Sunday, September 18, 2016

A New Journey in my Life--An Eventful Week!!!

This past week has been an eventful week for me in many ways. It started out with the kick-off for the campaign on Tuesday night and culminated with all of the signs being distributed and put up around the community. I can't begin to thank people for their willingness to help in my campaign. I have been so touched by former students, teachers, and parents from Gilbert El and former students who were in my class when I taught many years ago, and many others that I have been fortunate to know through the years. So many people have reached out to help that it would take pages and pages to thank everyone. I will figure out a way, though. 

I know this may be a bit long, but I have had some time to think today about the many years that I have spent in education. I was so fortunate to have incredible mentors through the years like Leona Shreve, Wally Delecki, Paul Huston, and Brad Barrett. I also learned a lot from incredible Board Members like Don Skousen, Elaine Morrison, Myrna Sheppard, Julia McCleve, EJ Anderson, Susie Horvath in Gilbert. I had the privilege of working with some incredible board members in Douglas when I was the superintendent. Thank you to Susan Kramer, Dr. Ed Gomez, Mario Ramos, Chuck Hoyack, and Mike Ortega who taught me a lot during my five years there. I am hoping I haven't left anyone out. If I did, I apologize.

 And one of the best parts, is the people I have met recently on this journey. I have met with so many community members over the last few months and I so appreciate getting to know these dedicated community members. I believe that we should always do what is best for the children, not for the convenience of the adults. And I hope that I will have that opportunity for the next four years.

The one really good thing is that I respect the other candidates who are running and I know that all of them have the best interests of the children. And that is refreshing!! So thank you to all who have supported me. And to anyone else out there, if you have ANY questions of me, please contact me! Again, I am touched by what has happened in the last week. THANK YOU!!!

A Memorable Gift!

In the 1990's, Gilbert El was involved in an incredible program called Hands Across the Border. It was an exchange program between us and a school in Nacozari, Sonora. Each year, we would take around 25 4th, 5th and 6th graders for three days to visit. The Nacozari kids would then come up to Gilbert.

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, it became increasingly difficult to continue this wonderful program.  Because of the attacks, new requirements were instituted for people from other countries coming into the U.S.  I totally understand why that was done, but it became cost prohibitive for our Sonoran friends to obtain the necessary paperwork to get their visas.  As a result, we had to stop participating in HATB.   That was a sad decision that had to be made.   I loved this program because of what it taught our children, not just the ones who traveled, but our whole school when the kids from Nacozari came to visit Gilbert El.  It was a total school community event.

Hands Across the Border was a joint effort of the states of Arizona and Sonora and many schools throughout Arizona participated.   I do not believe that it is in existence anymore because of the requirements. 

One of our wonderful parents who went with us one of the years, Roni Vikwr Kortuem-Ross, painted a picture of the church by the school. I believe we gave it to them one year when we were down there. I always loved the picture and she made this copy for me. My photo doesn't do it justice! Thank you, Roni!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Politics Shouldn't Be Ugly!

A few years ago, I attended the Arizona School Board Association Conference where Sandra Day O'Connor was the keynote speaker. She spoke of the time when she was in the Arizona Legislature when they would disagree during the day, but get together in the evening as friends. She talked about differences of opinions being just that and not interfering with friendships. They would argue during the day, but have a barbecue at night and get together. 

My cousin, Tony Gabaldon, was a state senator for 20 years from Flagstaff and he was one of the legislators during that time. I remember having many conversations with him during this time. He died in 1998 and he was an amazing advocate for Arizona. 

When I heard the news about the death of Rose Mofford and read the article in the Arizona Republic about her life, I remembered that there were times when we could all work together for the common good no matter what our political differences were. My mom was a friend of Rose's. They worked together at the state in the 40's. I have fond memories of times that I was able to get to know her. 

What has happened in our society that we can't work together any more and that we criticize each other for our beliefs? My hope is that we as Americans can put aside our differences and work together for the common good. We have an amazing country made up of so many different people. And that is what makes the USA great. I am proud that my mom was a friend of Rose Mofford's and that era is missed. We all need to reflect on where we want to go as a state and as a country. And here is a picture of my Rose Mofford watch!!