It is unfortunate that Ms. McManaman felt the need to split hairs regarding residents and businesses in the Vail area, which includes Rita Ranch(although officially part of Tucson), Vail “proper” and Corona de Tucson. There is nothing wrong with pride in where you live; however, there is no need to alienate people. As a reminder, students living in Rita Ranch and other nearby areas attend Vail schools, and Vail schools are also located in those subdivisions. Vail just opened a new school to serve Corona de Tucson as well. Those residents and students are vested in the Vail community through that affiliation. What I found most ungracious was when Ms.McManaman felt the need to also point out to Northwest Emergency Center that they were located in Tucson, not Vail, and shouldn’t be saying Vail has its own emergency center. Having an emergency center in this area provides such a benefit to everyone in Vail “proper” as well as Rita Ranch, Corona deTuscon, Littletown, Sycamore Point, Civano, Mesquite Ranch, and the area. No longer does one have to go to UA Banner South, Benson or into town. Being centrally located off Mary Ann Cleveland is good for the students in our schools, our senior population, and our military residents, all of us. THANK YOU Northwest Emergency Center for caring for our community! We are glad you are here.
In the March 2016 Vail Voice there was an article titled, “A Statewide Problem that Needs a Statewide Solution!” by Callie Tippett. While Ms. Tippett did well to point out our Arizona Legislature’s continued gutting of Public School funding resulting in a shortage of teachers and so much more, the opening sentences were quite frankly an unfortunate choice of words. While everyone wants the best for their children and it is preferable to have a contracted teacher for every course, the inference that having a substitute is negative, a cause for total panic, only serves to perpetuate the misconception that substitute teachers are not “real” teachers. The word teacher was not even used in the article, only “substitute.” Substitute teachers are vital to our schools.
As a reminder to Ms. Tippett and the readers, substitute teachers are college educated with at least a Bachelor Degree; most are already certificated in Arizona. Districts are responsible for assuring that the most qualified substitute teachers are placed into the grades or content areas needed that match their experience to cover classes, often as long-term substitutes in the case of shortages, medical leave, maternity leave, etc. The principals, grade-level leads and department chairs are responsible for orienting and mentoring substitute teachers so they can be effective. The reason teachers choose to be substitutes varies. Some are retired teachers, some have worked in industry and received teaching degrees to take their experience into the classroom, and some are newer teachers. If you get to know them, you might find that most are quite skilled. Substituting is not an easy job. To our substitute teachers in Vail and all over the region and state, THANK YOU! You are greatly appreciated.
In regards to becoming aware of what is happening in public education, the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) is an excellent source. ASBA is the advocate and lobbying body for public schools in Arizona. You can read about current events in Arizona education and find out the status of upcoming legislation that will affect public education by visiting their website at: azsba.org.