Good Schools are an important fabric of our greater community. With good schools, we have lower crime rates, better jobs and property values are sustained. I will work diligently with the other members of the Governing Board of the Tempe Union High School District to ensure we have good schools and strengthen our families and our community.
There are two specific areas I want to improve in our high schools. First, we must do better in helping students at a younger age engage in discussions of future career avenues. One area of my focus will be vocational education and delivery of those opportunities. All my adult children attended and have graduated from college. But, I also recognize that not all teenagers are not college bound, and that there are many worthy careers that do not require a college degree. In America’s evolving economy, there are great jobs in various areas including computer coding, medical care, construction, robotics, automotive, cosmetology, public safety and firefighting. I believe we do not provide enough discussion and encouragement for such careers. I would work with the administration to come up with programs to discuss such vocational educational opportunities in the sophomore and junior years. Waiting until the senior year to have these discussions is too late. We can do better.
Second, many of our community has been impacted with teenage suicide. This topic is very personal to our family as two of our daughters had friends commit suicide within the past few years. Last year alone, there were some 34 teenage suicides in the greater East Valley area. I have worked on this issue through the Mental Health and Wellness Committee of our District. From what I have learned, I believe we need to evaluate our resources and develop a matrix for delivery of counseling and emotional wellness. I would work with the community, administration and our staff to ensure resources are properly allocated, direct lines of responsibilities are set, and our counselors have the support they need.