Opinion

Keck: My ballot statement for Scottsdale school board

Posted 10/11/22

Apparently the statements written by each candidate for the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board will not be published in the hard-copy informational booklet mailed to voters about the …

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Opinion

Keck: My ballot statement for Scottsdale school board

Posted

Apparently the statements written by each candidate for the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board will not be published in the hard-copy informational booklet mailed to voters about the SUSD election.

I’m greatly disappointed to learn this, as it makes it harder for voters to be informed about the differences among the candidates. So here is a copy of the statement I had submitted.

I have one objective: to see every child maximize their potential and graduate with the academic and life skills needed to succeed in their next chapter. This is my passion.

My focus:

1. Academics

SUSD’s number one job is to educate. I’m the only candidate who from the very beginning has had improving academics as their first priority, and has a concrete plan for doing so. I was the first candidate to demand any academic accountability for SUSD’s superintendent.
SUSD results are unacceptable:

  •  Pre-COVID 54% of high-schoolers weren’t proficient in English, math, and science
  •  40% of 3rd-8th graders aren’t proficient in English or math
  •  SUSD ranks 6th of 10 suburban districts in 10th grade math

We must do better.

2. Safety

A student recently was inside Arcadia H.S. with a gun in his backpack. We must secure campuses to keep students/staff safe

3. Parental rights/transparency

I adamantly oppose political and sexual indoctrination; and divisive, identity-based curricula. These topics don’t belong in schools and take time from academics. Schools assist, but cannot supersede, parents in raising children.

Parents have the right to know everything their minor children experience.

4. Fiscal responsibility

I’ll prioritize spending on core subjects, reduce overhead/waste, spend tax dollars wisely producing good return on investment.

Why me?

I’m the most qualified candidate in this race, with top-tier schooling and 30+ years of both significant business and education experience. Proven community leader — founding member of the team that produced the most significant citizens’ victory in Scottsdale’s recent history (preventing development in the Sonoran Preserve).

  •  BS Business, Top 1%, Indiana University. MBA, University of Chicago, majors in Finance and Marketing
  •  Six children/grandchildren, combined 65-years of public-school education
  •  Scottsdale resident 25 years
  •  Managed $100 million-$300 million businesses for Kraft Foods and NutraSweet.
  •  Educational entrepreneur: wrote curriculum for, taught, and coached over 1,000 7th-12th students
  •  Gifted and Special Ed experience
  •  Eight years at Pappas Schools, entire enrollment homeless children
  •  Seven years board of BoysHopeGirlsHope Arizona
  •  Established numerous community partnerships supporting schools
  •  Mentored countless at-risk students

SUSD has 21,000 students, 3,000+ employees, 29 facilities, a $463 million budget. We desperately need a board member who’s run large-scale enterprises.

Beyond just one issue, a board member must: improve academics; oversee the superintendent; do detailed financial analyses; address school safety, declining enrollment, teacher retention, real-estate; etc. No other candidate has the skill set to manage all these issues.

Good teams are made up of people with different perspectives and expertise. I’ll bring complementary, not duplicative, assets to the board.

Eighty-five percent of Scottsdale residents don’t have K-12 children. All pay taxes. I’ll be a strong advocate for “empty nesters.”

Education should be a non-partisan issue. I’m steadfastly independent. Not managed or endorsed by any political organizations (as all of the other candidates are); I’m beholden to no one. My only loyalties are to students, staff, parents, and taxpayers.

SUSD’s blessed with dedicated teachers/staff, involved parents, extensive academic and extracurricular programs. However we’re failing our most important task: to educate. I’d be honored to work for you, and for all of Scottsdale’s children, to remedy this.

“Just Check Keck.” Vote only for Andrea Keck.