My wife Jamie and I moved back to Arizona three years ago with our two sons. After teaching high school history for 20 years, Jamie decided to stay home when we moved here in order to help get the boys settled. Our sons both attend public schools and are thriving. My daughter attends college on the East Coast, but comes to visit whenever I can convince her to put down her books for a bit (which is not as often as I would like).
After attending high school at Brophy, I moved out of Arizona for college and for the early part of my career, but I have always carried with me a lesson that I learned in my third-grade classroom at Madison Heights: everyone should have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.
After graduating from Yale in 1994, I taught low-income preschoolers in a Head Start classroom while founding Jumpstart, a national not-for-profit whose vision is to ensure that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. In 2001, I started Acelero Learning, a company that helps local communities run high-quality Head Start programs.
Over the last 24 years, Jumpstart has engaged over 50,000 college students and community volunteers. The success of the Acelero Learning model relies upon the help and active partnership of the 30,000 families we serve every day.
But I am most proud of the results produced by both organizations. Children who are paired with a Jumpstart tutor make gains in critical literacy skills at 1.5x the national average and children enrolled in Acelero Learning Head Start programs make almost three times the gains as children in the average Head Start program.
When my family and I moved back to Arizona, I was struck by how the state I love had changed from one of inclusion, opportunity and optimism to one of exclusion and fear, largely due to a group of far-right Republicans who have commandeered our legislature.
To help be a part of the solution, I got involved with LD 28 and have been proud to serve as a Precinct Committee Person and active canvasser for Kelli Butler and Christine Marsh for the last year. I am now thrilled to be working closely with those two women, and all of LD 28, to help get our state back on track.
WE NEED MORE COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS TO HELP MOVE ARIZONA FORWARD
What we can do
We can make Arizona’s educational system work for everyone
by ensuring both parties come together to get something done.