In the November election there are four candidates vying for three seats on the Deer Valley Unified School District governing board.
The three seats are currently held by Jenny Frank, Ann Ordway and Darcy Tweedy.
According to the Office of the Maricopa School Superintendent, the candidates are: Kim Fisher, Melody Holehan-Kopas, Ann Ordway and Jennie Paperman.
The Glendale Independent will feature each candidate who has chosen to participate in our questionnaires leading up to the election.
Register to vote here.
Get to know Ms. Fisher here:
Name: Kim Fisher
Education: Bachelor of Science in Technical Management – Human Resources; Master of Accounting and Finance Management
Political experience: Prior service on the DVUSD Governing Board, LD20 Precinct Committeemen
Years as an Arizona resident: 30 Years
Family: Husband, three biological children, three step children, three grandkids
What are the three most important issues facing your district?: Transparency, class size, and enrollment decline
How will you address budgetary issues facing the district?: We will have to see exactly the state of the budget once kids are back to school. While there are grants to help with budget continuity at this time, it most likely will not continue into the next year. I believe any adjustments, if needed, should be as far from the classroom and students as possible.
What resources are needed to ensure safe, healthy schools during the pandemic and how will you advocate for those resources?: Just as during the H1N1 virus in the 2009-10 school year, there are some basic processes that can make the school environment safer in regards to illness while still maintaining a positive learning environment. I believe it is important to implement similar processes and strive for a positive environment. These included cleaning protocols, adjustments to lunch and recess, and stay home when sick policies. Currently the district should be applying for the federal grants to assist with what is needed for the higher level of cleaning and PPE, however, if there is a need, we should look at our self-insured trusts as a resource as many districts did in 2009.
What will you do to ensure schools will not become overcrowded, and how will you try to alleviate overcrowding at schools already at capacity?: We will have to see where we are as the schools open. Last year the district had an overall increase in enrollment, but there was a decline in the high school population. Currently, enrollment is down over 4 percent. All adjustments should be in partnership with the community to ensure positive transitions if needed.
How will you deal with inequities and other systemic barriers that keep low-income students and students of color from thriving? How will you strive for equity in the school system?: All students must be provided the opportunity and supports to thrive in their education. As a district we must evaluate our systems and ensure that all are being served in accordance with their need. We must also work to review our data for any disparities to any population and address issues. I believe at this time for DVUSD this should include a review of the discipline data for each school. I also believe that as a system it is our job to teach students academics. We should not have anything that pushes prejudice of any group. Prejudice is taught. We need to teach that it is wrong against anyone!
What ideas do you have for retaining teachers in the district?: Currently we need to ensure that we are partnering with universities to ensure we support the teaching profession overall. Internally we need to address concerns of all teachers having a voice, inequities in compensation, and address systemic bullying. I believe that our first step is a full evaluation of our total compensation. This work must be done with input from all of our teachers should they elect to provide input.