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Joy In Service: Mesa Public Schools Board President Elaine Miner Encourages A Focus On Children

Serving on the school board for Arizona’s largest school district is a huge responsibility, but it’s one Elaine Miner relishes, even after more than 20 years since she was first elected, and one the now-president of the Mesa Public School (MPS) Board would like to see more people enjoy.

“Three board positions will be up for election in 2020,” she says. “We need well-meaning, solid members of the community to step up and run.”

Photo courtesy of Elaine Miner. MPS Governing Board President, Elaine Miner, with her granddaughter, Avery Miner, a third grader at MPS’s Bush Elementary, prepares to participate in the Red Mountain High School homecoming parade last fall.

Photo courtesy of Elaine Miner.
MPS Governing Board President, Elaine Miner, with her granddaughter, Avery Miner, a third grader at MPS’s Bush Elementary, prepares to participate in the Red Mountain High School homecoming parade last fall.

Elaine Miner was first elected to the MPS board in 1999 and served eight years, two of those as president, took a break for several years, and then began her current term on the board on January 2017. She also served on various advisory groups, committees and boards.

“We always grow from investing,” Elaine says. “Whether it’s investing money, our gifts or our time, it’s always such a great feeling to know you can do something for others.”

She says there is really no criteria for serving on the board, other than being honest and having the heart for it.

“It’s about wanting to do what’s right for children,” Elaine says. “Candidates should have an ability to work with others and an eagerness to learn.”

She says it also helps to be an effective communicator, as board members serve as a liaison between parents, teachers and administrators for the benefit of children.

Elaine, a Mesa resident since 1986, holds a Bachelor of Home Economics Education degree from Brigham Young University and, with her husband, Don, owned and operated the Arizona School of Real Estate & Business.

Elaine and Don have three sons who graduated from Mountain View High School and nine grandchildren—one in elementary school, one in junior high and one in high school in the Mesa Public Schools this year.

Elaine continues to be recognized as an excellent leader and a competent and effective problem-solver who focuses first on the needs of children.

Still, she says, it’s not about accolades or notoriety. “There is a great deal of joy in service, and I always consider it an honor to work with Mesa Public Schools.”

She sees more good things for MPS going forward, including additional programs designed to support children’s social and emotional needs, such as comfort rooms and therapy dogs on campus, through a program called “Pawsitive Peers.”

MPS is already making strong progress towards its goals of 90 percent proficiency in 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math and 11th grade English and a 95 percent graduation rate by 2023.

“This October’s vote on the budget increase is very important,” Elaine adds. “We want people to be informed about what our budget is and why we need the increase.”

“We want to be very transparent,” including making community members aware of the “creative ways we have found to save money.”

The increase, she says, will be used for attracting and keeping quality teachers, for preparing students for college or the work force and for safer schools.

For more about Mesa Public Schools, including information about attending school board meetings, visit http://www.mpsaz.org. Learn more about school board elections at: www.maricopa.gov/schools

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