Governing Board Profiles
We are pleased to highlight our current District Governing Board Members. For these brief profiles, they were asked to respond to some or all of the following questions:
- Why are you a member of the Tanque Verde Unified School District’s Governing Board?
- What are you most proud to have achieved so far as someone who’s been involved with our schools?
- When your Board service concludes, what do you hope will be said about it?
- Briefly describe the work you do and how you’ve arrived at this point in your career.
My family has lived in the Tanque Verde Valley for over two decades. It’s a wonderful area with tremendous schools and a truly dedicated community. Like many, we moved to the district in order for our son and his future sibling to get an excellent education. My husband is a native Tucsonan and grew up in the area. We so appreciated that our sons had the same history teacher at Emily Gray as my husband and his sister! What fantastic continuity and commitment of our teachers to have taught generations of families over the years.
Throughout my sons’ education, I have been an ardent volunteer for their various school needs. Recently I served as the TVHS PTSG president from 2018-2022. Volunteerism is incredibly important to me. I feel it is my responsibility to help; lending my skills and time working toward the greater social good. Public education is critical for our students’ future, and a well-educated populace is vital for our society.
As a new TVUSD Governing Board member, I look forward to serving the Tanque Verde community, understanding the needs of our district, and contributing to positive educational outcomes for our students.
I am a long-time Tucson resident and a proud Wildcat with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Arizona. As a software engineer and technical leader for an American multinational technology company, I understand the importance of education. Access to technology and modern education builds the work force of tomorrow, attracts high-wage jobs, and creates economic opportunities!
The TVUSD Governing Board has weathered various challenges since I moved into the area, yet has kept students and their education the focus and priority of their decisions. As a Board member, I will continue this practice, while leveraging my background to collaborate with fellow Board members and District administration and staff to provide a pathway for educational success for each student.
By listening to and working with parents, teachers, staff, and students to understand their challenges and celebrate their successes, I will partner with my fellow Board members to develop policies and strategies that support a robust and thriving educational environment; making our Tanque Verde schools a standard to measure against.
After obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Arizona, I moved to Cleveland, OH to earn a Master of Science in the same subject area from Case Western Reserve University. I left the midwest to join Intel Corporation, working in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon. My tenure at Intel included positions as a factory support engineer, process engineer, materials quality engineer, and quality & reliability engineer of server systems; often times managing cross-functional and multinational teams. Once I became a mother, I stepped away from the engineering workforce and immersed myself into the role of stay-at-home parent. Though I wasn’t dealing with supplier quality issues, product yield improvements, or process audits, my engineering background enabled me to manage the challenges of raising children in a world filled with technology and social change. Long interested in photography, I am currently developing a photography business.
I am most proud of participating in the creation of our own high school and the building of the new Emily Gray Junior High School. Additionally, I am proud of meeting the challenge of keeping the District financially solvent during many years of the great recession that has rocked our economy. I hope that it will be said that I was effective in keeping the District a top quality District that provides outstanding opportunities for excellent teachers to deliver high quality education to the District’s students in a fiscally responsible manner.
I am a lawyer certified as a specialist in real estate law by the State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. I have been certified for over 30 years. I practice in the areas of real estate, probate, trusts, wills, bankruptcy and commercial litigation. If you want to know more about my practice follow this link:https://www.udalllaw.com I am a partner with Udall Law Firm LLP, here in Tucson.
I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I went on for another three years to graduate from the University of Arizona law school. We moved to the Phoenix area when I was quite young because of my father’s work. I was smitten by Arizona’s natural beauty. This is one of the primary reasons I established my practice in Tucson after completing Law School. My father – a machinist - emphasized the importance of education in bettering one’s self. His hard work raised the family to a solid middle class life style from the bleak poverty of rural southeastern Ohio in which he was raised. I treasured the opportunity to get a good education that he encouraged. It’s been through hard work and the educational opportunities that I’ve broadened my horizon, enriched my life and provided for my family. So, I feel honored to have been able to serve the Tanque Verde Unified School District in providing those opportunities to succeeding generations.
I have volunteered in a number of high school CTE projects throughout Pima County for several years. My business, training and education background is geared toward the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, and my hope is to be able to continue sharing my experience and expertise in that area.
My hope is to make a difference through my board service to the lives of TVUSD students by providing them with a variety of learning experiences and education options in both college and career pathways.
I am a Vice President of Hi-Tech Machining and Engineering in Tucson. I have an MBA from the University of Arizona – Eller College, and a BS from Ohio State University. Throughout my work experience I’ve held a variety of positions from Industrial Control Engineer, to Quality Manager and Marketing Manager.
Thomas Trask is a retired United States Air Force (USAF) officer, with vast leadership and command experience across a wide variety of business sectors including education, operations, executive corporate leadership, and program administration. Thomas was also an experienced state-licensed public school educator, licensed at both elementary and secondary education levels.
