Kathy Hoffman’s Last Statement as AZ’s SPI

When I first ran for public office, I said that our public schools needed a relentless optimist. I’m proud to say at the end of this journey as Arizona’s Superintendent, that my optimism has only grown through the work we have accomplished together at ADE. I am truly grateful for your partnership and dedication to our public schools over these past four years.
Together we achieved so much despite the unprecedented onset of a deadly pandemic. We invested in our teacher workforce and educator development by using $20 million for Donors Choose teacher projects. We created the first-ever Arizona Teacher Residency Program and started ADE’s incredible Office of Educator Recruitment and Retention.
We invested in our students by expanding broadband internet for rural districts, ensuring children continue their studies when they leave the classroom. We spent $21 million hiring mental health professionals and focused funding heavily on math and literacy programs to accelerate learning after the disruption of the pandemic.
In the final month of my tenure, we didn’t slow down. We know that many students struggle with food insecurity. Using $6.75 million in federal funds, we paid the lunch fees for children who qualify for reduced priced lunches for the next year and a half. We also know that parents want more preschool funding to help their children get a jump start on learning. After months of hard work, we were awarded the $42 million preschool development grant (PDG) to help fund early childhood education in Arizona.
The future is much brighter because of these investments and the work of so many at our agency.
Many of these successes would not have been possible without also hearing directly from educators and students in the field. During my tenure, I visited hundreds of classrooms in all 15 counties. These visits were the highlight of my administration and kept me grounded and connected to why we do this work. In one of those visits, I spoke with a student in Nogales who shared with me that they are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but they are also the leaders of today. I think a lot about that student and their sentiments. The experience in Nogales serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of listening to student voices in the decisions we make.
As my administration and leadership at ADE comes to a close at the end of this week, I still believe that Arizona’s future starts in our schools. I still consider myself a relentless optimist for our public education system – because I know that educators are going to continue supporting our kids. Together we led our schools through the most difficult time in their history, and I am proud of all we accomplished together.
To every educator and education partner across the state, it is my ask that you continue to faithfully serve our students to the very best of your ability. I know you will. And lastly, I hope you continue to be relentless optimists for our kids.
I will miss all of you dearly. Thank you for joining me on this incredible journey.
Kathy Hoffman, MS, CCC-SLP

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2 thoughts on “Kathy Hoffman’s Last Statement as AZ’s SPI”

  1. But now we have a felonious liar, obsessed with ethnic and cultural ANYTHING. What can go wrong? Horne will make Huppster look like Lincoln.

  2. Thank you for your service, Kathy. As an advocate for our children, you’ve been exactly what our state needed, even while hamstrung by a governor and legislature that prefer to short change our youth. You’re going to be sorely missed, but I hope you will return to Arizona public service soon!

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