Who’s running for TUSD Governing Board in 2016?


Today was the filing deadline for those interested in serving on the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board.  7 people filed by the 5 p.m. deadline, so here’s the cast of candidates to choose from in the November 8th general  election.

This is a nonpartisan race for 3 school board members (unpaid volunteers). The three incumbents are Kristel Foster, Cam Juarez and Mark Stegeman, all running for re-election.

In alphabetical order from last name:

–Kristel Foster,current incumbent, elected in Nov. 2012, Program specialist – Language Acquisition Dept. at SUSD, www.fosterfortusd.com

–Cam Juarez, current incumbent, elected in Nov. 2012, Community Engagement Coordinator at Saguaro National Park, as well as their Public Information Officer, parent of son at TUSD school, https://www.facebook.cTUSDGovernigBoardMemberJuarezom/

–Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, community activist & part time teacher, ran before in 2012 and 2014,  parent of son at TUSD school, https://www.facebook.com/standwithbetts/,http://www.betts4tusd.net/

–Lori Riegel, political newcomer, Development Director for Arizona Children’s Association, Ph.D candidate in Educational leadership, daughter is graduate of University HS (TUSD school), www.lorifortusd com

–Brett Rustand, political newcomer, insurance company broker & executive, 3 children at TUSD schools, www.rustandfortusd.com

–Rachael Sedgwick, political newcomer, former teacher, 3rd year law student at UA School of law, https://www.facebook.com/sedgwickforschoolboard2016/?fref=nfhttp://www.sedgwick4tusd.com/

–Dr. Mark Stegeman, current incumbent, elected Nov. 2008, re-elected 2012, Associate Professor of Economics at UA, www.stegeman4tusd.com

Stay tuned for upcoming forums to meet these candidates, and vote wisely on or before Nov. 8. This is a nonpartisan race, but here’s the breakdown of who belongs to which political party.  Most are Democrats except for Stegeman and Sedgwick (Independents/PNDs) and Rustand, a  Republican.

And if you want to know who’s running for the other school board districts, go to:



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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 Tucsoncitizen.com 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, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Another TUSD candidate forum in September: on the 29th at YWCA of Southern AZ. See our calendar for details.

  2. Upcoming forums for these TUSD candidates: Sept. 14 at Temple Emanu El (see our Calendar for details); Sept. 29 at PCC Downtown, details tba. Stay tuned for more.

    • Because many voters/readers ask me what the political party affiliations are, so that’s why I mention it.

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