Students in OR grads of TU schools?: A freshman and junior attending Corona Del Sol High School and I am a graduate of Corona del Sol.
Occupation: Commercial real estate broker.
Years in district: As a student I completed four years in TUHSD. I have currently lived in the district for over 17 years.
Educational background: Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Community involvement: President of the Kyrene School District Governing Board from 2018-present; past president of the Tempe Sports Authority Foundation. Youth sports coach for various sports teams including football, baseball, and wrestling.
What top three skills would you bring to the board?
- Leadership as I have been the president of the Kyrene School board for the past two years.
- I have the ability to work with board members and help facilitate difficult discussions and debates while achieving results in a timely manner.
- I understand school board budgets, process, procedures and school financing.
Why should voters vote for you? I think voters should vote for candidates who currently have children in the district as its imperative to be relevant and current when sitting on a governing board. I also am a firm believer that we need less incumbents in any elected position and a change of board members in TUHD is much needed.
Has the pandemic affected your view of a governing board’s role in general? If so, how?
In the Valley, the pandemic exposed the weak governing boards and senior district leadership in those districts that were comprised of a ghost board and had no board or district leadership.
Assuming COVID-19 will be with us indefinitely, does Tempe Union need to do something it isn’t doing now to ensure a quality high school experience for students over the next four years:
It should look at the option of a quick and inexpensive Covid Testing option and allowing students who test negative be allowed to attend in person.
1) Where academics generally and preparation for higher ed and/or the job market are concerned? We need to bring back vocational tech on campus and use EVIT as resource to do so. The move from VOTECH off campuses put those students at a disadvantage as transportation and class alignment make going off site a challenge.
2) Where students’ social-emotional wellness is concerned?
In Kyrene we hired counselors in middle schools and saw an immediate and significant impact. High school for many students is stressful and I would like to see four counselors one for each grade level in each of our high schools.
What is biggest challenge confronting the district that must be addressed within the next two years and how would you address that challenge? The biggest issues will be managing the district thru COVID-19 and how the board will address a future economic downturn. The first challenge is leadership can help the board work out common-sense solutions in regard to COVID and a return to school plan. Also starting to build a reserve in the budget and increase the credit rating of the district now so in the event it needs to borrow it can do so at a reasonable cost.
If funding became a critical issue for the district in the next two years, would you be more inclined to cut programs or raise taxes? Why?
I believe in living within a budget and public entities are no different. No matter what critical issue a cut would need to be made. Far too often in government we have seen a pass the buck mentality to the taxpayer and the simple reality is there is not enough money or higher taxes to go around to pay for everything.
Knowing what you know now, would you vote to extend Dr. Mendivil’s contract beyond June 2021? Given that fact it would be difficult to answer the question until I worked with Dr. Mendivil to decide if the large and vast failures of TUHD are due to the current governing board or Dr. Mendivil or both. As I can see now based on information as of today, I believe an entire new board (three newly elected and non-incumbent board members) and a new superintendent might be the best option going forward for the students, employees and our community.
What is the one area the district administration is addressing in an exceptional manner and why do you think that? Candidly and sadly I cannot think of one area.
In what three areas has the current board not met your expectations and what would you do differently? I would ask the superintendent to make changes in some cabinet level positions.
Back to school COVID roll out. I would have followed the other neighboring districts Kyrene and Tempe Elementary and been aligned with those districts.
Sports will be practiced and played safely following district and state guidelines to protect all students and coaches.