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Arizona Department of Education fills new diversity leadership position

Erica Maxwell (LinkedIn Photo)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Education has hired a longtime Valley educator for a new executive position created to focus on issues of equality.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on Monday announced that Erica Maxwell had been hired as the department’s first associate superintendent of equity, diversity and inclusion.

The hiring came three months after Hoffman announced the creation of the position, saying it was among the first of its kind in the U.S.

“This work embodies the alignment of my life’s passion and purpose at the highest level through community engagement and advocacy for educational equity in Arizona,” Maxwell said in a press release.

Maxwell, who brings more than 25 years as a certified educator to her new job, has been an administrator in the Chandler Unified School District, adjunct faculty member at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and faculty associate at Arizona State University.

“Her career in education is impressive and laudatory, especially her work supporting at-risk youth and diverse student populations,” Hoffman said in the release.

“I’m excited to work together to advance our vision of a public education system that delivers the best possible outcome for every student in Arizona.”

When the position was created, it was described as follows:

Among other responsibilities, the new Associate Superintendent will be tasked with identifying opportunities for cross-agency collaboration, developing a state strategic plan for equity initiatives, and working with the Policy & Government Relations team to propose legislative solutions to state lawmakers. The Associate Superintendent will also participate in many of the State Superintendent’s task-force groups that focus on issues of equity, such as the African American Advisory Council, Latinx Advisory Council, Culturally Inclusive Practices Advisory Council, and more.

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