Arizona high school senior projected to win race for school board

Nov 15, 2022, 6:30 AM
(Facebook Photo/Markus Ceniceros For Littleton)...
(Facebook Photo/Markus Ceniceros For Littleton)
(Facebook Photo/Markus Ceniceros For Littleton)

PHOENIX — He’s a high schooler in Avondale and still too young to do a lot of things. But he is old enough to run for office, which he did and is leading his race.

At 18 years old, Markus Ceniceros ran for a seat on the Littleton Elementary School District’s governing board in the West Valley. He’s leading an incumbent to serve a four-year term.

“I’m feeling very optimistic,” the teen told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “I’m super, super hopeful that this will be a victory.”

Ceniceros is a senior at West Point High School where he’s involved with student government and the National Honor Society. He also cofounded a political organization that focuses on encouraging young people to register and vote.

On Monday night, he was one of two candidates leading the ballot count. He had 36% of the votes, ahead of Curtis Nielson’s 27%, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department. Amy Soucinek had 37%.

If elected, Ceniceros has big plans for the district. He wants to focus on the mental well-being of students, teachers and staff.

“I personally struggled a lot during the pandemic with my mental health, and I can only imagine what our educators and other students have gone through,” Ceniceros said.

He also wants to find new ways to bring clean energy to the district by getting more electric buses and solar panels. In addition, he wants to make teacher retention a priority.

Ceniceros attended two of the schools in the district as a young child. He was a student at Fine Arts Academy and Tres Rios Service Academy from second grade to eighth grade.

The connection he has to the district isn’t the only reason why he ran for school board.

“Looking around in my community, I didn’t see any young representation,” he explained. “And I thought that my generation should have a seat in public office in my community.”

Ceniceros said the feedback he got on the campaign trail was mostly positive. He said voters were “very surprised” to see a school board candidate knocking on their doors, asking for their support.

He also admitted they were surprised by his age, which he said he worked to overcome.

“Obviously I knew running at a young age, I would have to prove myself,” he said.

When asked what his message is to those who still question if he’s too young to serve on the school board, Ceniceros said he encourages them to not count him out.

“I may be young, but I represent a generation that wants to see change,” he said. “I’m going to stand up and keep working every day to ensure that we can move the district forward.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona Education News

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)...
Griselda Zetino

Arizona Gov. Ducey called on to keep promise, address school spending cap

Some say Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has failed to keep his promise to call a special session so they can vote to lift the school spending cap.
2 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...
SuElen Rivera

UArizona to lead study to reduce risk of cancer in firefighters

Two Arizona universities are parterning on a study to reduce the risk of cancer in firefighters after receiving a $4 million grant.
8 days ago
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)...
Associated Press

Biden extends student loan pause amid lawsuit

President Joe Biden announced that his administration will extend the pause on federal student loan payments amid lawsuits.
11 days ago
(Facebook Photo/Maricopa Community Colleges)...

7 Maricopa County Community College bachelor’s programs gain accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission has granted Maricopa County Community College District accreditation for seven bachelor’s degree programs.
12 days ago
(Tom Horne Photo)...
Marcia Hammond

Incoming Arizona schools chief Tom Horne plans back-to-basics approach to learning

Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Tom Horne said Arizona schools will refocus on academics and tighter discipline on his watch.
15 days ago
(Twitter Photo/Maricopa County)...
Danny Shapiro

Maricopa County now says most ballots won’t be counted by Friday: ‘The goalposts have changed’

Maricopa County officials revised a prediction that most ballots would be counted by Friday, saying a day before that deadline that widespread counting would continue into the weekend.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Arizona high school senior projected to win race for school board