One of the great Scottsdale stories of 2016 was the undeniable vibe that southern Scottsdale and her neighborhoods were an area on the move.
Its strengths have long been known – proximity to Scottsdale’s thriving downtown and nearby freeways, a surging SkySong, new breweries – and the marketplace in the form of new families and residents started to respond.
Mayor Jim Lane put a profound emphasis during his 2016 re-election on this turnaround. Here again the marketplace responded, voting to re-elect him in the southern city by wider margins than 2012.
But to continue the resurgence a critical part of the area must be addressed: public schools. It’s a fair question to ask if improvements aren’t made can southern Scottsdale continue its revitalization? Yes, charter schools can step in to address some voids. But ultimately it’s up to the backbone of the public education system to deliver, or not. A case in point is central Phoenix and the Madison school district. There, good schools equated to more families which in turn has created a mecca of cool and culinary where that didn’t exist previously.
That’s why it’s so gratifying to see south Scottsdale’s high school, Coronado, asking for help. CORONADO SUCCESS A COMMUNITY PRODUCT. And that ASU and the Scottsdale Charros have stepped up to the challenge should be applauded.
The Scottsdale Unified School District, of which Coronado is a part, has a relatively new leader, Denise Birdwell. The essence of leadership isn’t just to find a way through or around walls when necessary. It’s also being able to recognize that outside voices and resources may be necessary to scaling them and solving problems. This isn’t a matter of not being too proud to beg. It’s one of Birdwell being prideful and mindful of her position, seeking new ways of wisdom to students are successful not squandered.
We wish them all good luck.
If and when these capable leaders turn Coronado’s challenges into opportunities it won’t only be good news for the young minds there, it will be a catalyst to continue SoSco’s upward trajectory.