Q&A: DVUSD School Board Candidates Discuss Challenges

A pair of four-year-term seats on the Deer Valley Unified School District board are up for general election [voting deadlines & details]. In&Out Publications asked each candidate to briefly answer these questions:

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the Deer Valley School District?
  • How would you as a board member face it?
  • What’s the most significant skill or asset you would bring to the job?

Michael Deiana

The biggest challenges are the need for reduced class sizes, increased school safety, retaining highly qualified teachers, and allocating more funds to the classroom. As a governing board member, I will ensure financial resources address these needs by supporting a zero-based budget and advocating for additional school resource officers.

I am a Deer Valley alum, 17-year resident, and highly qualified teacher who holds an advanced degree in public administration.

Matt Dennis

Our tax dollars belong in the classrooms. Utilizing our tax dollars wisely will guarantee there is money available to implement new and exciting programs for our students.  I will demand fiscal responsibility and oppose wasteful spending. It is vital to make every policy decision with the best interest of our students.

My most significant skill is my passion for helping students strive for success in all aspects of their lives.

Kim Fisher (incumbent)

Two primary challenges remaining include concerns with our special education services and a greater level of communications with our entire community. I have pushed for a full review of special education and will follow this review to recommend and support positive adjustments.  I will also push for greater communication districtwide.

I hold a bachelor’s in management, master’s in accounting and finance, and over six years in administration and leadership.

Ann O’Brien (incumbent)

The biggest challenge facing DVUSD is providing every student the individualized education necessary to graduate high school. The solution is multi-faceted, beginning with a highly qualified teacher in every classroom along with the appropriate support staff. DVUSD’s culture and work environment are vital to attracting and retaining staff.

I work with all stakeholders to solve problems in the best interest of our students, staff and community.

Jennie Paperman

According to the Auditor General’s report, Deer Valley’s average teacher salary was 4 percent lower than peer districts. Our students began this school year without enough special education teachers, paraprofessionals or bus drivers. I will make the difficult decisions to ensure our students have access to highly qualified teachers and classified staff.

As an educator with 16 years of experience, I possess the knowledge required to make informed decisions.

Julie Read

Teacher/staff pay and job satisfaction are low across the state and in our district. I’ll continue to lobby at the legislative level to address this inequity, ensure money we’ve been given is used appropriately and be active, engaged and supportive at the school level so our staff feels valued.

I’ve been a strong advocate on community issues (MRC & PFD Station 55). I’ll continue working to create positive change for DVUSD.

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