After twenty years filled with countless assemblies, “Meet the Teacher” nights, fundraisers and graduations, Sister Annette Auxier, currently Chandler Unified School District Governing Board’s vice president, is ready for a recess of her own.
The veteran school board member, who has served as general board member, president, and vice president in her tenure, is not running for reelection.
As she looks back on her two decades of experience, she is struck by how much she’s learned.
“At first,” she says, “I was surprised . . . . There is so much to learn, including understanding school finance, special education issues, the impact of the ten dollar minimum wage, how much technology costs, how little teachers are paid, etc.”
But now, Auxier says her biggest hurdle is miseducation—not of the children, but of the public.
“I find myself constantly amazed about the misinformation,” she says, regarding how education is sometimes portrayed negatively in the media. “Our kids are being taught more now than I ever was taught. More is being done now than we ever could imagine in helping students succeed, from the very highest level to the children who are struggling.”
Of teachers, Auxier has nothing but good things to say: “People who are drawn to education are usually the nicest people in the world and will work very hard to help their students be successful.”
In spite of her passion for education and community service, Auxier is eager for new adventures. “My days are filled to overflowing with this great work. Sometimes I joke that I need a wife,” she jokes.
Sister Auxier plans to serve a mission with her husband. “We are both converts and didn’t have the opportunity as young adults,” she says. “Serving together sounds wonderful.”
Auxier hopes her replacement has “strong religious values with a desire to encourage family involvement in school issues and decisions.” Such a person “would need to put children first, know how to work cooperatively with others . . . [to] see the best in others and jump in with both feet, ready to work hard,” she adds.
She notes that public service in education is for everyone, whether by official vote or not.
“If you worked in the aerospace industry, tutor kids in math and science,” she says. “If you are an empty nester . . . volunteer to read or supervise a playground. If you taught English, help monolingual parents learn English.”
Annette Auxier will miss serving on the board, but is grateful for all she has accomplished. She leaves behind her a legacy of hard work, and an elementary school, Auxier Elementary, named for and her husband.
“I know that students’ lives are changed, and they are able to be successful in life. I could not ask for more.”