Governor Hobbs Announces Members of the Educator Retention Task Force

Published by The Bee News

March 30, 2023

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Today, Governor Katie Hobbs announced the members of the Educator Retention Task Force, which she created by executive order in February. Hobbs said the number of people who applied was impressive and those selected represent a diverse group of educators, administrators, parents and other experts from across the state.

“There were 650 applicants for the Educator Retention Task Force – an indication of how deeply the educator retention crisis resonated with the people of Arizona. The reality is: we don’t have an educator shortage, what we have is a retention crisis,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “The work of this task force is critical and I am confident this team will find real solutions. As the sister of two public school teachers, I see how hard they work every day on behalf of their students. We can, and must, do better to support our educators, students and parents.”

The task force will make recommendations regarding the educator retention crisis in a report due in December 2023. By holding ongoing stakeholder meetings and conducting surveys the group hopes to better understand the wide variety of issues affecting retention including pay and benefits, working conditions, and teacher preparation programs. The task force will also seek feedback from all 650 people who applied to participate.

“Education is the great equalizer. If you are truly trying to empower a community, it starts with education, and teachers are the most important part of ensuring that happens. We are all impacted by teachers, in some shape, form or fashion and this Educator Retention Task Force will be essential to showing teachers this state values them and is going to do the work to ensure they are elevated, recognized, supported and provided the resources they need to be successful in their jobs.” said Lloyd Hopkins, founder of Million Dollar Teacher Project and task force member.

The first task force meeting is Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 4 p.m. at the State Capitol’s second floor conference room. Please RSVP at Press@AZ.GOV.

The Educator Retention Task Force Members include:

  • An educator from a Tribal community– Lynette Stant, Lead Teacher, Third Grade, Salt River Elementary School
  • An educator from a rural school- Luisa Arreola, Language Arts Teacher, San Luis Middle School
  • An educator from an urban school- Violeta Ramos, World Languages Teacher, Metro Tech High School
  • An educator from a Title I school- Zel Fowler, Giften Lead Teacher, Brunson-Lee Elementary School
  • An educator from a charter school- Jennifer Hulbert, Teacher, Champion Schools South Mountain
  • An educator who recently left the profession– Sarah Tolar, Education and Workforce Administrator, City of Mesa
  • A special education teacher or director- Jesus “Anthony” Lovio, Special Education Teacher, Flowing Wells Unified School District
  • An education support professional- Curt Bertelsen, Director of Development, Pima Joint Education District
  • A school mental health professional– Janine Menard, Professional School Counselor, Sheely Farms Elementary School
  • A human resources professional- Justin Wing, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Mesa Public School
  • A school board member- Ruth Ellen Elinski, Governing Board Member, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District
  • A school administrator from a rural school district– Dr. Melissa Sadorf, Superintendent, Stanfield Elementary School District
  • A school administrator from a school district in a Tribal community– Quincy Natay, Superintendent, Chinle Unified School District
  • A school administrator from an urban school district- Jonathan Parker, Principal, Sunnyslope High School
  • A parent of a child who currently attends a public school in Arizona- Jeremiah Gallegos, parent of two children that attend Littleton Elementary School District
  • A representative of from a nonprofit organization focused on education policy- Marisol Garcia, President, Arizona Education Association
  • A Dean of a university or college of education- Dr. Ramona Mellott, Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Education Psychology, Northern Arizona University
  • A representative from a Community College– Dr. Jennifer Gresko, Faculty Chair of Educator Preparation Programs, Rio Salado College
  • An expert with significant experience in educator retention– Lloyd Hopkins, Executive Director and Founder, Million Dollar Teacher Project

You can read full backgrounds and biographies below.

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