Our Vision

All students in the state of Arizona have access to a high-quality, affordable education, from pre-school to high school, that will prepare them to graduate and successfully transition to a higher education program and career of their choice.

Our Mission

To advocate for all levels of education by sharing our voice, engaging our community and providing opportunities that help students prepare for a successful future.

Our Goals

We pursue our vision and mission by focusing on the following goals:

Sharing Our Voice

  • Advocate for sound and wise educational policies, practices, and legislation necessary to raise the State of Arizona, Pima County, and the City of Tucson to the highest possible levels of interest in, and support for, education;
  • Communicate ideas, programs, and innovative practices in ways that increase access to the very best concepts and programs, and ensure that school districts, community colleges, universities, and community organizations engaged in education are aware of the mission and work of each other and are striving to achieve the highest possible educational benefit; and
  • Equip students, families, educators, business and community leaders with information that will empower them to advocate for the educational welfare of the citizens of the City of Tucson and Pima County.

Engaging Our Community

  • Collaborate with the many agencies that support education, pre-school to post-secondary, by encouraging agencies to work together for the common purpose of enhancing the educational welfare of the citizens of the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the state of Arizona.
  • Engage youth and families in advocating for education.
  • Recognize individuals and groups within the community who demonstrate exemplary service to students and to education.

Preparing for Our Future

  • Promote graduation from high school as a first step toward an enriched future for students and a realistic sense of their place within the community.
  • Guide students through various pathways to higher education that allows them to contribute to a dynamic, highly skilled workforce.
  • Offer programs that prepare high school students to lead in their community and prepare for college and careers.

Appointed by the chair of Pima County Board of Supervisors

George Favela (Chair), Parent
Richard Elias, Member, Pima County Board of Supervisors
Marcy Flanagan, Health Care Community
James Wiltbank, Religious Community
Paul Lovelis (Vice Chair), Social Service Agencies Serving Children/Youth

Appointed by the Mayor and Tucson City Council

Monica Brinkerhoff, Parent, Early Childhood Education
James Cook, Parks/Recreation/Housing
Nicola Hartmann, Social Service Agencies Serving Children/Youth
Regina Romero, Member, Tucson City Council
Luis Manjarrez (Treasurer), Libraries/Museums/Arts

Community Representatives

Aiselyn Anaya, Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress
Mishka Polyakov, Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress
Teri Laguna, Teacher, Grades K-6, AZ Education Association
Melanie Donaldson, Teacher, Grades 5-9, AZ Education Association
Jennifer Sprung, Teacher-Grades 9-12, AZ Education Association
Rex Scott, Building Principal, AZ School Administrators
Steve Holmes, District Schools Superintendents
Buck Crouch, School Governing Board Member, AZ School Boards Association
Dustin Williams, Pima County Superintendent of Schools
Vacant, Educational Foundations
Rafael Meza, Accredited Private Institutions
David Doré, Ed.D., Pima Community College
Kasey Urquidez, Ed.D., University of Arizona
Steven Freeman (Secretary), Disabled Community (MEC Appointee)
Alexander Lewis, Tucson Indian Center
Deborah Embry (Appointments), Tucson Urban League
Javier Herrera, Hispanic Community Forum
Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Ph.D., Pan-Asian Community
Molly Gilbert, Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Daniela Gallagher, Business Community, Sun Corridor
Kendra Davey, At-Large Commission Appointee, Pima County Library
Patricia Wiedhopf (Past Chair), At-Large Commissioner
Arlene Benavidez (Executive Director), Metropolitan Education Commission

Arlene Benavidez

Executive Director
Education Advocacy

Email: arlene@metedu.org

Felicia Ramirez

Program Coordinator
Youth Workforce

Email: felicia@metedu.org

Edward Nossem

Program Coordinator
Youth Leadership

Email: ed@metedu.org

David Rodriguez

Program Manager
College Access

Email: david@metedu.org