The Daily Agenda: Same schtick, different day

Tucson Agenda, Jul 31, 2023, Curt Prendergast & Caitlin Schmidt

The candidates who failed to win seats on the Catalina Foothills District’s governing board last year just formed a new PAC this month, intended for the 2024 election cycle. They are trying to find new ways to confuse and trick district residents into mistrusting CFSD by copying / pasting from national political strategists who are working to destroy public schools across the country. The stage is set for another year of nuttiness at the Catalina Foothills School District.

CFSD vs the Rabble Rousers: Cue the Torches and Pitchforks

Blog for Arizona, July 31, 2023, Kim M. Bayne

Extremist groups attacking the district have a new angle of disinformation – new fictions around enrollment. Using words like “save” and “concerned,” they are trying to erode trust for Catalina Foothills public schools in order to clear the way for school privatization. Read more of their disinformation and what the real facts are here.

CFSD pushes back after State Superintendent comments

KVOA, Jun 13, 2023, Chorus Nylander

Two local school districts were put on blast during a press conference last week held by State Superintendent Tom Horne.

CFSD responded, “It’s disheartening to see that a person who was elected to strengthen Arizona public schools is instead using his press conferences to tarnish them. We respect any student’s preference regarding how they are addressed in school, be it a nickname or a pronoun request. However, as students are informed, if a parent were to inquire, our staff do not keep this information from parents. Further, we encourage students to discuss these matters with their parents.”

CFSD graduate winning app helps people explore gender identity

People, Dec. 9, 2022, Diane Herbst

CFSD graduate Josh Tint created a free resource for gender questioning people; it collects no data, has no ads, and is intended to create a safe space to help others questioning their gender identity. It’s called Discover Me Name Finder. It also is the winner of Apple’s 2022 Swift Student Challenge. “I wanted to try and create something that would allow you to interactively explore that in a safe and discreet but also very calming and low pressure way,” he says.

Find it here:

CFSD graduate wins Apple’s Swift Student Challenge

Apple Newsroom, June 3, 2022

CFSD graduate Josh Tint was selected from among more than 350 students from 40 countries as one of three 2022 challenge winners in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. For his winning submission, Tint designed an app that enables people who are questioning their gender identity to try different pronouns.

The 19-year-old from Tucson, Arizona said, “I’ve questioned my gender identity and so I know there aren’t many resources out there to help with that. So I wanted to try to build a tool that I thought was more applicable to my experience and could help others, too. I wanted my app to help tell a story.”

CFSD Raises Base Salary to $50K for First-Year Teachers

Desert Leaf, June 2023, David Hatfield

“Raising teachers’ salaries has been our budget priority for decades,” said CFSD Superintendent Mary Kamerzell. “That said, if we had the resources, we would love to add at least $10,000 per teacher immediately. Perhaps the Legislature and Governor will…add state funding earmarked for teacher pay raises.”

Board President Eileen Jackson said she has no intention to ask for the nondiscrimination policy and practices regarding trans students to be slated on a school board agenda. The only other option to place the item on the agenda would be for two of the four other board members to request it, but none has expressed an interest in doing so. She reiterated that much of what speakers at the school board meetings have suggested is contrary to law. “Equally – and maybe more – important to me is the fact that our practices are supported by reputable research on the positive effects of gender affirming practices on the physical, mental, and emotional health of our students.”

2022-2023 CFSD Governing Board Goals & Achievements

– Raised Teacher Salaries (5-9%)
– Retained Teachers (>80%)
– Raised Classified Employee Salaries (8%)
– > 94% Graduation rate since 2015
– 90% of graduates attend college
– #1 public school district in AZ (2023)
– #1 in English and #3 in Math
– “A” letter grade from the AZ Dept. of Ed, 2023
– And much much more…

Priority projects:
– Guitar & orchestra facility addition to the high school
– Ventana Vista projects not completed during its renovation (e.g., sidewalk and parking lot
repair, new playground equipment, irrigation system replacement)
– Safety and security upgrades on all 9 campuses
– Bus replacement

4 Trans Teens Throw the Prom of Their Dreams

Time, May 22, 2023, Solcyre Burga

200 people from 17 states attended the first-ever transgender youth prom at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on May 22. The prom was a show of resilience, pride, and joy during a time where trans rights are being stripped away.

Daniel Trujillo, a trans 15-year-old from Tucson, AZ in the CFSD school district and one of the event’s co-organizers, says, “This prom is …really important because of all the trans youth who are going to see this big event filled with trans joy.”

Teens organize trans youth prom

The Hill, May 22, 2023, Brooke Migdon

Dozens of transgender children, teens and their families from more than 17 states gathered in Washington on Monday to celebrate their identities at a prom organized specifically for trans youth.

Daniel Trujillo, a trans 15-year-old from Tucson, AZ in the CFSD school district and one of the event’s co-organizers, the prom is also a way to tell lawmakers, “I’m just a kid….Senators say they want to protect children, but they’re actively working against me.”