Keck: SUSD Governing Board needs management expertise

Posted 2/7/22

The Scottsdale Unified School District is a large organization, with 22,000 students, 3,000 employees, 29 schools, and nearly a half a billion dollar annual budget.

The Governing Board, through …

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Keck: SUSD Governing Board needs management expertise


The Scottsdale Unified School District is a large organization, with 22,000 students, 3,000 employees, 29 schools, and nearly a half a billion dollar annual budget.

The Governing Board, through the superintendent, oversees all district operations, including but not limited to such things as:

  • Operations (Everything related to the core business of educating students)
  • Personnel
  • Finance/Accounting
  • Facilities Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer Relations (parents, businesses, community members, etc.)
  • Information Technology
  • Data Collection/Analysis
  • Marketing/Public Relations
  • Legal

Given this, ask yourself “What expertise will the new SUSD Governing Board (seated in January 2023) have in the management of large-scale organizations?”

The three incumbents will include a teacher/union president (never a principal/manager), a college chemistry teacher, and a stockbroker/individual investment adviser.

Two new board members will be seated from the November 2022 election. The conservative candidates for the two open positions include an author/speaker, a life coach, and myself.

I believe I am the most uniquely qualified to oversee a large educational operation as I have both significant macro-level management experience and significant experience in the educational sector.

I managed $100 million-$300 million businesses for Kraft Foods and The NutraSweet Company. I led multi-disciplinary teams including personnel responsible for research and development, product and packaging design, engineering, production, distribution, marketing research, pricing, advertising, sales, financial analysis, and legal counsel.

I was responsible for establishing strategic plans, setting goals, asking the right questions, and holding team members accountable for delivering results on time and within budget.

My MBA from the University of Chicago (one of the top business schools in the country) with majors in both finance and marketing taught me the analytical, strategic thinking, and leadership skills to be successful in any industry.

I also have significant experience in the educational sector. In addition to all the typical PTO/Booster Club activities, for which I received two district-level distinguished volunteer awards, I have undertaken substantive endeavors including:

  • Being an educational entrepreneur (see DreamRoads.com).
  • Providing academic enrichment programs to schools.
  • Creating community partnerships to support schools.
  • Serving as a Board member for a non-profit providing high-quality education and academic programming to under-resourced youth.
  • Member of the Arizona Business and Education Coalition, a statewide collaboration between business and education leaders with the goal of creating a superior public education system in Arizona.

I’ve worked extensively with homeless students, have gifted and Special Ed experience, and I have mentored more at-risk students than I can count.

SUSD has struggled recently to deliver on its primary function — educating our youth. The District had poor academic results pre-Covid (For example, only 46% of high school students were proficient in reading, math, and science), worse now with Covid, and has lost +10% of its students since 2015-2016 ($31.5 million annually in state funding).

Perhaps this has to do with the Governing Board not having anyone with broad, large-scale managerial experience.

These results make the upcoming school board election critically important.

Even if you do not have children in SUSD, a substantial portion of your property tax dollars fund these schools. Parent of school-age children or empty-nester, ask yourself “Who is best qualified to manage the numerous major functions of a large educational organization?”

The best teams are made up of people with a variety of expertise, experiences, and perspectives. I believe the new Governing Board needs someone with the experience I have to complement contributions from its other members.

Please check out my website, VoteAndreaSUSD.com and follow my Facebook page VoteAndreaSUSD. After reading the details of my platform and background I hope you will agree that I am the candidate best-qualified to bring much-needed management expertise to the SUSD Governing Board.

Editor’s Note: Andrea Keck is seeking candidacy to run for a spot on the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board in the upcoming November 2022 election.