Public Education in Tucson and Pima County: What’s Next?

     Sarah Garrecht Gassen of the Arizona Daily Star will moderate a panel discussion on public education in Tucson and Pima County with representatives from the Metropolitan Education Commission, Strong Start Tucson, Arizona State School Superintendent’s Office (Arizona Department of Education), Southern Arizona Leadership Council and First Things First.

    Catherine Tornbom from the Center for Community Dialogue, a program ofOur Family Services, will lead a facilitated community conversation among participants with the center’s corps of neutral facilitators.

    Community Forum
    Public Education in Tucson & Pima County: What’s Next?

    Monday, March 26, 2018
    Randolph North Golf Course, Copper Room
    600 S. Alvernon Way
    6:00 – 8:00 pm

    Hosted by Ward 6 Council Member
    Steve Kozachik

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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).


    1. Over 100 people at this forum, welcomed first by Councilman Steve K and Sarah Garrett Gassen of AZ Daily Star. Arlene from MEC spoke of their advocacy efforts, for K – 12 education; Ricky about Arizona’s school financing and low teacher pay (formerly w/ School Supe office); Ted from SALC for the business collaboration; Jessica from First Things First about preschool education, and Penelope from Strong Start Tucson also on early childhood education success. Then the audience broke up into community dialogue groups of 5 to 8 each, to discuss questions on primary benefit of public ed, key issues supporting it, primary obstacles, actions/strategies to address these issues and obstacles. About 16 groups reported back with various ideas/suggestions/input for improving & supporting public education in Arizona. These are to be shared with a group? seeking next course of action via the Star. Stay tuned. Present tonight: Pima County School Supe Dustin Williams, TUSD board member Kristel Foster, Councilmen Steve K (Ward 6) and Paul Durham (Ward 3), Rep. Kirsten Engel (LD 10 House), and candidates Mary Matiella (CD 2 House), JP Martin (LD 9 House), Leila Counts (TUSD board).


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