Shapiro: I want my children to be part of this

The old sentiment about Scottsdale’s public schools is alive and well. It’s being echoed across our community.

Gary Shapiro

It says, “I want my children to be part of this.”

That’s the sentiment that was the magnet for families to live within Scottsdale’s attendance boundaries. It was the driving force for parental and business support for our public schools.
It’s what made us special.

It’s alive and well again today. I saw and heard it at the school board meeting on Jan. 15th.
Two new board members started their term of office.

Newly elected Patty Beckman is our new president. She’s bright and talented and brings a contagious energy level to our schools. Newly elected Jann-Michael Greenburg is highly educated and has a passion for making a difference in the lives of our students.

It was refreshing to see them in action. Along with their other colleagues, they asked strategic and effective questions of the administration and staff.

Our children are in the capable hands of Acting Superintendent John Kriekard and his leadership team. Together, they have their act together and bring a focus and a calming, respectful style to the table.

If you were at the meeting or watched the video, you witnessed the results of our community’s dedication to educating our youth. Student achievements and successes were celebrated. Teachers and staff were recognized for their own accomplishments including some national recognition. Plans were reviewed to improve our facilities.

As a longtime advocate for our public schools, I was delighted to hear our teachers will get pay raises, we’re competing well with other districts, we’re excelling in many areas, and we can expect a balanced budget.

School districts will never be without challenges. Arizona’s funding formula is inadequate and public school alternatives skim off some of our most prized and easily educated students.

If you haven’t been to a school board meeting lately, I invite you to attend. If you haven’t been in one of our neighborhood schools for a while, please make an appointment to visit and talk to our talented and dedicated professionals.

You’ll be impressed. A smile will come across your face and don’t be surprised if you get a little teary eyed when you see how much of an impact we’re making on the lives of our most treasured asset, our kids.

Editor’s note: Mr. Shapiro is a Scottsdale Charro and longtime advocate for the community of Scottsdale

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