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Governing Board

About the Governing Board

The Laveen Elementary School Governing Board is comprised of five elected community members who volunteer their time and talents to ensure the district delivers the best possible educational opportunities to Laveen students. This includes helping district administrators set policy, hire and retain quality staff, and encourage parent involvement.

Meeting Information

Governing Board meetings are held once a month and begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Laveen Education Center located at 5001 W. Dobbins Road in Laveen, Arizona, 85339 (unless otherwise posted). All regular, special, and emergency meetings of the Governing Board are open to the public except during executive sessions. Notices of all meetings are posted at the Laveen Education Center at least 24 hours prior to each meeting. By Arizona Law, executive sessions may be called by the Governing Board to discuss personnel matters, pending legal matters, property purchases, student disciplinary actions, and employee negotiations. Governing Board meeting agendas are available 24 hours prior to the Board Meeting.

Call to the Public During Virtual Board Meetings

While Governing Board Meetings are being held virtually due to the pandemic, the Board will accept public comment submitted electronically. Please complete the Public Comment Form and submit before 11:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting.

Review the Board policy on Public Participation at Board Meetings.

Viewing Virtual Meetings

Meetings held virtually may be watched on the Board’s YouTube Channel.

Agendas and Minutes

Board agendas and minutes are posted on Laveen’s BoardDocs page and at all school sites. Board minutes are available at your local school office after the meeting.

Statement of Location Where All Notices of the Meetings of the Laveen Elementary School District No. 59 Governing Board Will Be Posted
Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, the Laveen Elementary School District No. 59 Governing Board hereby states that all notices of the meetings of the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board and any of its committees and subcommittees will be posted at the Laveen Elementary School District No. 59 District Office located at 5001 W. Dobbins Road, Laveen, Arizona 85339.

This location is open to the public Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with the exception of legal holidays. Such notices will indicate the date, time, and place of the meetings and will include an agenda or information concerning the manner in which the public may obtain an agenda for the meeting.


Policies of the Governing Board may be viewed through the Arizona School Board Association’s website.


Jill Barragan, President

Jill Barragan has served on the Laveen Elementary School District Governing Board since 2013. She served as Board Clerk in 2015 and 2020 and as Board President from 2017-2019. She was again elected as President in 2021. Barragan was originally appointed to the board in 2013 by the Maricopa County Education Service Agency. She ran in 2014 and 2018 and now serves a four-year term.

Barragan is the Executive Director of Business Services for the Avondale Elementary School District, a position she has held since 2010. Prior to joining Avondale in 2008, she worked for the Arizona Department of Education in the school finance division. Barragan began her career as an accountant for the Salvation Army.

Jill was also elected to the executive board of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) to serve a four year term as Vice President, President Elect, President and Immediate Past President respectively. Prior to this, she was elected as Treasurer of AASBO and served a two year term from July 2014 – July 2016.

Jill joined the EQUIP Leadership Team in April of 2017 to work on educating legislators and constituents on public education matters. She is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Her term expires in 2023.

Susan Sanborn, Clerk

Susan Sanborn has served on the Laveen Governing Board since 2006.

She has lived in Laveen for over ten  years and was a teacher in California for 32 years. She is currently a bookstore manager and an artist. Ms. Sanborn has served as the State Treasurer and Publication editor for the California Art Education Association, Board member of her neighborhood HOA, Vice President of the Laveen Art League, member of the Arizona Clay Association, member of the Arizona Art Education Association, and member of the Laveen Village Planning Committee. Ms. Sanborn’s many years of being in the business of education have made her want to continue to help children get a quality education.

Her term expires in December 2024.

Michele Anderson, Member

Michele Anderson joined the Laveen Governing Board in 2015.  She was elected as Board Clerk in 2017 and Board President in 2020.

Ms. Anderson has worked for the Avondale Elementary School District since 2001. She began her career as a classroom teacher teaching 4th and 5th grade as well as K-8 computers. In 2006, she became the district’s Student Achievement Assessment Coordinator where she develops and coordinates district and state assessments and analyzes the data to make curriculum decisions. She trains other educators in a variety of areas including English as a Second Language, Dynamic Indicators of Basis Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), Common Core Standards, and AZELLA scoring. She is also a Certified Teacher Evaluator in the System of Teacher and Student Advancement.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, with areas of specialization in Elementary Education and Early Childhood, from Oklahoma Baptist University. She also earned her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in technology from the University of Phoenix.

Ms. Anderson has served as Secretary on the Arizona Assessment Collaborative and as a member of the Arizona Department of Education Solutions Team. She has won several awards including the Passion and Commitment for Educational Excellence Award from Avondale ESD and the Distinguished Service Award from Casas Adobes Early Childhood Development Center.

She, and her husband Matthew, have two children who attend Trailside Point and Betty Fairfax schools. Ms. Anderson serves on the Arizona Flute Society’s board and is active in the Laveen Baptist Church as well as other community activities.

Her term expires in 2024.

Fern Ward, Member

Fern Ward joined the Laveen Governing Board in 2019.

Mrs. Ward retired from US Airways/America West in 2013. Prior to that she retired from Consolidated Freightways in 2001. She currently works part-time for the Phoenix Police Foundation.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupation Educational with a minor in Computer Programs from Wayland Baptist University.

Mrs. Ward has lived in Laveen for 36 years. She’s served in various community capacities including Laveen BBQ chairperson, Laveen School PTSA President, 4H leader, Sunday school teacher, AWANA leader, soccer coach and softball and baseball coach. She is currently the chairperson of the Legislative District 27 Democratic Party, Laveen Fire District Governing Board member, and the Latino Pride Alliance Advisory Board.

She and Richard, her husband of 40 years have two children and five grandchildren. Their daughter is a Litchfield Elementary School District principal and their son is a City of Phoenix Police Department Sergeant. Both children attended Laveen Elementary School.

Her term expires in December 2023.

Dr. Torrence Watkins, Member

Dr. Watkins opened his private optometry office, Laveen Eye Care, in 2007 and moved into the Laveen community in 2013.

Since joining this community, he has developed mentoring programs, coached youth sports, and sponsored teams and fundraisers. He has also worked with the district to launch the School Connect – Parent University Project in which local organizations come together to educate parents on specific tools and resources to assist them in parenting. He is currently working on an anti-dyslexia program to help eradicate visual problems that affect children’s performance at a crucial age.

Dr. Watkins was educated in the public school system outside of Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State) with a bachelors in Pre-Medicine Biology before graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

His term expires in December 2024.