Natalie Evans Veidmark
Glendale Union High School District
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1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?
2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board?
As a mom, I care about my community and our kids. I graduated from the Glendale Union High School District and all four of my kids have been in the district. Great schools are a key component to a neighborhood's future. As parents of four kids we want our community to be attractive for the next generation as well. I also know things have changed in culture even since my oldest graduated high school in 2018. The challenges my current high school student faces are much different than even 4 years ago. I think the Governing Board needs parents who are in the trenches and know the impact policies make on current day issues.
3. Do you support sexual education of children in the classroom? At what age do you believe this is appropriate, and do you believe that a parent should have the opportunity to opt out?
Parents should have the ultimate authority on when their children receive sexual education. There should always be an opportunity to opt out and curriculum should be available for parents to review. As a candidate in a high school district, you would expect to have curriculum covering biology and reproduction.
4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives?
5. What is your position on critical race theory, social-emotional learning, LGBTQ inclusion, and equity issues in the classroom? What do you know of Bloom365 and Corwin Press and what are your opinions?
In talking with parents and educators I continue to see the need to define terms on these topics. It is evident that there are various understandings of what is meant when it comes to CRT and SEL. CRT assigns roles of oppressed and oppressor to individuals based on their race. This is of no benefit to our student's learning. We need to focus on teaching history without placing blame on individuals based on their family background. As the daughter of two school teachers, I know those in education care about the success of their students academically as well as their preparedness for intangible measures like interpersonal life skills. After the tragic impacts of the pandemic on student learning and growth, teachers need to foster skills to handle the impact of isolation. This is what good teachers do. However, it is disingenuous to develop curriculum that usurps a parent's role of instilling their families values. I am not familiar with Bloom365 and Corwin Press.
6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform?
I plan to
1) support strong academic policies
2) support the high standards that our teachers desire
3) listen to the needs of families
4) promote GUHSD as excellent schools of choice to prepare students for college and the workforce.
7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona?
8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers?
9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down?
10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers?
When it comes to workforce development we often think of bringing in the new generation. For this we need to build bridges with students in school to encourage them to enter into the field of education. I think this is important. But one way to address this issue is to stop the loss of teachers. Taking great care of the teachers you have should be a priority.
11. Do you support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass background checks, to work or volunteer in our schools to prevent mass shootings?
I think having school resource officers on campus are vital. If a school and district can work within a framework for training and goals, this can also be a strategic safety measure.
12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy.
I am a native Arizonan and aside from going away to college in Santa Barbara, California, Phoenix has been my home. I want our schools and community to be so great that the next generation wants to raise their families here. You can visit my website at www.veidmarkforguhsd.com. I am happy to further answer any questions!