Education

County superintendent appoints Dr. Dennis Dowling to Litchfield elementary district board

The board was left vacant following the resignation of Dr. Tara Armstead in August

Posted 11/3/21

The empty seat on the Litchfield Elementary School District governing board has been filled, after a two-month search by Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson. 

Dr. Dennis Downling will …

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Education

County superintendent appoints Dr. Dennis Dowling to Litchfield elementary district board

The board was left vacant following the resignation of Dr. Tara Armstead in August

Posted

The empty seat on the Litchfield Elementary School District governing board has been filled, after a two-month search by Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson. 

Dr. Dennis Dowling will round out the five-member board, which was left vacant following the resignation of Dr. Tara Armstead in late August. 

While school board members are typically elected by voters, the county superintendent has the option to appoint a board member when seats are left vacant mid-term. 

Voters will decide if Dowling remains on the board when his term expires in November 2022. 

He joins LESD board President Danielle Clymer, and board members Jeremy Hoenack,  Kimberly Moran and Melissa Zuidema. 

Dowling was chosen from a pool of five other candidates: Teddy Castro, Sandra Creta, Ren Fahey, Ryan Owens and Michele Wallace. 

He did not appear alongside Creta, Fahey and Wallace at a candidate Q&A session that took place September 30 in the Litchfield Elementary School cafeteria. 

"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Dowling to our stellar organization,” LESD Superintendent Jodi Gunning said in a statement. “His breadth of knowledge and experience will surely bolster our efforts to help our 11,000 students thrive at school and in life."

Dowling’s biography on the LESD governing board website states that he has “served Arizona school children for more than two decades as a classroom teacher and administrator,” and that he “has more than 40 years of visionary leadership in the military, government, private business and public education at all levels.”

READ:  Litchfield school district board member resigns after five months

Dowling’s LinkedIn shows that he has worked as an educational consultant at The Learning Tree Consulting Group since 2012. 

In 2014, Dowling was a candidate for superintendent of the Nogales Unified School District. 

At that time, Dowling was a resident of Litchfield Park, according to news reports. The superintendent position was ultimately filled by Nogales-native Fernando Parra. 

His wife, Dr. Sandra Dowling, served as Maricopa County School Superintendent for 20 years, but left her position when she was charged with 25 felonies, related to misuse of public funds and bid-rigging.

The charges were mainly dismissed, but Dowling did plead guilty in 2008 to violating employment law by hiring her daughter to work for the Maricopa County School District in 1999. 

The misdemeanor charge carried a sentence of four months probation. 

In 2009, she sued the board of supervisors and then-Maricopa County Sherrif Joe Arpaio for malicious prosecution. She was awarded $250,000 in 2013. 

In 2016, Sandra Dowling was among 58 Republican delegates from Arizona in favor of Donald Trump. Both Sandra and Dennis Dowling are Marine Corps veterans.

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