MUHS' Tighe named to First Things First

By The Camp Verde Journal staff

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

Mingus Union High School District Superintendent Paul Tighe has been appointed to the First Things First Yavapai Regional Partnership Council.

He joins the 11-member council, which includes volunteer representatives from early care and education programs, health, K-12 education, the faith-based community, parents, business, philanthropy and the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Regional partnership council members are dedicated to improving the lives of Arizona's youngest children and work in partnership to determine the best ways to support kids in their communities so they arrive at school healthy and ready to succeed.

"In my current role as superintendent of Mingus Union High School District, we have a vested interest in early childhood interventions for local youth so they will be better prepared for and more successful in high school and beyond," Tighe said.

He brings a considerable amount of experience in leadership and a comprehensive perspective to the council. He formerly served as assistant superintendent of the Littleton Elementary School District Tighe is an active, involved member and resident of the Verde Valley, where he participates in several local organizations, including the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, the Kids At Hope Steering Committee, the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and serves as a volunteer with Cottonwood Police Department.

The job of getting kids ready for school begins the day that they are born, and quality early childhood experiences increase high school graduation rates, college enrollment and career readiness.

"Research has shown the dramatic benefits of early childhood interventions versus the much costlier and less effective reactive strategies needed with older children who did not receive early, proactive support and services," Tighe said.

He saw the dramatic impact of community commitment to making quality early childhood experiences accessible for all children play out in real life through his prior experience as an elementary school principal.

"Within a few years, we saw some of the dividends of that investment, with 100 percent of kindergarten students reading fluently and performing well on state assessments," he said.

First Things First Yavapai Regional Partnership Council meetings are held monthly in various locations throughout Yavapai County and are open to the public. To learn more about what prepares kids to be successful in school and beyond visit the website.

First Things First is a voter-created, statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help kids be successful once they enter kindergarten. Decisions about how those funds are spent are made by local councils staffed by volunteers.

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