Rhoden: family responsibilities force me from continuing Scottsdale school board race

These past few months since announcing my candidacy for SUSD Governing Board have been a tremendous opportunity to see exactly how important public education is to the people of Scottsdale.

Dr. Stuart Rhoden

The passion, fervor and commitment demonstrated not just by our remarkable teachers and educators, but also parents and other stakeholders has been overwhelming. Unfortunately, the past few months have also been a tremendous stressor on me because of family issues.

After having spent several weeks last month back in my hometown of Chicago finalizing the affairs of a family member, I have decided, with great disappointment that because of personal family matters, I must forgo running for school board, at this time.

I am deeply humbled by the support I have received, and the people who agree with my premise that it is of critical importance that we have an educator on our school board. Only with the perspective of someone who has been in the classroom at the school-site level, can we begin to move our district forward.

As we enter the 2018-19 school year, it is my hope that we can begin to heal from the divisions and diversions that have taken our eyes off our main goals — educating all students equitably so that they may be their best academic selves and giving teachers the autonomy and resources, they need to help make the first goal possible.

I will continue in my role as a commissioner on the Human Relations Commission, and hope to foster a more positive community in the city through two new initiatives; Scottsdale for All and what is now being called “Dinner & Dialogue,” which seeks to create an intimate atmosphere around a meal to discuss the challenging issues of how to improve diversity and inclusion in our city.

Lastly, I will continue to be a strong advocate for public education in our city and beyond. I will still be visible in the community attending education meetings and speaking out to promote educational equity and social justice.

We must continue to hold the Board accountable for financial mismanagement, but also educational mismanagement. I look forward to working with community groups, educators and others to make SUSD the best school district in the state. #OneSUSD

Editor’s note: Dr. Rhoden is a resident of Scottsdale and member of the Human Relations Commission

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