Above all else, I am an educator. A lifelong passion for learning, and eventually for teaching propelled my career as a Speech Therapist, my campaign and now my role as State Superintendent-elect. As the first educator to hold this position in over twenty years, understanding the value of quality public education is critically important to my vision for this role. We have a moral responsibility to ensure that the futures we offer our students and communities are promising and filled with opportunities that meet the diverse needs of our state.
In the days and weeks since the election, I’ve been busy assembling a transition team of administrators, teachers and community liaisons who each have dedicated their lives to serving our students and improving public education. To that end, John Carruth, the Assistant Superintendent of Vail School District and a former special education teacher and director, will be our Chief of Staff and Richie Taylor, a native of Safford and advocate for public policy, will be our Communications Director. With these additions, our administration has a combined thirty years of education experience with a focus on rural and special education.
With the assistance of a dynamic and innovative team at the Department of Education, I plan to tackle the critical issues affecting our public schools. We face a crippling teacher shortage, ballooning class sizes, and reduced funding. However, I believe this election has shown that there is bipartisan support for prioritizing public education, and I look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature on our shared goals. Our teachers won’t allow us to forget our campaign promises to our students and schools. I will stand by our educators, and be their voice, as we advocate for sustainable funding, improved benefits, and charter school reform.
I will always remain true to my roots of public education. My administration will be a positive voice for public schools. We will stand by our teachers and students to send a clear signal to other elected officials that public education is our priority.