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Wiebke: A quality education is an investment in the future


I am a proud product of Scottsdale Unified School District. I loved school. I learned to value art, music and another language I still use. I felt safe to try things. The first and only time I sang on stage was in high school. I became a teacher because of these experiences. 

My teachers challenged me to think and ask questions. I remember on a field trip, someone asked what the pyramid on top of the mountain was. Our teacher said, “I don’t know. Let’s go find out.” And, like that, the bus made a turn. I have no doubt she knew the answer but wanted us to discover it ourselves.

I went to school at a different time, but what hasn’t and shouldn’t change are the relationships teachers cultivate, exposure to diverse learning opportunities, and encouraging student thinking.

The best thing we can do for our children is expose them to rich experiences so they can find their passions. Those passions bring us scientists, writers, athletes, welders, chefs, doctors and, yes, even teachers. With a small class, I could spend more time cultivating the relationships that foster learning and ensuring each student had what they needed.

I share these stories because the SUSD Maintenance and Operations override election is approaching. It is not a tax increase but a request to continue funding we have approved and are paying. It funds all-day kindergarten, maintains class sizes, provides competitive salaries for teachers and a comprehensive high school curriculum.

Arizona is 48th in school funding and does not adequately cover the cost of a 21st-century education. So, our district is asking us to help. A quality education is an investment in the future of us all and our kids, your kids, are worth it. I want the experiences I had for all children.

A superintendent once said, “The most important work of this district is what happens in the classroom. If we are not lucky enough to do that important work, our job is to support that work.” I will support that work by voting yes on the SUSD Maintenance and Operations override election.