Retired Air Force Colonel running for Oracle School Board

Linda Thomas is a retired United States Air Force Colonel and is a candidate for the Oracle School Board.

She has spent nearly her entire life around the military. Her father was a Green Beret and career Army man. She was born in Germany and spent her youth traveling around the world, wherever her father’s career took the family. In her career field in the Air Force, she was responsible for a number of base support activities including: youth centers, child development centers, fitness centers and libraries. As a Youth Flight Chief, Linda was directly responsible for the welfare and safety of 300 plus children in the centers and led the child development program to their first U.S. Air Force certification. This certification involves a 300 item checklist which requires a passing grade. Criteria on the checklist come from a variety of sources including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Early Childhood Program Standards and Accreditation Criteria. Linda was selected twice as “Best in Air Force” in her field.

Linda and her partner Holley moved to SaddleBrooke four years ago. Holly is a retired Colonel also.

“We feel very fortunate to be here; we love Arizona,” said Linda. “Arizona is a great place to ride motorcycles.”

Linda is an avid motorcycle rider and enjoys golf, reading and pottery.

Linda started doing volunteer work when she first arrived. She then took a paid position as Program Director for Wingspan, a non-profit organization in Tucson. In 2011 she was named “Woman of the Year” by Echo Magazine out of Phoenix, primarily for her work with Wingspan and establishing the Wingspan Classic Charity Golf Tournament. The golf tournament held at the Omni Tucson National Resort raised more than $50,000 its first three years and has a budget of $25,000 for this year’s tournament. Linda has once again retired and continues to volunteer.

Quoting Lee Iacocca, Linda said, “‘First it’s about learning, earning and then returning.’ That’s where we are in our lives.” She has a passionate interest in education and believes she can apply her skills and experience to good use as a member of the Oracle School Board.

A battle for resources in lieu of proper funding is one of the biggest problems that Linda sees for education: “We have to fill the gaps somehow.” She said that the school needs to look at funding from businesses, grants and the public and make sure our tax dollars are properly used. Linda said that quality education is the basis of what the country and state need to move forward. “We need a strategic vision,” she said.

Linda said that some of our students will one day be legislators or government leaders. “I want them to be smarter than me.”

Linda has toured the school district and said she saw “clean facilities, fresh paint, and people doing what they can with what they had. We need to support them and the teachers.”

Linda admitted she has a lot to learn about Oracle and Eagle Crest but looks forward to meeting people from these areas. Her expertise is in SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch.

“We have a fair amount of academians in these areas; I would like to get them to connect personally with the kids in the district.” Linda said that the volunteers from the SaddleBrooke Community Outreach have done a wonderful job for the schools and connecting with the students. She hopes to apply her skills to get all the communities more active and involved with the school district.

Linda believes “we can do a better job than has been done.” She added, “I also know from my military experience that if problems were easy to be solved they would have already been fixed. I know one person can’t do it alone.” S

he hopes to apply her skills to get all the communities more active and involved with the school district. On her “Linda Thomas for Oracle School Board” Facebook page she wrote: “Since our country was founded, the American Dream has done much to inspire people around the world. We need to ensure that every American child is afforded a quality education to ensure the American Dream survives and thrives!”

If you are interested in learning more about Linda or would like to get involved with her campaign, visit Linda Thomas for Oracle School Board on Facebook.

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