Beth Lewis is a mom, public education advocate, and K-12 policy expert who fights for a fully and equitably funded school for every Arizona child. As Director of Save Our Schools Arizona, Beth works to bring parents, educators, elected officials, business leaders, and community members together in support of Arizona’s public schools, which strengthen our communities and our great state. Beth has taught elementary and middle school in Arizona for 12 years and has been named a Rodel Exemplary teacher and Tempe Diablos Teacher of the Year Finalist. She holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s in Education from ASU. Reach out to Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEWIDE OUTREACH DIRECTOR
Nicky is a mother of five and a strong advocate for Arizona’s public schools. She began her work in public school advocacy in Arizona seven years ago as a parent group officer and eventually moved over to lead parent group advocacy efforts across the state. She has done extensive work organizing in rural communities and has developed a strong understanding of the needs of Arizona’s rural public schools and communities. Nicky previously served as the Community Outreach Organizer for a statewide K-12 policy coalition and as a rural organizer leading teams of parents and teachers for an Arizona non-profit addressing children’s needs statewide. She is currently the Statewide Outreach Director for Save Our Schools Arizona. Her previous background in social work and community engagement gives her the tools necessary to encourage community members, parents, and teachers to engage in advocacy efforts to address the needs of Arizona’s classrooms. Reach out to Nicky at email@example.com
Sharon is a mom, a teacher, and a public education advocate who believes that the people of Arizona, not out-of-state interests, should drive policy about public education in Arizona. She serves as the Director of Research and tracks efforts in Arizona and across the nation to dismantle public education. With more than 25 years of experience at public universities, she teaches and publishes on women’s literature, poetics, and public discourse. Sharon holds a BA and MA in English and Philosophy from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in Poetics from the University at Buffalo. Reach out to Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org
FINANCE & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
Cathy is a 25-year resident of Arizona with a background in publishing, retail buying, product development, international sourcing, and project management. Her work as Finance & Operations Director for Save Our Schools Arizona involves ensuring financial stability through budgeting and reconciliation across platforms; overseeing the organization’s growing database; managing operational governance, compliance, and record-keeping; and strategic allocation of funds to achieve organizational objectives. Her father was born in Bisbee and her great-grandfather was a timekeeper at the Copper Queen Mine, so her roots are authentically Arizonan. She is the mother of two grown children, both of whom benefitted from good Arizona public schools when education was adequately funded. In addition to co-founding Save Our Schools Arizona, she is a co-founder of Civic Engagement Beyond Voting, a statewide nonprofit that promotes engagement with state government. She has a BA from Boston University and an MBA from Norwich University. Reach out to Cathy at email@example.com
Melinda has developed and managed editorial content for over 30 years, contributing to publications in a wide range of industries from health care, journalism, advertising and entertainment to professional services and the faith sector. Her knack for summarizing complex legislation in everyday language helps thousands of people across the state engage with public policy, mobilizing and inspiring them to become citizen lobbyists. As Policy Director and Legislative Analyst for Save Our Schools Arizona, she advocates for good public policy that serves the 1.1 million children in Arizona’s public schools. Melinda is a product of Arizona public education from elementary to college, the parent of two children in public schools, and a fierce advocate for public education as the backbone of our democracy. Reach out to Melinda at firstname.lastname@example.org
ORGANIZING & DIGITAL DIRECTOR
Rachael is an Arizona native, mom of three, and educator. She grew up attending public schools in Tempe and graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in History and Master’s in Secondary Education. She returned to teach History and Government at her alma mater where she discovered a passion for education advocacy. While not currently in the classroom, she has helped to coordinate advocacy efforts in the East Valley and currently serves as the Digital Organizing Director for Save Our Schools Arizona
Local Business Ambassador
Isadora Britton is a public school proud mom of three boys in Mesa Public Schools. She has volunteered her time in countless classrooms, acted as an Art Masterpiece Guide in MPS for 10 years, and has been advocating for teachers, students, and schools since the Red for Ed Movement. She has been working for Save Our Schools Arizona for the past year coordinating various volunteer coordination projects. Isadora is now the Local Business Ambassador for the AZ Loves Public Schools program, and is working to create a network of local businesses across AZ that proudly support public schools.
East Valley Coordinator
Lisa Calderon is a proud mother to four daughters and one granddaughter. Originally from Central California, Lisa relocated to Arizona in 2010. She grew up with an appreciation for educators as they were instrumental in her love of reading and learning. She was the first to graduate high school and attend college. She has had the privilege of time to support her community and her children’s school where she has volunteered for programs such as art masterpiece, serve on PTO and Boosters club. I will always be an advocate for quality and equitable education.
