Higley Unified School District
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1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long?
Yes, little over a year
2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board?
I am a product of public education, first as a hard-of-hearing student in special education. I eventually mainstreamed into the general population with help of tremendous teachers and staff. I am grateful for what public schools have offered for me in my academic career. I received my MBA from Grand Canyon University. I spent 25 years in the banking sector in various roles that includes Sales, Operations & Fraud Investigations. Additionally, I served as a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol, the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force for five years. My duties included Air Crew in Search and Rescue, Public Affairs and Recruiting Officer. I have mentored and cadets; 12-20 years old to excel in servant leadership, STEM and cyber-security achievements.
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?
In the past, sexual education was limited to human anatomy and biological reaction of conception. However, given the current cultural climate of our nation, I do not support sexual education in the classroom. The subject has gone far beyond the basic human understanding of life and twisted the narrative to focus on gender identity and sexual pleasure. Therefore, the role of sex education should rest with the parents and their religious affiliations.
4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives?
I cringe at the use of the word "stakeholder." Stakeholder is a euphemism for collectivism which is aligned with socialism. Additionally, socialism takes God out of the equation. God has tasked the parents the sole responsibility over their children and they have final authority over their children. That is both natural and divine law. Granted, I do understand that our children's lives are also molded by our families, friends, neighbors, educators and many of those that they interact in their lives. Never-the-less, people that interact with our children are secondary to the children's parental authority; therefore, parents are the sole guardians 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?
I do not support SEL, CRT, or DEI. These ideologies stems from socialism/Marxist framework that seeks to destroy the family unit. DEI promotes society into acceptance of certain practices that do not align with Christian values of love, marriage, sexuality and charity. I am not familiar with Bloom365, however, I do believe Corwin Press publishes many SEL programs. Additionally, I'm aware of the CASEL framework and how it shapes many of our educational institutions to covertly insert Marxist ideologies into the classroom. These programs are designed to replace the parents with the state under the guise of the whole community, whole child mantra. These programs are training grounds to both children and adults in preparing them to comply with the social credit score system, known as environmental, social, & governance (ESG). This social credit score system is practiced in China by the CCP in order to modify behavior of citizens to fit the regime's narrative. Therefore, school board candidates and parents both need to be vigilant regarding programs that sabotage basic Christian teachings as well as American values of faith, family and freedom.
6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform?
My platform is that parent and taxpayer engagement is key to the success of any school. The school board works for the community, not for the district, teacher's unions, school board associations, or special interest groups. School board should promote community engagement and district transparency to the community. School board members are responsible in setting the tone with the school district and hold the superintendent accountable to community expectations.
7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona?
The biggest issue is that our students are less focused on academics and self-discipline and too focused on their emotions and their social needs. Students need academic rigor and a curriculum that is focused on a variety of topics to explore and to build upon their strengths. In addition, the curriculum should emphasize on U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution and programs that promote civil service that teaches students how to serve others rather than to focus on themselves. Additionally, emphasis of instilling discipline in the classroom, studies and homework needs to shared both by the teachers and parents. These activities will help students find their purpose. Once students find their purpose, they are more inclined in achieving academic and career success. Moreover, it helps students be more efficient and resilient in times of adversity. These are admirable traits to the American spirit of an independent life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers?
Arizona should support public education. After all, the state receives taxpayer funds that funds our schools. We have to recognize that public school is not a one size fits all solution for Arizona families. Families should have the choice of where they send their children to school. Therefore, Arizona should not only support public education, but also support the ESA program to families that choose not to attend public education. The average ESA award is only $7,000. The average cost per student in public schools is $13,306. That is higher than the cost of full tuition at ASU per student at $11,838. The Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is not a voucher system. It does not fund a system, but, the student. This program is no different when a veteran receives the GI Bill, or VA loan. Or if a student receives a grant for college. The recipient chooses where to use those funds. The funds follow the student just as it currently does for any charter or district school “open enrollment” system. Contrary what many believe, ESA does not defund our public school system. Parents who send their children to non-public schools are funding both the public schools as well as their child’s school. ESA allows that parent to use a sliver of taxpayers’ funds, earmarked for public schools, that they have already contributed into; to be applied to their school of choice. The recipients of ESA funds have to account for all and any expenses used in their child’s education by providing proof of receipts to the ESA online portal and are subject to audits by AZED. Lastly, per the Goldwater Institute, ESA gives back $900 per student back into the system from the “Classroom Site Fund” and “Prop 123 add-on revenues’ for every student that leaves the public school system. Meaning, for every student that leaves the public school system, public schools end up with more money per pupil than they had before. In addition, it lowers the expense per student for public schools. Since the inception of ESA in 2012, public school funding increased to over $1,600 per student. In essence, the ESA expansion is a win-win for both public, charter and private and for the home schooled. Arizona is the first of its kind pioneering this program in across the nation. We need to allow this unique program, designed by parents, to flourish and function to see how we all can benefit from it.
9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down?
Districts should take pragmatic approaches in seeking ways to fund their districts for large projects. They could consider using tax levies in lieu of bonds to avoid paying large fees/points in underwriting bonds and interests over the life of those bonds. Change the mentality to pay-as-you-go versus financing long term debt. Districts should also urge local and state representatives to come up with new funding formulas for districts to eliminate unnecessary annual ritual of scrambling for over-rides. The district Lastly, the district needs to dig deep into their budget and trim any excess fat from their expense column. They need to see if the current budget can sustain past pay increases, eliminate unnecessary administration positions, prioritize essential projects and rethink the wants over their needs; such as one to one laptop for all students. Textbooks tend to breakdown less often than laptops. The district needs to look into every nook and cranny to seek for savings. They should also find ways to unlock potential funds from our local and state municipalities and perhaps donations from developers who want build on our district.
10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers?
The retention issue of teachers isn’t just about the money, it’s about the lack of respect they receive from the Administration, the students and sometimes the parents. Our teachers need to be held in high regards in their professional role as teacher and mentor.
1. Teachers should be free of extra-ordinary demands passed down from governmental agencies or external sources (e.g., common core, administrative functions, SEL/DEI). This will reduce work hours and burnout.
2. The teachers need to room to create their own lesson programs, not dictated from a governmental agency, but from the approval of the community.
3. The Administrators and parents need to support teachers when students 3are sent for disciplinary actions and to instill in students the importance treating fellow students, teachers and staff with the upmost respect, both inside and outside of the classroom.
4. Teachers’ salaries as well as staff should be based on performance and merit, not solely on seniority. Seniority based income does not foster good performance.
5. Teachers and staff should be compensated for extra duties outside of the classroom and normal work hours to host events and activities.
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?
12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy.
We need to re-educate the public that school board members work for the taxpayers, parents and students. Currently too many board members are catering to wants of district staff, teachers unions, interest groups and school board associations. We need to put the focus back on working for the community and ensuring that our students are getting the best education and resources to maximize their future success.