Tammy Waller

Director of K-12 Social Studies and World Languages, 
Arizona Department of Education

Tammy Waller is the Director for K-12 Social Studies and World Languages at the Arizona Department of Education and the co-manager of the statewide Civic Education and Community Engagement Program. She also teaches at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Prior to joining ADE 5 years ago, Tammy taught 7-12th grade social studies for 25 years in various schools in the Phoenix area and coached both Speech and Debate and Mock Trial. She is a state and national trainer for various civic education organizations and is a member of the Council for Social Studies State Supervisors and the National Council for State Supervisors of Foreign Language. A member of both the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Council for History Education, she currently sits on the board of the Arizona Council for the Social Studies. She is a 2000 Arizona Teacher of the Year Finalist and Arizona Law Related Educator of the year.

Dr. Peter Levine

Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizen and Public Affairs
Jonathan M. Tisch College University

Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. Trained as a moral/political philosopher, Levine has spent most of his career conducting applied empirical research and organizing professional efforts related to civic life in the United States, including sustained work on civic education, voting rights, public deliberation, social movements, and the measurement of social capital. His nine books include the forthcoming What Should We Do? A Theory of Civic Life (Oxford University Press). He helped to found and then led CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), which is now part of Tisch College. He was a co-author of the Civic Mission of Schools report (2003) and the College, Career and Citizenship (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (2013). He serves on the NAEP civics committee and the boards of Discovering Justice, Everyday Democracy, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, and Street Law, Inc.

Kristi Tate

Director of Civic Health Initiatives 
Center for the Future of Arizona

Kristi Tate serves as the Director of Civic Health Initiatives for CFA, where she leads a portfolio of work that drives data, dialogue & action statewide to improve civic health in Arizona. She has served in leadership roles spanning organizations focused on education, service, and civic engagement. Most recently, Kristi served with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a congressionally chartered organization dedicated to strengthening civic life in America. Her focus at NCoC was on developing and leading partnerships for the Civic Health Index, which creates reports and initiatives designed to strengthen civic life in communities across the country. Before joining NCoC, she served at Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice as Director of the DC Schools Project. She has also directed programs for HandsOn Greater Phoenix and the Boys and Girls Club of Boston Charlestown Clubhouse. She has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Georgetown University, with a focus on social and public policy.           

Madison Rock

Senior Civic Health Program Coordinator
Center for the Future of Arizona

Madison Rock is a native Arizonan and self-described cheerleader for democracy. She is passionate about guiding young people through the process of self-empowerment, innovative problem solving, and developing strong, resilient communities. As the Senior Civic Health Program Coordinator at the Center for the Future of Arizona, she supports strategies and initiatives to improve Arizona’s civic health, including the school participatory budgeting program where students “learn democracy by doing” by making decisions over a portion of the district’s budget. Madison has been deeply engaged with the Phoenix Union SPB model since its early adoption and has supported its scale to district-wide expansion. Madison has helped seed and support SPB processes in Chandler Unified, Sunnyside Unified, Queen Creek Unified, and Carson Jr. High. She also serves as a global mentor on School PB in the Rising Stars PB Mentorship Program. Madison graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Service and Public Policy. Her area of study focuses on sustainability, creative city development, and participatory budgeting.

Avery D. Xola

Voter Education Specialist
Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission

Avery is an Air Force Veteran and a former intern at the Secretary of State's Office under Secretary Michele Reagan. He is currently responsible for educating Arizona citizens on the electoral process and creating educational materials for the public. Avery holds a Political Science degree from Arizona State University and is a certified election officer.

Joseph Pitts

Arizona State University College Republicans

Joe is an undergraduate at Arizona State University studying Business (Global Politics) and Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. He serves as President of the College Republicans at Arizona State University, program director for the Arizona Chamber Foundation's Junior Fellows program, Arizona Statewide Coordinator for the American Conservation Coalition, and Executive Councilmember for the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council at Arizona State University. He is dedicated to expanding the promise of civic engagement to all Arizonans and believes that every Arizonan deserves a thorough and applied civic education.

Sahara Sajjadi

Vice President of Membership
Arizona State University Young Democrats Club                  

Sahara Sajjadi is a second-year Global Studies major with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Sahara found her passion for politics within her high school classroom and has since worked for a multitude of different organizations to turn Arizona blue, increase voter turnout, and fight for causes she believes in. She believes that change starts with each and every one of us and puts emphasis on students getting involved in the political arena to bring lost lasting and substantial change. When she isn’t engulfed in politics, she enjoys reading, writing, and cooking.

