Our next Superintendent of Education?


by David Safier

Dr. David Garcia is exploring a run for Arizona's Superintendent of Education. I had the pleasure of sharing a radio studio with him last Saturday on Robin Hiller's State of Education program, and I was impressed. Dr. Garcia is very knowledgeable about education, as you would expect of someone who is an Associate Professor in the Teachers College at Arizona State University. But he also knows how to communicate without "talking like a professor," stating his ideas in clear, common-sense English. And he exudes the kind of enthusiasm and energy that makes you want to sit up and listen.

Dr. Garcia will be in Tucson for a discussion about education Saturday, April 20, 10am to noon, at the AEA Southern AZ offices, 6873 N. Oracle, in the back of the business complex. The event is hosted by Sen. Steve Farley and Rep. Victoria Steele. Because of space limitations, they ask that you RSVP Victoria at vsteele@azleg.gov if you plan to attend.

Some biographical information. Dr. Garcia is a native Arizonan who resides in Mesa and is a product of Arizona's public schools. Before he went to college, he served in the U.S. Army Infantry where he was awarded the Humanitarian Award and the Army Achievement Medal. Before his appointment at ASU, he served as the state Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction, a research analyst for the Arizona State Senate Education Committee and a peer consultant for the U.S. Department of Education. Along with his position at ASU, he is the director of the Arizona Education Policy Initiative and serves on the board of the Arizona Latino Research Enterprise.

Dr. Garcia and his wife, Lori Higuera, are the parents of two young daughters who attend public school.

If David Garcia is elected Arizona Superintendent of Education, my understanding is he will be the first educator to serve in that position in 30 years. I'm hoping he gets the support from teachers, parents and other
community members he needs to convince him he can run a successful campaign. Arizona can use a man with
his knowledge, experience and ideas to move our system of public
education forward.