Q&A: School board candidate Jaysie Sheppard

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A former chemistry teacher at Maricopa High School, Jaysie Sheppard is hoping to re-join the district – this time as a board member. Sheppard believe the leadership skills she developed as a professional athlete would be an asset to the board and the community’s youth.

Age: 33
Family: Nicholas Sheppard, my wonderful husband, two kids of my own and two kids from my husband.
Education: Bachelors in communication and currently in school for my Masters in biblical studies.
Occupation: Wife, mother, teacher, mentor, chaplain minister, church volunteer, and I volunteer for several non-profits.
School kids attend: Still have students when I was teaching at MUSD that I mentor but none of my own.
Hobbies: Basketball, football, writing.
Maricopa resident since: 2011

Why are you running? To help support our community and be a voice for our youth here in MUSD.

What qualifies you for the position? I believe no one is truly qualified, but I know what I can bring to the board. As an ex-professional athlete, I grew to have strong skills in leadership, communication and work ethics. When I became a staff member as a chemistry teacher in 2012 at Maricopa High I brought these same skills to our students and in which motivates us all to want to succeed. I believe that with my strong in faith Jesus Christ, these skills will continue support and protect your youth for the best opportunity to succeed with excellence at MUSD and beyond with me on the governing board.

What do you hope to accomplish during your term?
I hope to accomplish an integrity of excellence in education amongst us all not only within our youth but also within our community.

How will you accomplish that?
I will like to accomplish this by focusing on programs for early childhood development and more mentoring programs other than sports that will support our youth in all grade levels, not just high school. Also being more involved in our county and state educational boards, in which laws are passed. This will give me the opportunity to inform our community on what’s going on in the state about our education in Arizona and what we need to do for the better of our children.

What are the three biggest challenges facing MUSD?
I believe the problems we have at MUSD is not bridging the gap between the city and the schools, between the youth and teachers, and lastly between the board and citizens. We have to all come together and find a strong communication level with no division, understanding that it all affects everyone in some way even if you do or don’t have students at MUSD.

What will you do to overcome them?
I believe with me on the board leading by example seems to help motivate others. The ideas I have can only start a spark but the fire doesn’t burn without action. We have great citizens that are willing to take action. For example, our wonderful seniors citizens, stay at home moms, or even our veterans, they are willing to volunteer and take action, and I’m willing to support them in that, for the better of our community.***ADVERTISEMENT***

Do you support MUSD's effort to pass a budget override?
As a former long-term substitute teacher at MUSD I was able to see perspective of classroom sizes as a teacher not as a student and a parent. If we are able to minimize the classroom sizes by hiring more teachers, giving our students more one on one with our teachers, I am sure by passing this override will give our students a greater opportunity in the classroom and for success in future education. I hope we all support the board’s decision to minimize our classrooms and strengthen our education for the better of our community. Education is the future for all of us not just our kids.

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