Dear fellow residents,
Thank you parents, teachers and especially students as we have made it through the first half of 2021, culminating with a return to a more normal high school graduation season.
We are ready to face a new school year with many students who will experience a hybrid attendance system — even if attendance is mandatory.
I believe the pandemic will prove itself as an existential change in every part of our lives, including how we educate our youth. From attending your nearest public school as in the past, there are now private schools, charter schools, online learning platforms, and for many, home schooling is on the rise.
Right here, we have the Toltec elementary and Casa Grande elementary school districts; the Santa Cruz Valley Union and Casa Grande Union High school districts; and the Villa Oasis Interscholastic Center for Education administered by the Mary C O’Brien Accommodation District.
From these districts, numerous students have achieved their dreams. Among them:
- Levi Jones was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2002 NFL draft; he also played for the Washington Redskins.
- Benny Malone was drafted by the Miami Dolphins and later played for the Oakland Raiders.
- Ricky Nelson was selected by the Seattle Mariners and later managed the Oakland Athletics’ entry in the Arizona Fall League, leading them to the league championship.
- Paul Ray Powell was the first round pick of the Minnesota Twins followed by a long and successful career in real estate.
- Anna Marie Chavez attended Yale University and the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, was admitted to the bar of the Arizona Supreme Court, the bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and, ultimately, the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2009, she was appointed CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she served until 2016.
- Garye Vasquez attended Central Arizona College, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. In 2006, he was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals and selected as Chief Judge of Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals.We have made it through 2020; let’s use our newly learned skills, resources and tenacity to achieve the best versions of ourselves.
Here’s to a fun, exciting, successful 2021 fall semester.
— Eloy Mayor Micah Powell