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Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire-Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire-Mesa Education Support Personnel Association (MESPA)

Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire

Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire

Mesa Education Support Personnel Association (MESPA)

August 2010

Thank you for your participation in the Association’s candidate review process. This is one way
the representatives of a large number of school employees can get to know you better. On behalf of
MEA and MESPA members, thank you for the commitment you are making to the students and the
community by running for this important office.

1. The demographic information in the questions below will help us to know you better and to stay in

contact during the campaign. If you would rather not respond to some of the questions, please feel free
to leave them blank.

2. Each of the questions on the following pages addresses issues of concern to school employees. We

suggest that you limit your responses to the area provided. You will have an opportunity to expand on
your answers at the interview.

3. Please return your completed questionnaire via e-mail no later than Wednesday, September 1 to

will.moore@arizonaea.org. Or you may deliver it or mail it to our office (1032 East University Drive,
Mesa, AZ 85203) by September 1.

4. If you have any questions about the candidate review process, please call Will Moore at 480-833-8400.

Demographic Information

Candidate’s Name: Merrianne Geisdorf

Home Address: 592 Leisure World, Mesa, AZ 85206

Home Telephone: 480 654-2062

Cell Phone: 480 225-0720

Length of time you’ve lived in the Mesa school district: 8 years

Education you’ve attained: One year of college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska. Through

National Society of Accountants’ and Alaska Society of Independent Accountants’ Annual
Conventions, monthly meetings and various workshops, I accumulated over 240 CPE hours in
Accounting and Tax Information.

Current employment information: Self-employed accountant since 1981. My clients are primarily
small business owners.

Community involvement / organizational service: I am Republican Precinct Committeeman. I have no other
previous political experience. I am also a member of the American Sewing Guild, and I am a Neighborhood
Group Leader for ASG in East Mesa.

Personal / family information: Married to Robert Geisdorf. We have 3 grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Office Telephone: 480 654-2062

E-Mail Address: mgeisdorf@cox.net

MEA & MESPA Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire Telephone 480-833-8400 August 2010

Page 2

Questions related to service on the Governing Board

1. If you are elected to the Governing Board, what is one goal that you hope to accomplish?

Ensure that American History from Columbus forward is taught in all elementary schools. I
would encourage that “The Making of America” textbook be adopted as a textbook for the
Mesa Unified School District. For over 200 years, the United States of America has been a
beacon of light, hope and freedom, the Land of Opportunity. This is because of our Constitution,
capitalism, the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. I believe we need to make sure our
children are educated about the founding of America, what worked and what didn’t.
If our children don’t know HOW and WHY our country came to be, how and why the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written, what the guiding principles
were behind those documents, they won’t understand why so many of us are upset with our
current government. And they won’t understand WHY we need to preserve our freedom, WHY
we need to get back to the constitutional principles upon which our country was founded.

2. For many years the Governing Board has recognized MEA to represent teachers in the annual Meet-and-

Confer process; and the Board recognizes MESPA to represent classified employees in a similar process.
What are your thoughts regarding the value and future of this employee-representation procedure?

I understand that MEA and MESPA are valued as representatives of their members. However, since not
all teachers and classified employees are members of these organizations, I feel that those teachers and
classified employees who are not members of MEA and MESPA should have representation as well.

3. What ideas do you have regarding the improvement of educational achievement for all Mesa students?

Since not all students learn the same way or at the same pace, I think we need to clearly define
student achievement. Achievement does not mean the same thing for all students. And while
there definitely needs to be standards, too many times students are taught to pass a test rather
than getting a full education.

4. Loss of enrollment and cuts in state funding have meant significant loss of revenue for our District.

What ideas and priorities do you have regarding reductions in the District’s operating budget?

I believe we should lease any empty schools to businesses or organizations. This would
not only bring in revenue, but would keep them available in case enrollment increased in
the future. Additionally, we should identify alternatives to expensive programs like the
International Baccalaureate Program which is a NGO of UNESCO in Geneva, Switzerland.

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5. Many school employees tell us about the stress of ever-increasing demands on their time, and ever-

increasing accountability – while resources and staffing are reduced. What are your thoughts regarding
this dilemma for our teachers, administrators, and support staff?

MEA & MESPA Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire Telephone 480-833-8400 August 2010

I would expect that any current or new programs proposed would be thoroughly investigated as to the
accountability requirements by teachers as well as the benefits to students. Once they are implemented, I
would hope that the teachers and students would be given ample time to get through the “learning curve”
before any new programs are added. If there are programs currently being used in the schools that are not
producing expected results, they should be eliminated.

6. If you are elected to the Governing Board, would you consider MEA and MESPA as resources for you as

you deal with issues and decisions on the Board?

7. If there are other issues you would like to address, please do so:

I would like to see early intervention implemented to assist the fast learners as well as the slow learners
and end social promotion.

8. Would you want MEA and MESPA’s public endorsement if that were offered?

Thank you for your time. We look forward to your interview.

MEA & MESPA Governing Board Candidate Questionnaire Telephone 480-833-8400 August 2010

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