Christensen: Vote for Dena Kimble for AJUSD board

I am writing in support of Dena Kimble for election to the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board.

Dena and I first met about 15 years ago when our kids attended Desert Vista Elementary School.  Although she and I come from different backgrounds and different parts of the country, we soon became friends and have remained so ever since.

Aside from being good friends, Dena and I worked together on the Desert Vista Elementary and Cactus Canyon Junior High PTOs.  During this time, I learned how much Dena cared about the children in Apache Junction.

As president of the PTOs, Dena donated a huge amount of time and energy to make things better for students and staff.  She rallied many people together and we all worked as a team to accomplish some great things.

In just our first year, the PTOs became nonprofit organizations, raised $65,000 to outfit classrooms at DVES with interactive smart boards and  projectors, raised $18,000 to install interactive projectors at Cactus Canyon, filed for a grant and received $4,000 for the Cactus Canyon library.

We also funded teacher-appreciation events and held popular community activities such as picnics and carnivals at the schools.

Many DVES people probably remember winning the walkathon three years in a row, the very first Halloween Spooktacular and most of all, the Holiday Extravaganza where students and families were treated to a great meal, ice skating, pictures with Santa, a horse and buggy ride, fun activities and school grounds which were completely decorated with Christmas trees and lights.  This holiday event brought our DVES community together like no other. It was also accomplished through donations and at a very small cost so that all of money raised was used to benefit the school.

People should also know that Dena’s efforts did not stop with the PTOs. When Dena was approached by a parent whose child had a heart condition and was concerned there were no AEDs on campus she contacted the Anthony Bates Foundation, a national organization which promotes healthy hearts for young people, and arranged for our student athletes to get free heart screenings.

Dena also had AEDs (defibrillators) donated to each of our schools. She arranged for the junior high to be painted for free and has donated her time to the Superstition Mountain Promotional Coalition and formed the Apache Junction Volleyball Parent Association to help raise money to buy new uniforms, equipment, etc. for the program.

Finally, as a board member and although she keeps this to herself,  Dena’s attention to detail caused her to recognize some issues and was instrumental in saving the district a very significant amount of money. I have no doubt she will continue to benefit our district during the next four years.  Her 10 years of dedication and hard work to benefit this district speaks volumes to her commitment.

Again, I consider Dena to be one of my best friends.  I often ask her why she wants to serve on a school board for no pay and open herself to criticism from people who have nothing positive to say and don’t volunteer their own time.  Her response is always the same and has remained that way since we worked together on the PTOs.  She cares about our community, students and schools and wants all of our children to receive a great education.

Janet Christensen
Apache Junction

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