What will school look like this fall?  How do our school administrators make the decisions that will affect families with children and by extension, our whole community?  Get the inside view in this episode of the Prescott Woman Podcast with PUSD Superintendent Joe Howard and Assistant Superintendent Mardi Read.

Welcome to the Prescott Woman Podcast, the monthly audio companion to Prescott Woman Magazine. We’re your hosts Kelly Roberge and Charles Matheus, a curious couple exploring the rich array of talent, personality, and engagement we find throughout the Quad Cities.  We dive deeper with the people featured every other month in the pages of Prescott Woman Magazine, discovering more about how they are working to make our community better.

Our guests this episode are stalwart education leaders, Mardi Read and Joe Howard.

Mardi Read graduated from UC Riverside with a BS in Environmental Science and worked in environmental consulting for 10 years. She moved to Prescott in 1997, where her father was raised and her grandmother was a teacher at PHS.

Education and Prescott must be in Mardi’s bones because she went on to earn her teaching credential and two master’s degrees – in educational technology and educational leadership. She worked for years in the classroom and as an administrator before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Prescott Unified School District.

Joe Howard also has the education of Prescott kids in his bones. Joe’s father Jim Howard was superintendent of schools in Prescott for years.  Joe has been the superintendent of the Prescott Unified School District for the last five years, guiding the district through budgetary, enrollment, and staffing challenges. Following his second year as superintendent, he received the prestigious Distinguished Administrator award from Arizona School Administrators.

Joe and Mardi were very open and honest with us about the challenges of educating kids during a pandemic, especially considering the limited resources available and the rapidly changing situation. But they have come up with a clear plan that balances keeping kids safe while working hard to keep their education on track.

There’s a treat at the end of the episode. Mardi, who’s clearly the historian of the pair, regales us with some stories about the early years of Prescott Unified School District, so listen for that.

We think you will finish listening to this episode feeling more confident in our school administrators and more hopeful for the future of our kids.

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