Local Opinion: Voters face critical decision with Catalina Foothills school board
Today's Arizona Daily Star includes an opinion piece from former Governing Board members Mary Lou Richerson and Sherri Silverberg. They implore voters to "become highly informed, choose wisely, and support continued excellence in our next governing board" and to "thoughtfully consider our endorsements". They go on to say: "Three candidates, Amy Bhola, Amy Krauss, and Gina Mehmert, have the necessary extensive history of involvement and institutional knowledge in District 16. Their three opponents do not."
The full article is included below.
Voters face critical decision with Catalina Foothills school board
The Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) community faces a critical decision this November as it elects three members to the five-member Catalina Foothills Governing Board.
Make no mistake, electing a majority of the governing board will set the tone and trajectory of District 16 for years to come. District 16’s accomplishments and successes have been nothing short of remarkable over many decades. This is not due to coincidence. The winning formula has been a highly informed and supportive community that values excellent education for all our children, combined with phenomenal students, and dedicated parents, educators, staff, and administrators guided by an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated governing board.
We ask that our community once again become highly informed, choose wisely, and support continued excellence in our next governing board. We have done our due diligence and ask that you thoughtfully consider our endorsements. As former CFSD Governing Board members, with a combined five terms totaling 20 years of experience, we welcome an opportunity to share our perspectives with our community on this important election.
Although coming from different professions, we brought shared similarities to our board terms: long-term district residents and parents; years of classroom volunteer service; district council and committee memberships; leadership in district organizations. This foundation of institutional knowledge, traditional in District 16 Governing Board members, is indispensable in enabling a new board member to be effective and excellent from day one.
There are six candidates for three open governing board positions. Three candidates Amy Bhola, Amy Krauss, and Gina Mehmert (their platform is at www.thrive4cfsd.org) have the necessary extensive history of involvement and institutional knowledge in District 16. Their three opponents do not.
Incumbents Amy Bhola and Amy Krauss each have been district residents for over 20 years and both are parents of CFSD graduates. They both have served as governing board president twice in their tenure. Amy Bhola’s experience as a teacher and Amy Krauss’ experience as an attorney, coupled with their extensive district volunteer service in the classroom and on Family Faculty Organization (FFO) and CFSD Foundation Boards have provided them the background and knowledge for their governing board work in setting direction, policy, and goals for CFSD. Their exemplary work has resulted in many district accomplishments including:
No. 1 School District in Arizona four years in a row
No. 1 Overall Passing Rate on AzM2 (formerly AzMERIT) for last four years for all K-12 unified school districts
Arizona’s #1 Comprehensive, Non-selective High School
97.5% Graduation Rate
90% College attendance rate
Among highest real estate values in Tucson
Gina Mehmert, 13-year district resident, parent of both a CFSD graduate and a current student, has been volunteering for each of the 13 years at all school levels. Gina assumed the leadership role of FFO president for multiple years at the middle-school level. In 2019, Gina was awarded the CFSD Super Volunteer Award by the governing board for her remarkable volunteer work in CFSD. Gina’s district leadership, volunteer experiences, and dedication to excellence provide a strong foundation to assume the role of governing board member. This foundation, combined with her professional expertise in collaboration, marketing, and strategic planning, will make Gina an excellent governing board member in CFSD.
The tradition of District 16 educational excellence will be well served in the hands of these three candidates. It is without hesitation, and with gratitude for their willingness to serve our community, that we strongly endorse and ask you to join us in voting for Amy Bhola, Amy Krauss, and Gina Mehmert for the Catalina Foothills Governing Board.