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SLP to Head of Arizona Department of Education

by Carol Polovoy
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Democrat Kathy Hoffman, a speech-language pathologist in the Peoria (Arizona) Unified School District, won a tight race to become Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction in the Nov. 4 election.

The novice politician was declared the winner over Frank Riggs, an experienced politician, after a post-election vote count, according to a report on ABC15-Arizona.

A first-time candidate, Hoffman won two political upsets—first by besting David Schapira, a veteran politician, in the Democratic primary over the summer, and then by narrowly overtaking Riggs, a former California congressman who also headed a nonprofit group that helped charter schools with funding.

Hoffman, who will lead the Arizona Department of Education, was propelled by grassroots educators who took action during the #RedForEd teachers’ strike last spring. The unprecedented teacher strike in May shut down Arizona public schools for nearly a week, after which the governor signed a plan that gives teachers pay raises that will reach 20 percent by 2020.

As superintendent, Hoffman will oversee the department’s programs and bureaucracy. Look for a profile of Hoffman in an upcoming issue of the Leader.

Carol Polovoy is managing editor of The ASHA Leader. cpolovoy@asha.org

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