For the past 29 years, John Huppenthal has dedicated his career to public service, improving the quality of life for all Arizona citizens. As a member of the Chandler City Council (1984 – 1992) he significantly improved city services and citizens’ satisfaction levels.
For the next 18 years (1993-2010) as State Senator and as State Representative, John pioneered reforms that created the most robust school choice environment in the nation. His legislation and leadership:
- Spearheaded charter school expansion and created open enrollment, empowering parents to choose the education environment that best meets the needs of their children
- Raised standards and school accountability with a rigorous district and school A to F letter grading system
- Implemented hundreds of other important education reform bills that reduced government bureaucracy and its burden on our schools, allowing greater focus on improving student achievement.
As State Superintendent of Public Education, John has partnered with key education stakeholders to improve the quality and effectiveness of our K-12 public education system. Under John’s leadership the Department of Education has held districts and schools to high standards while providing the support they need to be successful.
Upon taking office he immediately reorganized the Department to better serve the needs of the education community. He implemented many process efficiencies and automated outdated and manually driven operations, significantly reducing administrative and financial burdens on our schools. These process improvements have saved our districts and schools millions of dollars and our teachers tens of thousands of labor hours, freeing up resources for educators to focus on what matters most: our children.
As State Superintendent, John Huppenthal has ushered in higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and higher literacy rates while empowering parents with the ability to choose the best education for their child(ren).
John is passionate about supporting all students, teachers, parents, and administrators across the state, from our remote one room schoolhouses to our small rural schools to our large urban districts. He frequently tours the state, visiting schools to identify excellent programs that can be promoted and replicated as well as to learn, firsthand, the many challenges facing our diverse education communities.
With over 20 educational advisory groups, John continually listens to the voices of constituents from around the state to understand their concerns. He also regularly meets with a variety of focus groups, including:
- Teachers, principals, and superintendents
- Parents and students
- Charter school educators
- Arts, career and technical education, foreign
language and special education directors
- Higher education and business leaders, school
business officials, and many other important stakeholders
In recognition for John’s many legislative accomplishments and education reforms, he has been honored by numerous civic, non-profit and professional organizations, including:
- Legislator of the Year – National Federation of the Blind for providing greater access with specialized voting equipment and for providing technology equipment in the schools for the deaf and blind and for ensuring access to media for the deaf and blind and for providing quality programs at the schools for the deaf and blind.
- Legislative Appreciation Award - Arizona Hospital Association for successfully passing legislation providing tort protection to hospitals.
- Legislator of the Year – Arizona Alzheimer’s Association – for a leadership role in providing research funding for curing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Walk the Talk Award - Arizona Medical Association – for legislation providing tort protection to physicians.
- Number One Friend of the Taxpayer – 1994 Arizona Federation of Taxpayers for reducing the burden of government on the taxpayer from the top ten in the nation to below the national average.
- Vocational Legislator of the Year – for legislation reducing paperwork burden on vocational education teachers.
- Legislator of the Year – 2005 Council for Exceptional Children – for providing alternative textbooks for disabled children.
- Partners in Transportation – for legislation advancing efficient construction of freeways.
- Charter School Pioneer Award – Charter School Association for legislation expanding charter schools to 50 per year.
- Legislator of the Year Award – National Federation for Independent Business – for the legislation reducing the taxation burden on business.
- Legislator of the Year Award – Arizona Homes and Housing for the Elderly – for legislation helping to assist providers of Health Care, housing and services to the elderly.
- Hero of the Neighborhoods – from the City of Phoenix for legislative efforts to protect neighborhoods from the effects of liquor stablishments
- Legislator of the Year - Arizona Public Health Association