Scottsdale teacher announces 2018 run to Arizona Senate

Christine Porter Marsh (photo by SUSD)

Longtime Scottsdale Unified School District high school English teacher — and 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year — Christine Porter Marsh has announced her run for a seat at the Arizona Senate.

Vying for a spot in legislative district 28 with the Democratic Party, Ms. Marsh formally announced her campaign at a 2:35 p.m. event Tuesday, May 23 at Chaparral High School, the location she has taught school for over 20 years.

“The bottom line is what’s happening for our students is not working — it’s simply not working,” Ms. Marsh said in a May 22 phone interview.

“I’ve spent a lot of hours at the capitol over the past couple of years, and what’s happening is a disservice to our students, to my students, all public school students.”

Legislative district 28 is represented by republican Kate Brophy McGee. The general election will be November 2018, and each representative is elected to a two-year term. The district spans from the I-17, east to Scottsdale Road, encompassing Arizona State Route 51 and the Phoenix Mountains from Bell Road to Thomas Road.

“I think it’s time for teachers in general to take a far more active role than they have been doing, so I’m going to walk the walk,” Ms. Marsh explained.

“Teachers have been so overwhelmed by class sizes that are too big, pay that is too little, too small, but despite that we can no longer close our doors and teach.”

Ms. Marsh says her main goal is to tackle anything that funnels public money into private hands.

“That reaches pretty far and wide, and public school education just happens to be at the top of that list,” she said.

Ms. Marsh has lived in the Scottsdale area since the age of 8, and graduated from SUSD before attending UCLA.

In 2016, she was awarded the Arizona Educational Foundation’s annual Teacher of the Year award, which provided Ms. Marsh with a platform to advocate for students and the education profession. Additionally, she visited the White House and met President Barack Obama.

“I’ve been doing some serious soul searching for the past seven or eight weeks,” Ms. Marsh explained. “Once I made the decision, then I did want to do it this week because even though I can not talk about it, nor have I at all, I did want students and my current colleagues to somehow be able to participate.”

This week also marks the end of Ms. Marsh’s tenure with SUSD, as she accepted a new position at Cactus Shadows High School in the Cave Creek Unified School District for the 2017-18 school year.

More information on Ms. Marsh’s campaign can be found at Christine Porter Marsh for Arizona, on Facebook.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be e-mailed at mfittro@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/melissafittro.

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