Jete White discusses what he would do serving another term on the Pendergast School Board

Pendergast School Board Candidate Jete White

Jete White would like another term on the Pendergast Elementary School Board.

He is currently serving as the Board’s Vice President.

Once a member of Teach for America, Mr. White has been an instructor for eleven years.

He currently teaches Algebra One at Alhambra High School.

If he is reelected, Mr. White will work to:

  • Expand the district magnet academies.
  • Reduce inequity, especially the digital divide.
  • Reduce the counselor to student ratio.
  • Ensure that teachers are well paid and supplied.

Mr. White graciously took the time to discuss his candidacy for the Pendergast School Board.

  • What are your qualifications to serve on the board?

 “Board Member since 2019.”

“Math and Social Studies instructor 11th year teaching.”

“Taught eight years in Elementary and three years in high school (Alhambra.)”

“Certified Principal Masters in Secondary Education.”

“Daughter in the Pendergast Have that lens to look through.”

“Only board member that is both a teacher and has children attending school in the district.”

  • Please tell us three reasons you are running for the school board.
  • “Expansion of Academies like STEAM, Dual Language, Health, Engineering, and Ethnic Studies in enrollment and sustainability and constantly improving those programs.”
  • “Continuing to address equity and make it happen.”
  • “Trajectory for students and staff by quality education for all staff and training and job embeddedness for teachers and staff.”
  • How would you rate the current school board you are running to stay part of and please explain why?

 “I really enjoy working with our board. We have very great perspectives. We have an assistant principal, retired administrator, state senator, and community member (resident.) We are really fortunate that we have three student board members (eighth graders) that attend our community. They do not have a vote but they each represent the schools in the district and are elected to the position.”

  • In your opinion, what are the three most important education issues schools and all stakeholders in the district face?
  • “The digital divide and access to internet and devices.”
  • “Counselor ratio. Need to have increased social and emotional support for students.”
  • “Budget and making sure we have resources, good salaries for teachers, and instructional supplies.”
  • What are your views on the implementation of the district reopening in the fall? 

“Being a K8 District, kids can’t stay home. We need to follow CDC guidelines and make sure everyone is safe. We have sent out surveys to parents for their input. We have been conducting study sessions and will have a meeting in two weeks to discuss that as well as the budget.”

  • To what extent should your school district ensure all students have access to high broadband and a laptop/tablet for virtual learning should the fall opening be delayed?

“Our district is a one to one district. However, the kids cannot go home with those devices. That needs to be addressed. With the CARES Aid money, those funds could go to investing in technology that students can take home and also increase their access to the internet.”

  • In your opinion, please advise at least one way your school district should make up for any of the lost learning time of this last academic quarter.

 “Teachers should be able to identify gaps in knowledge and attend to it. We should also deal with their social and emotional needs. In education, we talk about Bloom’s Taxonomy and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Bloom’s has to do with the level of thinking involved in problem-solving. Maslow has to do with the motivation, personal development, and well-being of our students. Our kids need Maslow before they can Bloom. We need to address their mental stability as well as academics.”                                                                                   

  • Is there anything not covered in the first seven questions that you would like the reader to know

“I am super proud to serve on the board and I am proud to send my daughter to school in Pendergast. We also have a community resource center that has a grant from First Things First that has incredible programs for kids up until five years old. I would really encourage families to get involved with their school boards via Zoom attendance. School Boards need to be paid attention to.”

For more information on Mr. White and his candidacy, please click on his webpage here and his Facebook Page here.

 Please remember:

  • Primary Election Day is on August 4, 2020, and General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates. 
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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.

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