Christine Marsh returns to home district of Scottsdale Schools

Christine Marsh, a longtime English teacher at Chaparral High School, is returning to Scottsdale Unified School District to teach.

Christine Marsh (File photo)

Ms. Marsh announced via Facebook April 7 her plans to teach at Cheyenne Traditional School starting next school year. She will teach seventh and eighth grade English.

She’s taught at Cactus Shadows High School for the past two school years. Prior to her time at CSHS, Ms. Marsh taught at Chaparral High School for over 20 years and was the 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year. Ms. Marsh has lived in the Scottsdale area since the age of 8, and graduated from SUSD before attending UCLA.

Beyond teaching, Ms. Marsh ran for a seat at the Arizona Senate in the November 2018 election.

Ms. Marsh decided to leave SUSD in May 2017. Her resignation came several months before the district got caught up in a scandal that would last into 2018 and would see the termination of then-Superintendent Denise Birdwell.

She said many teachers could see issues popping up prior to the scandal but no one would listen to them. She said she thought a way to draw some attention was for a teacher of the year to walk.

As time progressed, Ms. Marsh said she watched as SUSD went from one administration to another.

“I am amazed at the progress SUSD has made in rebuilding, which I knew would happen once the (Governing) Board brought on Dr. (John) Kriekard as superintendent,” she said. “I’d like to be a small part of the that continued rebuilding.”

Ms. Marsh will also make the change from high school to middle school. She said this change is because when she started at Cactus Shadows, she taught freshmen, a new endeavor for her.

“I love freshmen. I just adore them and I didn’t expect that,” she said. “I am really eager to check out middle school.”
Ms. Marsh will also be returning to a familiar face as Cheyenne principal Grace Stombres was an assistant principal at Chaparral High School when Ms. Marsh taught there.

Overall, she enjoyed her time in Cave Creek Unified School District, saying it was bitter-sweet leaving an “inspiring and engaging environment for both students and teachers.”

Those in the district reciprocated the feeling.

“Cactus Shadows is going to miss Christine Marsh,” CSHS Principal Jim Swetter said. “She was here for only a short amount of time, but has done a lot of wonderful things for our students. I wish her only the best.”

Heading into the next school year, Ms. Marsh says she has a goal to continue helping children feel valued as she guides them on their journeys as readers, writers and critical thinkers.

She also says she’s happy to do that in a place she feels comfortable.

“SUSD was my home as a student (10 years) and as a teacher (25 years),” she said.

“It feels like it’s safe again to return home.”

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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