The Educated Voter…Midterm Elections 11/6/18

One lesson that I think all educators across the valley can agree with is that it is critical for us to stay informed and involved in our legislative process. I think we also learned that in order to do this, we need to be proactive in educating ourselves about potential candidates and making informed voting decisions.

As we get closer to midterm elections, this is the time to start preparing ourselves to make knowledgeable decisions in the voting booth.  The purpose of this piece is not to sway you in any direction regarding a candidate. Instead, this is a brief guide that will help you navigate the system as you research our 2018 candidates for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Before we address the candidates, keep in mind the qualifications, term length, and duties  of this position:


  • At least 25 years old
  • A U.S. citizen for 10 years
  • An Arizona resident for 5 years

Term Length:

  • 4 years
  • Can hold 2 consecutive terms


  • Oversees the Arizona Department of Education
  • Executes policies established by the State Board of Education
  • Appoints state funds (annually)
  • Distributes materials and, in short, resources (including teachers certificates) to schools
  • Works with the auditor general to audit school officials’ accounts

It is interesting to note that the majority of all candidates this year had a direct connection to education. I took this as a nod to the  #RedforEd and other movements that clearly stated educators are the best decision makers about education.

Although our state school superintendent results had some close counts, we were able to settle upon two nominees :

Kathy Hoffman (Democrat – 53%):

  • Public school teacher
  • Focus on equity for students, families, and employees
  • Does not support the expansion of ESA vouchers (private school)

Frank Riggs (Republican – 22%):


Meet the Candidate Night:

Meet both candidates (Hoffman and Riggs) during a special free presentation with time for questions and answers at the Arizona NBCT Meet the Candidate Night event.


Prepare to Vote!

You may choose to mail in your ballot or go to the polls.  Regardless of how you do it, make sure to cast your vote during this year’s midterm elections. The last day to vote will be Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


The Importance of this Midterm Election

This election is not just about choosing our next Superintendent. We will also make important decisions for Arizona , including:


Register/Update Your Information…and VOTE!

If you have never registered in this state or moved since the last time you voted, you can register and update your information online at Service Arizona. Your polling location can be found through the Maricopa County Recorder or the Office of the Secretary of State of Arizona.

If you think you do not have the right to vote, do not give up. You may be able to have your rights restored.  Also, persons with disabilities can receive information on their right to vote at Arizona Center for Disability Law.


Yolanda Wheelington

Yolanda Wheelington

Phoenix, Arizona

Yolanda has taught for the past 7 years in the Phoenix Elementary School District. Her passion for developing and supporting the human potential is evident in the cross-curricular work done her classroom. She is a member of the Association Montessori International and is a RODEL Scholar. Yolanda earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Education (Special Education) from Arizona State University, and a diploma in Lower Elementary Education for ages 6-12 from the Montessori Institute of North Texas.

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