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Five candidates vying for Amphi School Board

There are three open seats in 2016
Posted at 6:56 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 14:12:14-04

There are five people running for three open spots on the Amphitheater School District Governing Board.

Two incumbents: current president Deanna Day, and Julie Cozad and three challengers: Vicki Cox Golder, Scott Baker, and Mick Stewart.

All five candidates say one of the most-pressing issues the district faces is how to find the money to recruit and keep the best possible teachers.

“I am concerned about employee morale, I want teachers and staff to feel valued and listened to,” said Cozad, a retired teacher who has been a board member since 2012. 

Deanna Day taught in the classroom for decades before moving into administrative roles, “It is tremendously challenging. I think that to keep teachers, teachers not only have to face low salaries, I think the morale is difficult when it’s one more test, one more piece of paper work they have to fill out.”

The Amphitheater District is vast stretching from Grant Road to the town of Catalina, nearly 20 miles from some of Tucson’s oldest neighborhoods to new and expanding Oro Valley. It teaches more than 14,000 students and employs more than 5,000 people.

Candidates said managing the long term success of the district means creating programs to support school staff and faculty.

“The most important thing a board can do is provide the kind of support that is necessary for the people that are doing the day to day work in the district,” said Scott Baker, a middle school physical education teacher in the Catalina Foothills district.

Mick Stewart teaches government and economics at Sunnyside High School. He’s taught in middle schools and high schools in the Tucson area for 25 years.

“We need to make Amphi the best place to teach so people want to stay because, sadly, they can go to other states and get more money.”

The only candidate who isn’t a current or former teacher is Vicki Cox Golder who served on the board in the 1990's. Cox Golder is an area realtor and says her prior board experience coupled with her business background makes her a qualified candidate.

“I care about the students because three of my grandchildren right now are within the district and I’m passionate about their education therefore I am passionate about every student's education within Amphitheater.”