Rivko Knox

Long-time Arizona Resident, Voter and Political Activist

Rivko Knox is a long-time AZ voter and political activist who has lived and voted in AZ since 1966. Rivko ran for the AZ Senate in 1972 against Sandra Day O’Connor, served on the board for the ACLU of AZ, was a precinct committee person, and was employed by the state of AZ for 26 years. Rivko has also worked as a substitute teacher, lobbyist, and volunteer. Currently, she serves as Secretary & Advocacy Chair of the LWV of Phoenix, which is an organization that promotes civic engagement. Rivko attended USC and graduated magna *** laude with a BA in history. She received an MPA from ASU in 1977.

Gina Roberts

Director of Voter Education
Arizona Citizens Clean Election Commission     

Gina manages a robust public education program that encourages Arizona voters to participate in the political process. She previously administered elections for the City of Peoria and served as Elections Manager for the Secretary of State. Gina earned her Political Science degree from Arizona State University and is a certified election officer. She received the Arizona Capitol Times "Breakouts 2018" award and is a 2019 Fellow, Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy.  

Amanda Straus

Junior High Special Education Teacher
Carson Junior High, Mesa Public Schools               

Amanda Straus is a 4th year teacher at Carson Junior High School. She teaches a self-contained class for students with intellectual disabilities and Autism. She earned her bachelors degree from Arizona State University in Special and Elementary Education and has a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Amanda has successfully implemented civics learning projects in her classroom and throughout her schools campus. This year, she incorporated a participatory budgeting committee with her students for both remote and in-person learners. She received Mesa Public School’s Rookie of the Year award in 2018 for her service to students with disabilities.

Eric Burrows

AZ Government Honors World History Teacher
Mountain Pointe High School, Tempe Union High School District

Eric Burrows has taught United States/Arizona Government and Honors World History at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Arizona for six years.  Previously he taught a variety of social studies courses for 21 years at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. At San Marcos, he also coached a Mock Trial team, with many state and county championships. Eric’s academic achievements are a Bachelor's Degree with Distinction in History from Stanford University, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from Claremont Graduate School and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

César Mitchell

Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Madison No. 1 Middle School

My name is César Mitchell, I am a 23-year-old second year Social Studies teacher at Madison No. 1 Middle School.  I was born/raised in Virginia and have had the opportunity to live in different areas around the world. Through these experiences I was able to witness firsthand many cultures, customs, and lifestyles.  My desire to become a teacher began while attending high school.  This desire for teaching was encouraged and cultivated by my fabulous teachers.  I use all of my experiences gained from attending various schooling systems as well as current world events to teach both the assigned and null curriculum.

Wes Oswald

3rd grade teacher
Escuela Manzo

Wes Oswald has been teaching in Arizona schools for nearly two decades. He currently teaches third grade in Tucson Unified School District. Since the #REDforED movement began in 2018, he has been advocating for public schools through groups such as Arizona Educators United and Save Our Schools Arizona. Wes also enjoys growing and cooking food, riding bikes, sustainability, listening to music, and most outdoor activities.

Bonnie Hickman

6th Grade Teacher
Patterson Elementary, Gilbert Public School District

Bonnie Hickman is a 31 year 6th grade teacher in the Gilbert District. She attended “We the People” training, and with the knowledge she gained there, has changed her teaching focus. She has her students busy on Civic activities:

  • Competed in the State Showcase and US Invitationals for “We the People."
  • Interviewed Veterans for the Library of Congress; Veterans History Project
  • Recognized for “Excellence in Civic Engagement” by the Arizona Department of Education for the 2018-19 school year.

Published several comic books sponsored by the Governor’s Board of Highway Safety forRed Means Stop.” (Vol 1 and Vol 2.)

Tara Bartlett

Research Assistant & PhD student 
Education Policy and Evaluation, Arizona State University 

Tara Bartlett is currently a doctoral student in Arizona State University’s Education Policy and Evaluation program. Tara’s research focuses on youth action civics, public participation, and community development. Previously, Tara taught English Language Arts and Social Studies in low income, urban schools. Tara has experience working on both small and large scale civic engagement projects in Arizona, across the US, and internationally. In Arizona, Tara serves as co-chair on the state’s Civic Education and Community Engagement program and has been integral to the expansion and adoption of civics and youth participatory opportunities in schools. Tara coordinates and facilitates state-level and US regional K-12 civic projects like Project Citizen and We the People and has worked on several national civic research projects, including the Educating for American Democracy project. Internationally, Tara has partnered with the U.S. State Department to teach on the topics of education, public pedagogy, and civic engagement and continues to collaborate on projects in Cameroon and Zambia to facilitate deliberative and democratic practices among youth and rural communities. 

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