By Anne Gibson

Four residents of the Vail School District seek four-year terms on the Vail School District Governing Board in the Tuesday November 3rd general election. Your ballot will allow you to vote for a maximum of three candidates. School Board members receive no monetary compensation for their hours of service to leadership, students, and staff in Vail.

In an attempt to make the article fair, the candidates are listed in alphabetical order. Each of the candidates participating in this article answered the same three questions with a maximum word count assigned to each question. The responses below are in the candidates’ own words.

Christopher M. King

“I am retired from the military and constantly looking for ways to serve my community. Prior to filing my paperwork to run, I reached out to the current board members to determine if they were seeking reelection. After determining there would be a vacancy, I filed to run as another way to give back to the community that has been my home for the last 16 years.” 

“I have been a member on several boards and committees while in the military and since retiring in 2012. I spent over 20 years working in small teams that directly impacted the larger organization. I am a master instructor and state certified substitute teacher with thousands of hours in front of students. I have earned both bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Arizona.”

“I hope to leverage my academic and military experience to best represent the staff, teachers, students, and parents in a way that maximizes efficiency while gaining the greatest return on investment in education and experience while supporting the goal of motivating students to embark on the journey of life-long learning.”

Andre P. Mixon

“When my children were very young, I came to understand the critical importance of parental involvement in education. The last six months have been more of a challenge for parents and the school district than any time in history. The challenges and decisions as we face these challenges together not likely to be over soon. I have the skill and understanding necessary to help make the tough decisions as we face these challenges together.”

“I’ve spent countless hours in service to VUSD through site council membership, numerous district wide initiatives such as Vail Parent Network, school planning committees, and VUSD Cultural Competency Committee, over the past 14 years. Considering my experience with school level planning and governance, relationships built within the community, and solid understanding of VUSD, combined with my professional background in emergency service and behavioral health, I am confident I can serve successfully as a Governing Board Member.”

“I view governance concerns through the dual lenses of physical and emotional safety. This means that I will work ensure continued excellence and increased diversity in recruitment and hiring processes, appropriate utilization of resources in the face of district growth, and increased community involvement. In Vail, education is a community effort!”

Allison Pratt

“I decided to seek re-election to the Governing Board because I feel passionate about providing quality education for our students in Vail. I recognize the responsibility of the Board to navigate our school district and want to help continue the success of our school district. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a voice for parents, teachers, and staff and to work with members of the Board to do what is best for our students.”

“I have served on the Vail Governing Board for five years and have earned my Master of Boardsmanship through continuing education and training with the Arizona School Board’s Association. As a Board member, I have served as President and Clerk. I have been volunteering in Vail schools for 13+ years as PTA President, Site Council member, and classroom volunteer. I have children attending Vail Schools and know the impact of our decisions on students and their families.”

“I will continue to work to bring people together to make collaborative decisions. I have worked with the current Board to build relationships, have respectful conversation, and work through difficult problems. I will continue to listen to parents, teachers, and staff to sustain the positive culture in Vail.”

Callie Tippett

“I have decided to run for the school board because these are difficult times for education. I am passionate about serving in our community, and the Vail School District is a critical piece of our community. Our school district is one of the best in the state. It is my intention to see that we continue the success we have had and continue to improve.”

“I have lived in Vail since 2007, and for most of that time have volunteered in some capacity in our community from church, to schools, to coaching, and Girl Scouts. My husband and I own two small businesses. I have also served on the Governing Board for the last three and one-half years. During that time, I have worked and led on difficult issues. I am dedicated to the success of our community.”

“I hope to help Vail continue to be a highly successful district. I understand that we are never done improving, and we must to adapt to change. I plan to lead Vail in keeping parent choice a top priority and creating the best education opportunities for all Vail students.”

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Anne Gibson