Well, well, well, Secular Fam! I just finished up last week’s Substack, and here I am working on another. On a Saturday. Why, you may wonder? Well, because not only have school board meetings started back up this week, but the Arizona Legislature is back in session.
Since the tone and level of decorum at the Capitol and in most school board meetings across the state leaves MUCH to be desired and frequently includes religious indoctrination and hate speech, this time of year can be triggering.
School governing boards across the state use the first meeting of the year to reorganize and elect new leadership. While most of the boards I regularly focus on for this Substack elected experienced leaders with a proven track record of good boardsmanship and support for public schools, there was one that made a notably strange choice for leadership.
So put on your helmets, Secular Fam, because this Peoria (PUSD) board recap is going to make you want to bash your head against a wall.
The meeting started as most do, and most of the weekly cast of characters were in the PUSD audience that night: Angry Homemade T-shirt Granny, Tiff-Tiff, Envelope Lady, Candidate Dude Who Doesn’t Can’t Decide What His Name Is,
Jeanne Casteen, Secular AZ Executive Director
JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.