Fleming, Valerie

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
School Board
Apache Junction Unified School District
Special education teacher
Master's of Education in Special Education
Biographical Info:



The key difference that sets me apart from the other candidates and/or the current board members is that my experience and knowledge of the educational system extends beyond merely having previously been a student in the district, or in general. As a board member, I will bring first hand knowledge and the expertise that comes with working in the field of education for going on a decade. My passion and interests in the district are anchored in my heart, and not from temporary interests that motivate the majority of initiatives for campaigning. I have chosen to not sign a contract to teach in a place that I love, in order to strive boldly into the community and offer myself to the betterment of the district. Our school board is composed of members with a variety of backgrounds and vitally needs the perspective and input of an educator/parent. My background as an educator includes a masters degree from Grand Canyon University in Cross-Categorical Special Education, and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in English, with a concentration in literature. I am knowledgeable in special education laws and policies.

If elected, some of my priorities will include getting the community to be invested in the district again, which will include working to rebuild the feelings of trust that the community has lost over the years due to various mishaps both financially and academically within the district. Our district has a severely high turnover rate among teachers and faculty. The district employees phenomenal people, who unfortunately aren’t staying long term. Where is the disconnect? Issues like this do not contribute to fostering a trusting relationship with the community, and a positive relationship with the community is needed in times of requesting bonds or overrides. As a school board member, I can help ensure that the district continues to employee highly qualified and certified staff that return to work there year after year. As a school board member, I will bring the wisdom and insight of a seasoned educator, that which has not previously been heard in sessions, nor valued. I will advocate for the budget to be re-examined and broken down to find oversight in overspending or unnecessary spending that could be better used elsewhere within the district. This includes examining the administration to student ratio, the support staff to need ratio (such as front offices), and the district personal to need ratio, and making cuts accordingly to thus further support high quality academics, extracurriculars, sports, etc. Less can oftentimes be more. Adjustments such as these can potentially reduce the need for the district to ask for a bond or override vote in future occasions.

In addition to rebuilding trust with the community and working to make better use of the given budgets, I want to advocate for the voices of those who often go unheard or feel unheard. If elected I want the community to know they are heard by their school board. As a school board member, I will be available regularly on a monthly or bimonthly basis, at a local location like a park or coffee shop, to visit with anyone interested in stopping by to share their thoughts, concerns, input, etc. I lead with love in my classroom and my students have flourished. Many of you have witnessed this first hand as they are your own children, who I have been so honored to work with in these last four years. I want a district that the community raves about on the local social media pages whenever someone asks for a school recommendation. Through adjustments like this, our district will see an increase in student performance, which will in turn continue to raise our school letter grades, giving the community a sense of pride for our rural district in front of the Superstition Mountains.


Response Legend

  • SSupports
  • OOpposes
  • *Comment
  • Declined to respond
  • Declined to respond, Position based on citation

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Requiring school officials, including teachers, to inform parents about their child’s social, mental, emotional, or physical health S
2. Allowing parents to opt their children out of activities or lessons they find offensive to their personal, moral, or religious beliefs S
3. Increasing state and local taxes to provide more funding for schools and school facility projects O* The funds are available from the state government, who withholds it and requires the schools to ask the community for tax increases. We the people need to demand our state government fund the schools appropriately.
4. Requiring signed permission from a parent before a student may participate in any sexuality related instruction, activities, or clubs. S
5. Allowing all parents to use tax credits, vouchers, or education savings accounts to enable children to attend any public, charter, private, homeschool, or online academy S* Pro school choice.
6. Requiring full-day kindergarten for all students S
7. Mandating sex education classes for 5th-12th grade students S* If implemented, it should be medically accurate and factual information that is age appropriate and includes education on abstinence, contraception, and methods of disease prevention to prevent unintended pregnancy and STIs. Sex education should not relate to sexual orientation discussions or topics as that is not appropriate for school settings.
8. Allocating teacher pay raises based upon merit rather than providing uniform salary schedule increases based upon years of teaching or additional credentialing (e.g. masters degrees) O* Educators are the lowest paid professionals required to hold a degree for their positions and merit based raises supports the narrative of underpaying and undervaluing educators.
9. Implementing policies to allow students and faculty to use the restroom, locker room, and shower room that aligns with their gender identity -* These are individual circumstances that need addressed on an individual basis and incorrect to make broad statements.
10. Teaching what is known as diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI); social, emotional learning (SEL); or critical race theory (CRT) in public schools. O* I oppose CRT. SEL and DEI are erroneously grouped into this question as if they relate to CRT, and they do not.
11. Increasing academic (curriculum) transparency by requiring each public school to post online for parents and the public a list of all instructional materials being used in the classroom. S