Thomas is a game-changing strategist with an extensive professional career of building top-performing organizations, and leading major educational and operational improvement initiatives across large and complex institutions. He is recognized for his sound judgement, strong decision-making abilities, and a demonstrated willingness to shoulder enormous responsibility under intense pressure. Thomas is a confident relationship builder, experienced at top-tier corporate and senior government levels. Thomas has managed multimillion-dollar annual budgets, supervised multibillion-dollar assets and facilities, and successfully lead thousands of team members across many organizations and a wide variety of professional disciplines. With broad exposure to a wide range of cultures and communities across many assignments throughout the nation and around the world, Thomas intends to bring his unique multidisciplinary and multicultural perspective to the Tanque Verde Unified School District Governing Board team.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State in Tempe, AZ, and a master’s degree from National University in La Jolla, CA, and considers himself a life-long learner. During his 20-years of service in the United States Air Force, Thomas commanded a professional technical training school, with a $20M annual budget, and was responsible for the education and professional development of over 900 students and corresponding staff and faculty. He served with distinction as the Multimedia Curriculum Department Chief for Air University, where he leveraged technology to optimize training programs educating 15,000 in-resident students, managed the development and implementation of leadership development curriculum across an $8M cloud-collaborative system with 20,000 remote users. Additionally, Thomas held various other positions throughout his career including: Inspector General Inspection Team Chief for the USAF’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC); Assistant Director of Operations for the United State’s only East Coast space surveillance system; and was a Senior Operations Crew Commander for strategic space systems reporting directly to the President of the United States, and the Secretary of Defense.
Thomas Trask is a father of two young children; one enrolled in the Tanque Verde school district, and the other not yet old enough to attend school. With his extensive background in education, from elementary school through to adult learning, Thomas is passionate about making sure students are receiving the correct curriculum, tailored to the correct learning-level, and presented in a flexible manner that meets the needs of each student’s particular learning style.
As a parent of a school-aged child, Thomas understands the concerns of parents and their desire to ensure their students are taught in a safe environment - physically, emotionally, and philosophically safe - an environment where children are taught to be strong, resilient, independent thinkers; where students are taught how to use reason and logic to think, with their ultimate goal of becoming self-sufficient and productive citizens. Thomas understands that parents are the ultimate decision making authority for their children, and it is the governing board’s responsibility to listen to parents; to create an environment that reflects the desires of the residents of the district; to foster a professional educational environment that demands excellence at every level, transparency in the classroom and the boardroom, integrity and accountability of each team member and student, and a promotes a spirit of continuous growth and improvement; always improving, always learning, always doing our best.
Student Board Members
While I have lived on a ranch in the Tanque Verde District my entire life, I transferred into the district after attending Veritas Academy, BASIS Tucson Primary, and BASIS Tucson North. During my Tanque Verde High School Career, I have served as Vice President of SkillsUSA, junior officer of the World Cultures Club, and student body secretary for the Student Council. I have volunteered with the City Beautification Club to make our district cleaner and volunteered as a student ambassador at club fairs and high school fairs to encourage other students.
I believe it is my responsibility as a student to engage and participate in the growth of my community and school district; I hope to achieve this further by representing students on the District Board. I view my contribution as a student board member as a way to actively express my gratitude for all the academic and personal opportunities the Tanque Verde District has given me. Through my participation, I hope to gain a greater understanding of the work that continues to make our district successful.
After High School, I hope to attend the University of Arizona and major in Physiology and Medical Sciences; my greater career goal is to pursue Clinical Endocrinology. In my free time, I enjoy reading books about neurobiology, playing the electric guitar, caring for my eight animals, and being active. I am a firm believer in approaching every opportunity with integrity and a
creative mind that seeks excellence for the betterment of myself and others.
My name is Joel Hetland and I’m a Senior at Tanque Verde High School (TVHS). I’ve been in this jurisdiction since 2nd grade, starting at Hermosa Montessori Charter School (HMCS), although HMCS is not considered a Tanque Verde Unified School District (TVUSD) school. I transitioned into an official TVUSD school my freshman year., and since then I’ve grown to thrive in the unique public school system. I applied to learn and understand the decisions at the board level and am eager to represent my colleagues - old and new - in the Tanque Verde district.
I currently work as a Banquet Server at La Mariposa Fitness and Sports Club. The job requires great communication and listening skills to effectively get guests what they need. It also commands a great deal of organization to ensure a marriage couple’s “best-day-of-their-lives” runs smoothly. I’m also currently working on my Private Pilot's License so that I can fly as a hobby or even a career.
In addition to my job, I’m part of many extracurricular activities. I am the top tennis player at TVHS with a national junior ranking of 2845th, my greatest performance being high school state semifinals. I’m also a member of World Cultures Club, National Honors Society, City Beautification Club and formerly a Varsity Soccer player and Varsity Cross Country runner. Furthermore, I am the CEO and Founder of the Future’s, a new club established to connect TVHS students with professionals in desired careers, and/or teach business/entrepreneurship in a “Shark Tank” style approach. All my past and present activities have afforded me the opportunity to bond with many groups of students, and I pledge to represent them well while at my position on this board.
After Graduation I will take with me the lessons I have learned through the Future’s Club to the University of Arizona. I hope to major in Business and Entrepreneurship to pursue a career starting businesses to improve activity and living in Tucson. I also have interest in taking my Private Pilot's License a step farther and getting a commercial license to fly a dream job with Delta Airlines.
I’m honored to have been chosen for the school board and am excited to give it my best.