've seen what teachers need and what they can afford with budget constraints. I have seen what the teachers have gone through and I think I can relate to them.

How do you see yourself fitting in with the Kyrene Governing Board?

I think it would be a good group. Rae Waters, who is leaving, asked me to run. And I interact well with the other members, too.

Favorite subject in school and why?

History and government. Definitely my favorite subjects and they motivated me throughout my education.


Bernadette Coggins received a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University in 1995. She has been a part of many different Valley organizations such as Phoenix Children's Hospital, East Valley Boys Service Club and the Tempe YMCA as a member of the board of directors. She has been a part of the Kyrene Middle School PTO since 2008. Her website is www.Coggins4Kyrene.com.

What made you decide to run in the first place?

I grew up here, and had a great public education myself. I went to Dobson High School and have lived in Kyrene for 16 years. I felt very blessed because I had great teachers. I feel it is a personal duty to give back to the community and feel that every child deserves a quality education.

How has your work experience prepared you for a position on the governing board?

I feel that I have a comprehensive understanding of the district. I've been on PTOs and I am currently on the Parent Superintendent Council. I think I have a valid voice because of experience. I know and understand when parents are talking about the different programs in Kyrene. I'm very active in community and very rooted in the community.

How do you see yourself fitting in with the Kyrene Governing Board?

I think it'll be a great fit. I think they do a great job. Rob Ross, he's a great community guy. Michelle Hirsch does a good job connecting with teachers and she's a good role model. I look forward to learning a lot from Ellen Shamah. In the current board, I would be a great fit with my community connections and the expertise that comes from being an involved mom in the district.

Favorite subject in school and why?

English and language arts. I've always loved literature.

 

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