In August of 2020 The Arizona Republic asked the Maricopa County School Superintendent candidates a series of questions.
What do you believe is the county superintendent’s most important role, and how will you serve that role?
The most public facing role of this office is appointing school board members when there is a vacancy on a school board. Over nearly four years, I appointed 40 governing board members to more than half the districts in the county. My criteria have always been to select people who care about the district, are temperamentally ready to govern, and are fiscally responsible. I understand each district is unique, and I am proud of every single person I have appointed. I also manage the voter education component of school district bond and override elections.
However, the role I am most proud of is the work I do with the kids who are in our Juvenile Detention facility – we call it a transitional learning center. These aren’t teens who are long-term incarcerated, but in our care temporarily while they go through the local judicial process. Frequently, these are kids who, for whatever reason, haven’t been successful in our traditional education system. We are reworking how we teach these kids. I am passionate about career and technical education (CTE) for these students, and we are implementing more meaningful and engaging experiences for them. We are also working to offer them helpful support once they leave our care.