Metropolitan Education Commission candidate forum for Pima County School Superintendent



    Metropolitan Education Commission sponsored candidate forum, along w/ LWVGT and other groups (see below).  Democrat Dustin Williams just won the Arizona primary for this Pima County seat for School Superintendent, and will now face off against Republican Margaret Buckholder in the General. Burkholder ran unsuccessfully for Ward 4 Council seat last year and has served on the Vail Unified School District Board for 12 years. Williams is a political newcomer.

    Forum will be in the Amethyst Room at PCC Downtown.

    candidate Margaret Burkhodler
    Margaret Burkholder
    Dustin Williams
    Dustin Williams






    Info on this job:

    “This is co-sponsored with the Metropolitan Education Commission, and will be held from 6 to 7:30 PM on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.  The event will be at the downtown campus of Pima Community College, 1255 N. Stone Avenue. (Because of ongoing construction on Stone, entrances to that parking lot may be inaccessible. Other entrances for parking are located at the north lot off Drachman Street, or the west lot off Speedway Boulevard and Queen Street.)

    Other debate partners include the Tucson Metro Chamber, the Arizona School Boards Association, the Arizona School Administrators, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, and the Tucson Education Association. This debate is an opportunity for the community to listen to and ask questions of the candidates; no RSVPs are needed.”

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


      • Not sure if this forum was taped, but I’ll ask the Metropolitan Education Commission E.D. Will post the video if I can locate one. Thanks.

    1. Over 125 people in attendance tonight. Both candidates gave opening statements then answered 4 prepared questions: how plan to fulfill requirements of district governing boards & improve student performance; greatest challenge facing School Superintendent; how achieve meaningful relationship with charter/home/private schools; what programs would be created to enhance services & benefits to area educators?Then each candidate asked the other questions. DW asked about her vision for juvenile court system students and how insure that she would represent all kids in Pima County, not just Vail District students. MB asked of DW’s experience for the Supe job and how the Mayor of Tucson was the “Mecca of Education” (as previously stated by DW). Audience questions were diverse: philosophy on early childhood education; how persuade Gov. Ducey that Prop. 123 was only 1st step; position on Common Core; how new ESSA legislation used to improve education in Arizona; accountability of charter schools; would either appoint to School Board without partisan considerations; how address #1 problem that business leaders not finding qualified workers; position on foreign languages; how work with 17 School District Superintendents; who sets focus & agenda for education lobbyists; and are online courses paid for by the school districts? Question only for MB, in what aspect is Vail School District #1?
      Attending tonight:Linda Arzoumanian, current Pima County School Superintendent; Mark Hanna, PCC Governing Board; Eva Carillo Dong, SUSD Board, LD 2 House. Rep. Chris Ackerley; Dr. Mary Belle McCorkle, former TUSD Bd. member; candidate Brian Bickel, D 1 Pima County Supevisor; Lori Riegel & Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, TUSD Board candidates; former House. Rep. Ted Downing.

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