Carter was raised in Coolidge, graduating from CHS in 2001. He lives in the Tierra Grande subdivision, which is in the Coolidge Unified School District.

He is currently in his second year at Central Arizona College and is considering a career in education or politics.

Carter was late entering the race, he said, because he didn't find out in time that he could run at age 18.

He said raising teacher salaries and increasing parental involvement in the educational process are two of the changes he would work for.

"We're not going to get the well-qualified teachers to come in unless we give them some reason to come here," he said. "Let them come in, give them the incentive, let them work with the kids, I think they'll fall in love with them."

He added that it's a blow to students' esteem when teachers leave the school for better-paying positions, but he doesn't fault the teachers. "I understand from the teacher's point of view, you have to have the money. You have to live."

He said, as a board member, he would work to strengthen relationships between students and teachers.

"Until they (students) feel that there is someone who actually cares about what they are doing, test scores aren't going to rise." He said most students view test-taking lightly; they often have ability, but not the motivation to achieve. "There were students when I was taking the AIMS tests who were racing to see who could get it done faster."

He said some improvements are needed, but "for the most part we have a lot to work with in the Coolidge school district. There's a lot of good people willing to do their part."

When asked what changes he would work for, Carter said, "Being 18, I know a lot of people are probably expecting me to say 'longer recesses and more pepperonis on the pizza.'" But that his actual concerns are funding and working "to get some of the arts programs back…we lost choir last year…there were a lot of students who that meant a lot to."

He added that it's important to maintain sports and other extracurricular programs. "I think a student who is involved in a program is much more likely to succeed than a student who just goes to get their education."

Students are also helped when their parents are involved, he said. "I think the parent/teacher conferences should be taken much more seriously. Parents shouldn't be forced to go, but they should go. If there's anyway we can get them to go, I hate to say it, but make them go." He said the conferences are important because they allow teachers to get a broader perspective on their students' lives.

He said parents also can facilitate discipline at the schools.

"Whenever a student is going to be sent to a behavior modification center, the parents should be contacted first." He said parents can act as a bridge between students and administrators.

"There's the administrators and there's the students. You can't expect the students to relate to these administrators. There's sometimes a 30-40 year age difference between them," he said. "I think the parents can be that middle ground."

He said voters may question his experience. "I don't have a fancy degree. I didn't go to U of A…yet. But I think I have probably one of the most important experiences of all and that was attending Coolidge High School. It's an experience that none of the other Coolidge board members have had recently."


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