Kiana Sears Vies For Mesa School Board Seat

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Kiana Sears

Kiana Sears

Edited by Floyd Alvin Galloway

An active and engaged parent was and is the motto of Mesa’s Kiana Sears. A Mesa resident for 20 years, Sears is running for a seat on the Mesa School Board. The largest school district in Arizona, the district is responsible for the education of approximately 64,000 students, many of which are students of color. If elected to the position on November 8 she would become the first person of color elected to the district’s governing board. Endorsed by Mesa’s Mayor John Giles and its Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh, Sears has been happily married for 23 years; she is the proud parent of two college-age daughters that were products of the Mesa public school system. During her daughters time in the Mesa district was an active participant in the Parent Teacher Org-anization, an “Art Masterpiece” teacher, and has hosted foreign exchange students for 20 years. A corporate relations executive with the Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW), Sears has built solid interpersonal relationships; developing strategic public-private partnerships and creating a new and loyal corporate donor base, to support implementation of VSUW’s strategic plan to ensure that children and youth succeed. She has been an advocate for children and a committed community servant for a number of years. As an intern with The Children’s Action Alliance, Sears became a child advocate, organizing community-based, child welfare initiatives, which afforded her numerous opportunities to speak before the Arizona State Senate and community events; including placement of children within the Arizona foster care system and developing “life plans” rather than case plans to create a continuum of care. As an advocate Sears says, “Every single child deserves an opportunity to learn and to access a quality education. Which is one of the three key points on her platform. The other two are; listen to, honor and support teachers, the community’s greatest resources; and the community’s future is depending on our educated youth. She began her public service career as a member of the research staff with the Arizona State Senate. There she developed awareness of public policy, built analytical skills, and coupled these with her ability to communicate divergent perspectives. In this role, she engaged with constituents and kept senators informed regarding proposed legislation. She credits her hardworking mother, a state employee, for her dedication to serving others, an unwavering faith in God, and the ability to improve lives of others by making a personal investment. She truly believes an investment in education reaps tremendous benefits for the community, in the form of even lower crime levels, decreased poverty, an improvement in economic development, as well as attracting high paying jobs for our children Her campaign has had some challenges, as some 60 of her campaign signs have either been stolen or damaged with graffiti on them. Undeterred Sears presses on canvassing and making personal contact with voters in her area. The highly qualified Sears knows children and parents face many obstacles as they journey through the educational path. She plans to be there to help make that journey successful. She says Mesa has a good school system, but it can be better. “I want to take Mesa School District from good to great.”

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