This Teacher of the Year Is on the Ballot and Ready to Fight 

Photo courtesy Christine Marsh Teacher of the Year YouTube video

By Alicia Barrón

October 29, 2020

“Arizona can have policies and pass budgets that reflect the fact that we do value our state’s kids and average citizens.”

A few years ago, one of Christine Marsh’s students asked whether kids were worth less than kids in other states. The student thought that because Arizona kids’ education was funded at the lowest level in the nation, that Arizona kids must be less important than students in other states. 

She tells The Copper Courier that his question was like a sucker punch, and it still upsets her that Arizona children believe they are worth less than other kids in the country.

That is one of the many reasons and the biggest inspiration for her running to represent Arizona Legislative District 28.

In 2016, Marsh was named Arizona Teacher of the Year. Needless to say, education is one of Marsh’s key issues. She believes we need to restructure the way we fund our public education system. She wants to invest in teachers, require smaller class sizes, and prioritize public neighborhood schools. And her former students have helped fuel her campaign.

In fact, one of her video campaign ads was completely produced by former students. 

She tells The Copper Courier, “Former students’ engagement in my campaign, or in any other endeavors to move the state or the country forward, are so inspiring to me.”

When Marsh first ran 3 ½ years ago, she had a former student (who was still attending college at the time) design her logo. That former student still does graphic work for her campaign. 

“Ever since then, I have tried to involve former students who want to help in the campaign, especially if it provides an opportunity for them to showcase specific skills,” Marsh explains. “When we decided to create an ad featuring a former student, it just made sense to also ask a former student who is now a musician to create the music and to make sure that the logo was prominently displayed in the ad.”

The message of that particular campaign ad is that Marsh values students, even when they are no longer in her classroom. 

She said that when she talks to voters, she finds most people want to feel and to be valued. “I’ve spent 28 years in the classroom making sure that every student feels valued, and it’s what I will do as a state senator.”

Photo courtesy Christine Marsh Teacher of the Year YouTube video

When asked how she feels about the current state of politics in Arizona, and where she sees Phoenix in a decade or so, Marsh said our state’s children and average folks worry about having accessible, quality healthcare, as well as sending their kids to strong public schools–adding that these issues are currently not reflected in the state’s budget. 

But things could be different in 10 years. “Arizona can have policies and pass budgets that reflect the fact that we do value our state’s kids and average citizens.”

If elected, one of Marsh’s priorities in her first 90 days in office will be working on a budget that actually reflects the values of the state. To her, a budget is a moral document that reveals what a person (or a state) values enough to invest money. 

She has a variety of bills that she wants to get passed, one of which is making sure that insurance companies cover hearing aids for hearing-impaired children.

Marsh is inspired by how engaged so many of our young people are, and that gives her a great deal of hope for the future. One of her campaign volunteers is only 13 years old, and he consistently makes so many phone calls that he ranks among the Top 3 on their phone-banking leaderboard. 

And in case you haven’t heard: Marsh reminds us that voters under 30 years old are making up a record share of early voters, both in Arizona and nationwide.

To learn more about Christine Marsh, go to her campaign page


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