As a mom of three young Scottsdale Unified School District students who has had the pleasure of getting to know Julie Cieniawski while volunteering on a number of SUSD related efforts, I am thrilled to support Julie for a seat on SUSD’s Governing Board.
We know we have challenges ahead, but there is also so much good happening in our schools throughout our large district. The versatility, dedication, and perseverance shown by our teachers, staff, and admin as they plan and deliver in this daunting environment of change and uncertainty is nothing short of breathtaking. The devotion and adaptability of our kids and families are equally impressive.
With three open seats, this election lets us build a balanced governing board that draws strength from a diverse set of experiences and expertise. Julie’s candidacy gives us the opportunity to include the valuable insights of a career SUSD teacher and parent, an unsubstitutable perspective for good decision making.
Board decisions informed by her time spent in the classroom will reflect themselves in learning and work environments that benefit kids and support teachers. And our community will be rewarded with the teacher talent this type of district environment attracts. That’s good for all of us.
SUSD has seen its share of challenges in the past. Julie has been here through its ups and its downs. In fact, I first saw Julie shortly before officially meeting her, at a school board meeting years ago. With courage and determination, she spoke up for the good of our community when it was necessary.
I couldn’t help but be moved by her obvious love for our students and our schools. She is not a complain-from-the-sidelines candidate. She has a demonstrated history of active support and commitment to improving our schools as a teacher, a parent, a volunteer, and an advocate for public education.
As we now see schools work to reopen and stay open while continuing to provide distance learning, we are reminded of the key role our schools play tying our community together. As we’ve looked to each other to navigate this time of newness and unpredictability, connections have formed between schools and among families and teachers and community members that would otherwise not have.
It is truly heartening and hopeful. While these new connections may have formed out of necessity, a leader with Julie’s experience and wisdom can seize the opportunity to maintain and build upon them.
She has a natural ability to inspire those around her to join her in her important work, and that kind of community engagement is critical for maintaining successful schools.
Not unexpectedly, the stress of current circumstances has led to some strain in our community. For this reason, it is especially important to look to leaders who are able to work from a place of common ground as we move forward.
I trust Julie to address these temporary sources of division with compassion and an open mind while not losing sight of our bigger long-term goals, the pursuit of a strong community of public schools where all kids are supported and celebrated. We will always have our differences, and that’s a good thing.
With leaders like Julie to help guide us, those differences and disagreements and the process of working them out in a setting of democratically governed schools will ultimately give strength to our community for our shared and lasting benefit.
I hope you will join me in voting for Julie, a demonstrated leader, devoted educator, and passionate advocate for all students.
Editor’s Note: Brehan King is an SUSD parent and works as an Anesthesiologist.