Jeanne Casteen is a dedicated and passionate educator from Phoenix, Arizona. After graduating from ASU (summa cum laude) with a degree in Human Communication and History in 2008, Jeanne entered into the teaching profession through the Teach for America (TFA) program. She received a Masters in Secondary Education in 2010 from ASU. Seeing how policies, often made by those completely disconnected from education, had real consequences for her students, she decided to run for the Creighton School District (CSD) Governing Board in 2012 and currently serves as President of the board.
Born in Illinois to two hard-working United Auto Workers, Jeanne moved to Arizona in 1991. She has watched as the state of Barry Goldwater and Rose Mofford has become a national spectacle for bad policies and partisan politics. During her time in Arizona, she’s attended several junior colleges and a state university and understands the importance of access to an excellent, affordable education. Her children and stepchildren are the products of public schools, and she believes that a child’s zip code should not determine their access to opportunity.
During her short eight years in education, teaching exclusively in Title I schools, she has worn many hats: she has coached middle school girls sports, acted as a site steward and communications chair for her local union, acted as PLC leader for her sophomore English team, became certified as an IB and AVID instructor, worked closely with at-risk youth at an Anytown Camp in 2013 and 2014, and most recently, she was chosen as part of the Arizona Department of Education’s Title 15 Working Committee designed to review outdated and harmful state education statutes with the intention of presenting recommendations to the Arizona State Legislature during the next legislative session. In 2015, she completed a summer fellowship at the Maricopa County Education Services Agency (MCESA) researching policy barriers for “disconnected” or “opportunity” youth.
This work, as well as her work as a governing board member, her activism on various political campaigns throughout the state, and most importantly, her work in the classroom, have given Ms. Casteen a holistic understanding of the challenges facing our youth today and how now, more than ever, we must address the inequities inherent in our education system. She currently works in the Isaac School District at Isaac Middle School as a middle school teacher.