December 16, 2021

Education Forward Arizona engages with leaders across the state

Since the launch of Education Forward Arizona in August, we’ve been eager to share our mission, vision and strategic direction with our partners in every corner of the state, so we decided to do just that with our recent Roadshow tour.

Rich Nickel, President and CEO of Education Forward Arizona, speaks with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council about how to create a cohesive voice for P-20 education in Arizona.

In an effort to create awareness of our work and influence important policy decisions that will strengthen Arizona’s P-20 education system, we visited more than 20 communities to spread our message.

We travelled from Douglas to Kingman and everywhere in between—meeting with leaders from business, education, community and nonprofit organizations throughout the state, including the Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance, Arizona CTED Superintendents and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.

Groups such as the Arizona Business and Education Coalition heard our CEO, Rich Nickel, present on the role of businesses in public education and others like the Mohave/La Paz First Things Council learned more about how Education Forward Arizona will work to advocate for policies that will impact the state’s youngest learners.

Our President and CEO and other staff members have also had the opportunity to meet with journalists across the state, to add context and data for several news articles and segments, including in Flagstaff’s Arizona Daily Sun, Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star, Horizonte and the Arizona Republic.

2021 Rural Policy Forum in Sahuarita.

Our conversations with key leaders are vital and have given us the opportunity to share more about our new organization’s origin, advocacy and the innovative programs that we plan to scale to close achievement gaps and improve education outcomes.

To continue to advance education and the quality of life for all of Arizona, we need an organization with the ability to bring diverse leaders from across sectors and around the state together to champion the change needed to ensure the success of all students and communities. I’m excited to be a part of Education Forward Arizona’s work and ready to take the steps needed to transform education in Arizona.

Shelley Mellon, President and CEO of RL Jones Insurance and MVS
Rich Nickel and Shelley Mellon at a dinner with Yuma leaders.

Our community impact teams are continuing to meet with leaders throughout the state to effectively engage communities and encourage more stakeholders to advocate for equitable education opportunities for every student in Arizona.

We know that we cannot do this work alone.

Richard Daniel, Executive Vice President and COO of Education Forward Arizona, speaks with the Rural Policy Forum about the importance of rural education.

“Education Forward Arizona is a giant leap forward in leveraging the strengths of many Arizona organizations, across different sectors to align and advance our common goal, raising Arizona’s educational attainment and further developing our workforce, economy and overall quality of life,” said launch partner and Sahuarita Unified School District Superintendent Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.

“Our shared commitment to these outcomes will create common focus, common ground and more success together.”