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Candidate Questionnaire: Gina Mehmert speaks with Arizona Daily Star

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

At the invitation of the Arizona Daily Star, Gina Mehmert submitted these responses to their candidate questionnaire. As the Daily Star writes: "To give voters a better sense of who is on the Nov. 8 ballot, the Star sent a brief questionnaire to candidates for local, state, and federal offices. Their responses, unedited and as submitted to the Star, are in the collection below." You can find all of the responses on the Daily Star's website. Gina Mehmert's responses are below.

2022 elections: Candidate questionnaire: Gina Mehmert for Catalina Foothills School District Governing Board

Basic biographical information:

Name: Gina Mehmert

Office they are seeking: Catalina Foothills School District Governing Board

Age: 51

City of residence: Tucson

Occupation: Head of Global Marketing Operations with AWS (a division of Amazon)

Education: I hold a BSc in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and an MBA in International Marketing from the University of Bristol (UK).

Previous elected office: n/a

Other relevant qualifications: 13 years as a classroom and campus volunteer with our CFSD schools, including three years as President of Orange Grove Middle School’s Family Faculty Organization (FFO) and one year as Past President. Corporate professional development courses including “Activating Strategy and Culture” and “Advocating Gender Equity and Inclusion”

1. What do you see as the most important issue to address and how would you address it?

We face many issues, including voucher expansion, post-pandemic learning recovery, a national teacher shortage, and more. I look forward to partnering with my colleagues to mitigate these risks. I also look forward to progressing other goals, including advocating for more mental health support for our students and faculty; fostering an inclusive environment for students, teachers, and staff; and renewing and strengthening the relationship between the board and our community.

With that said, one of the most pressing issues we face is the need to continue to innovate our curriculum. Per the World Economic Forum, 85% of the jobs available in 2030 don’t even exist yet. This means that almost all of our students currently in middle school will be entering a job market that today we can’t even envision. Thus, it’s crucially important for us to recognize our responsibility not only to provide an innovative curriculum but also to develop our students as critical thinkers, social and emotional learners, and extraordinary problem solvers. This is why ongoing curriculum innovation and technology investment are so important.

The Governing Board plays a pivotal role in this. School Board members are responsible for approving curriculum materials and as such they play an important role in curriculum development. Within CFSD, we have a strong track record of developing an innovative curriculum that gives every learner the opportunity to thrive. Curriculum changes and additions are available to the public for review and comment before adoption.

Our Board’s prioritization on curriculum innovation is evident across all of our eight schools. Examples include Chinese and Spanish immersion, K-12 robotics, AP classes, award-winning fine arts, and computer science. Even so, I see great opportunity here for continued innovation. I look forward to bringing my experience - spanning 25 years with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including HP, GE, and AWS - to help identify additional ways we can prepare our students for life beyond Catalina Foothills School District.

2. Why should voters choose you, rather than other candidates?

I’m a district mom, a dedicated school volunteer, and a marketing professional. I'm naturally a collaborator, a communicator, and an inspirational leader.

My professional experience and my experience as a dedicated school volunteer ensure I’m well prepared to serve on the school board. During my career, I've held marketing leadership roles with global brands like HP and GE. I’ve gained experience relevant to serving on our school board, including working with Boards of Directors to set goals, track progress, and foster accountability. My career has also enabled me to learn how to bring together diverse perspectives to find common ground.

Additionally, I have significant experience as a dedicated volunteer with our CFSD schools, starting when our oldest son began kindergarten 13 years ago. After many years as a classroom volunteer, I shifted my focus to Orange Grove Middle School’s Family Faculty Organization and was President for three years followed by a year as Past President.

I’m running together with Amy Bhola and Amy Krauss for CFSD’s Governing Board because I believe every student deserves an equal opportunity to thrive - regardless of race or ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, zip code, or physical or academic ability. My goal as a future school board member is to help foster an inclusive environment in each of our schools - an environment where every student, every parent, every teacher, and every staff member feels seen, heard, and engaged.

Our three opponents are endorsed by Purple for Parents, which is a spinoff of Patriot Movement AZ, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center designates a hate group. On their original website, they promised to “abandon diversity, equity and inclusion” and “refocus capital (to) students who reside within the Catalina Foothills school district” - effectively defunding open enrolment students (see Internet Archive.) Since then, they have scrubbed their website and added a statement saying they welcome everyone to CFSD. This strikes me as disingenuous given their previous statements and their allegiance to Purple for Parents’ platform (as stated in Desert Leaf’s October edition).

Electing me, Amy Bhola, and Amy Krauss will ensure our district continues to thrive - for all students. We are the #1 non-selective district in the state. Our students excel not only academically but also artistically and athletically. I look forward to bringing my experience and dedication to the CFSD Governing Board as we work together to continue to fulfill our mission.

3. Could you please provide a list of the people and organizations that have endorsed you?

I have not sought political endorsements because school district governing board elections are non-partisan. However, LD18 Democrats is supporting a number of non-partisan school board candidates, including my slate (Amy Bhola, Amy Krauss, and Gina Mehmert). Endorsements by our 100+ individual supporters are listed on our campaign website, which is updated regularly. I also encourage readers to watch the many video testimonials we’ve received at

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