Governing Board - Propelling the Vision

Board President

Mrs. Gina DeCoste

Phone: (623) 932-7000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Gina DeCoste

Philosophy of Education:  A positive school culture and climate is the heart of improvement and growth.  I believe it is our responsibility to provide our students with the knowledge and skills necessary for further education, employment and responsible citizenship.   

Background:  I am originally from Ohio where I graduated from the University of Cincinnati and was a special education teacher in the public school system for three years before I moved to Arizona.  I received a Master of Educational Leadership from ASU-West and continued my special education teaching career.  I joined the Litchfield ESD in 2004 as a special education teacher, shortly after that I became the Director of Special Education and then I was given the unique and amazing opportunity to be the planning principal and open a new elementary school, where I was principal for eight years.  I currently serve as the Executive Director of Programs and Instruction in the Litchfield ESD.  I believe the experiences and perspectives I have gained in various roles through 25 years in education are an asset to the Agua Fria Union High School District.  

Goal for Agua Fria Union High School District:  As a parent and lifelong educator, I am wholeheartedly invested in our community the students we serve.  I see myself as a liaison between the community and AFUHSD.  I believe it takes a collaborative effort from teachers, parents, board members, administrators, students and community members to have a successful district that provides an excellent environment for teaching and learning.  I plan to continue to provide teachers and administrators with the tools and resources they need to ensure the success of all of our students in a continually growing, diverse school district.  

Board Term: January 2017 – December 2020

Board Vice President

Mrs. Mariana Sandoval

Phone: (623) 932-7000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Mariana Sandoval

Philosophy of Education: All children, regardless of their race, economic status and background deserve access to a quality education and the chance to achieve academic and career success. Educators who are dedicated to this cause deserve to be properly compensated and acknowledged for teaching, guiding, mentoring, encouraging and for fostering a love for life-long learning. 

Background: I have spent the majority of my working career as a public-servant. I have been a Paralegal for 19 years, and I am currently working as a Senior Paralegal with the State of Arizona. My husband and I have three children, two of whom graduated from Verrado High School.

Goal for Agua Fria Union High School District: My short term goal for the district is to reduce class sizes and increase salaries for our teachers, thereby increasing teacher retention, making this the best district in the West Valley. My long term goal is to prepare all students to graduate and be ready for college or career and put us on the path to become a nationally top ranked district.

Board Term: January 2017 – December 2020

 

Board Member

Ms. Maxine Hill

Phone: (623) 932-7000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Maxine Hill

Philosophy of Education: Our District Vision of “All Students College and Career Ready” compels us to be strong advocates for our students and our schools. Strategic planning, effective administration, highly qualified teachers, great support staff, involved parents and supportive community must continue to work together to provide the instructional framework necessary for high expectations, engagement of students, alignment to standards, and academic rigor that will result in student success.

Background: I am a native of Detroit, Michigan. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in June of 1973, and a Master of Education degree was conferred in 1979 from Wayne State University. My career in education began in 1973 upon joining the Detroit Board of Education as a Teacher Coordinator in Distributive Education at Northeastern High School. I have served as adjunct faculty at Wayne County Community College, Detroit, Michigan; University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Extension; and Chicago State University. I have served as an elected trustee of Oakton Community College and as vice president of the Illinois Association of Community College Trustees. I have served on several City of Goodyear committees, was elected as ASBA/Black Caucus President in 2014-2015, and have been privileged to serve on the Agua Fria Union High School District Governing Board (Board President in 2013 and 2015).

Goal for Agua Fria Union High School District: As your Governing Board, our goal is to increase academic performance of ALL students, and to provide ALL students with the tools needed for post-secondary and workforce success. Collaboration of and continued support from all stakeholders is important in doing what it takes to afford students optimal educational opportunities and to make the Agua Fria Union High School District superior in every way.

Board Term: January 2019 – December 2022

 

Board Member

Mrs. Vickie Landis

Phone: (623) 932-7000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Vickie Landis

Philosophy of Education: I believe all students deserve opportunities and promising futures that education provides. As our workforce continues to evolve, it is our responsibility to ensure that our students are prepared to achieve their goals and reach their potential.

Background: I have 25 years of experience in education as a practitioner. I have been a teacher, coach, mentor, assistant principal, and director of curriculum and instruction, with the first fifteen years of my career in the classroom.  I have worked in the Agua Fria Union High District, and my children attend school in the district. With my experiences in education as a professional, parent, and community member, I look forward to making informed decisions with students and community in mind.

Goal for Agua Fria Union High School District: As a community, we have high expectations for our schools, and I am excited to support the district’s strategic plan in order to provide the best education and opportunities for all students. As we continue to improve, I look forward to Agua Fria Union High Schools being recognized for distinction at the state and national level.

Board Term: January 2019 – December 2022 

Board Member

Mrs. Mary Kay Utecht

Phone: (623) 932-7000

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Mary Kay Utecht

Philosophy of Education: All students can learn.

Background: I graduated in secondary education from the University of Idaho. I spent 33 years in the public school system in the state of Washington. During that time, I taught at every level, administered at the elementary level and worked from the staff development office as an Instructional Facilitator throughout the district.

Goal for Agua Fria Union High School District: My goal would be for every student who graduates from any high school in the Agua Fria Union High School District, would be emotionally intact, socially aware and academically ready for whatever he or she chooses for their next step.

Board Term: January 2017 – December 2020