I am bicultural and bilingual, and I have an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and more than ten years of teaching experience in the United States and abroad (in Italy, Spain, and Colombia). I have taught elementary, middle, and high school English (and other subjects) in private, public, and charter schools, both online and on site. I have been Principal, Curriculum Writer, and Education Consultant, and I have earned more than 100 credits studying education and leadership at the graduate and doctoral levels. Now, I am a third-year law student at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law; a 38(d) Certified Limited-Practice Student in the Pima County Juvenile Courts who represents children involved in dependencies with the State; and a Family Law Clerk for a private law firm. I have learned the benefits of hard work, I know how to study, and I love learning—in short, I am committed to education, both my own and other’s. As such, I will read the material and do whatever work necessary to succeed as a TUSD school board member and to, ultimately, raise achievement levels in TUSD.
Currently, each of the school members seem to have the best intentions: to help improve the public schools in TUSD. However, academic achievement rates in TUSD have stagnated over the years, and the Unitary Status Plan remains unfulfilled. The problem is not evil intentions or even ineptitude; it is simpler than that—I noticed as an audience member in several TUSD school board meetings. What I noticed is that most of the governing board members were not prepared or not paying attention. As such, the bulk of the time in meetings is spent discussing irrelevant issues, things that have little to no impact on improving student achievement rates in the District. The result is that achievement rates do not change. TUSD deserves board members who will focus, who will put in the time necessary to read and understand materials provided before each vote, and who will also set an agenda that ensures that they are governing TUSD effectively, not riding along enjoying the status quo.
To be prepared, I would request that the board be provided all materials with plenty of time to review them, and I would take active part in making requests to set the agenda. The job of the school board, as a whole, is to ensure that the superintendent performs well. That has not been the case thus far. I am willing and prepared to ask the questions that focus everyone on the duties that first, improve student achievement and second, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of TUSD's schools.