EAST VALLEY & SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Leda was born and raised in Cottonwood Arizona, is a mom of two teens, and an educator. She has participated in Arizona’s public schools as a student, parent volunteer, substitute teacher, classroom teacher, and advocate. She is not currently in the classroom but continues to educate & engage parents, teachers, and community members about education policy and issues in the East Valley. She also serves as the SOSAZ Social Media Coordinator, helping to manage social media in an effort to increase awareness of our work. She believes every student in Arizona deserves a fully funded, safe school in their neighborhood, regardless of income or zip code.
Abbie is a product of public schools and a mom with a disability who understands the importance of providing access to education for all children. She is a mother of three and a technology professional with a focus on AI. Her experience living and organizing in the Marana area has given her a deep understanding of the community’s unique needs of families and students. Abbie has experience working with local parent groups and rural communities and is dedicated to ensuring every student has the resources they need to succeed. Her passion for education and technology has led her to become an advocate for schools and communities in Arizona, with a goal of every child having an opportunity to learn.
rural southern arizona coordinator
Kari Hull is a native Arizonan, living most of her life in Northern Arizona. As a professional Organizer, Kari has been advocating for public education since 2018. Her family (husband and two daughters) attended public, neighborhood schools and believes every child should have access to a quality, fully-funded public school. Kari works hard every day to educate her community regarding the public education crisis in Arizona. She is relocating to Southern Arizona in 2023 and plans to continue building community action teams to help support our public schools and students.
Tyler is a native Arizonan and the product of 13 years of public education. After growing up watching Arizona’s forced education budget austerity, Tyler began advocating for public schools as a high school senior. Tyler has worked on three legislative campaigns supporting pro-public school candidates, and served as the legislative assistant to Senator Christine Marsh and the Constituent Services Manager for Superintendent of Public Schools Kathy Hoffman. Tyler holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University. Reach out to Tyler at email@example.com.
WEST VALLEY & NORTH PHOENIX COORDINATOR
Alicia is a mother and public school educator of 30 years. She attended Arizona public schools from elementary school through university. As a parent of two daughters who attended low income public schools, she is acutely aware of how funding has impacted public education opportunities in the state and passionately fights to improve access to quality public schools for all Arizona kids.
GREATER PHOENIX COORDINATOR
Raquel was born and raised in the beautiful border town of Nogales, Arizona, and is the mother of 13-year old twins. She has taught for 12 years in 3 different states, including special education for 10 years and 2 years teaching a dual-language Spanish class. When her children started kindergarten, she returned to volunteering on the PTO and working as a substitute teacher. Raquel has been involved with Save Our Schools Arizona since 2017 and is passionate about sharing the information she has learned about the history of education funding in Arizona, especially to the Spanish-speaking community. Raquel believes strongly that quality education is a necessity for a healthy democracy.
Daniel is a local small business owner who focuses on digital media and marketing. Daniel joined the team in 2020 to help with digital content and now is thrilled to be the new Digital Coordinator. Daniel works daily to help spread the Save Our Schools Arizona message online and is happy to be a public education advocate and supporter.
Central & South Phoenix Coordinator
My name is Rodrigo Palacios and I am a proud public school educator. I have taught social studies for over twenty years in Arizona and Nevada. I am a product of Arizona’s public school and a product of Arizona’s first public university, the University of Arizona. Today I am an education leader in my school and teachers’ association. Most importantly I am the proud father of three grade school age children who attend local public schools in central Phoenix. I am proud to work for Save Our Schools and advocate for our public school communities. Strong public schools create strong communities and strong economies.
WEST VALLEY COORDINATOR
Kristin believes in justice, love, and community. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Kristin has been honored to teach in Arizona’s public schools for the past 15 years. Her upbringing, her faith, and her experience as a teacher all motivate her to continue working to build a better Arizona for future generations. Kristin is a National Board Certified Teacher with a master’s degree in educational leadership from Arizona State University. She has been organizing her community to advocate for strong public schools since 2017.
Northeast Valley Community Action Team Coordinator
Jen is a proud public school graduate and an educator who grew up in the Phoenix area. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and taught 6th grade for 11 years at the same elementary school she attended as a child. After leaving the classroom, she has continued to work in support of Arizona’s public schools: mentoring new teachers, substitute teaching, and advocating for better learning and teaching conditions across the state. She believes that every student deserves access to an excellent public education, regardless of who or where they are.
Grants and Development Coordinator
Amanda is a writer, fundraiser, and proud product of Arizona’s K-12 public schools. She was born and raised in Scottsdale and spent the last several years in the Midwest fighting for equitable access in education. She holds a BA in political science from Truman State University in Missouri, and her professional experience includes work in public policy, state government, and nonprofit fundraising. Amanda believes in strong public investment in public goods and also serves as president of the Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library. She lives in Phoenix with her wife and their rescue dog.