Dave Wells

Dave Wells speaks during the Tempe Union High School District candidates forum at Mountain Pointe High School on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.

Age: 48

City: Tempe

Campaign info: Wells4Schools.com or (480) 269-3557 (26-WELLS)

Why are you running for Tempe Union High School District’s governing board?

Tempe Union includes great high schools such as Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista, which have outstanding students and programs.

I want to lend my ear and expertise to make our schools better, so that we improve student success and student engagement.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue in the district and how will you address it if elected?

The most important issue for any school district is ensuring student success.

Many students feel burned out in high school, yet student motivation is critical for student success. The district already offers a wide range of programs to meet a variety of student interests. But, we have to continuously evaluate these programs to keep them up to date, making sure they engage students and meet learning expectations.

In addition, the state is beginning to transition to a new set of standards being followed by many states called Common Core.

The teachers I’ve talked to don’t feel they’re ready yet.

Unlike AIMS, Common Core will be assessed with a computer-based test. Changes in standards and greater depth in some areas will require professional development investments so teachers can best meet the new expectations. We’ll also need to review textbooks to determine how best to provide supporting materials to match new standards.

What are your qualifications?

I’m a parent of three district students, an award-winning educator for in-class and online teaching at ASU, and have served on the district’s Nutrition and Citizens Financial Advisory committees as well as the Tempe High Site Council.

Two years ago, only Tempe High School participated in the National School Lunch Program and the district had just stopped using candy and soda vending sales to subsidize student lunches.

On the Nutrition Committee, we brought nutrition and financial advances, by helping lead the district to fully join the National Lunch Program and move away from junk-food-based vending machines.

Collectively, I bring a wealth of knowledge on education funding and policy as well as an in-depth understanding of best teaching practices and the potential, needed supports, and limits of technology in teaching.

I also have a strong background in economics, which means I’ll use my expertise to make sure we use our limited resources in the best possible manner.

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