July 2014 Member Spotlight - Christina Kishimoto, Ph.D.

Christina Kishimoto, Ph.D.,
Gilbert Public Schools
Gilbert, Arizona

Career Highlights & Education:  While attaining my Masters in Public Policy and a doctorate in education, I had the opportunity to work in business and higher education. Upon completing my doctorate at Columbia University, I transitioned to PK-12 education policy and administration. This year I am starting my 4th year as a Superintendent of Schools. My first three years as Superintendent was in an urban setting on the east coast in Hartford, Connecticut where I engaged with a dedicated team of staff and parents on a district-wide reform effort. During the seven years of reform, we delivered on a 32-percentage point gain in the high school graduation rate. Today I am leading in Gilbert, Arizona a large town district of 39,000 talented students with a great team of teachers and leaders.

What I like best about my job is:  There is nothing more fulfilling than to work in an area of great passion surrounded by talented, innovative staff. Everyday, I get to engage in work related to the education, preparation and support of our children and youth in our community as they prepare to be the leaders of tomorrow.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  Exercise your mind, body and soul everyday. Then smile, smile, smile.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:  Decide what is really important to you and then develop Teflon shoulders.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found:  Hint...the only acceptable gift for Christmas, Mother's Day, or my Birthday is a Gift Certificate to Massage Envy!

People would be surprised to know that:  I love to go stream and lake fishing with my husband and daughter. Then I like to eat the catch.

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  ALAS is a network of talented leaders dedicated to supporting one another in the important work of delivering on quality education for our children and youth across school systems. These are the leaders that you need to know!