Metropolitan Education Commission News

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Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) 2014-2015 Meeting Schedule

All meetings take place at:
Tucson Pima Public Library, Lower Level Meeting Room
101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701
*except where noted


* RETREAT – Saturday, August 8, 7:45 a.m. – 12:00 Noon, U of A Student Union Catalina Room
September 16
October 21
November 18
December 16


January 20
February 17
March 16
April 20
May 18

MEC Teen Town Hall

The MEC’s 21st Annual Teen Town Hall will take place on Friday, October 23, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Catalina High School Auditorium, 3645 E. Pima Street.

The Teen Town Hall, sponsored by the MEC’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress, Pima County, and the City of Tucson, brings students from around Tucson and Pima County together to express their opinions and voice their concerns on any topic of their choice to elected officials, school superintendents, high school principals, law enforcement representatives, MEC Commissioners, and other community leaders.

Together we listen, learn, and find solutions to some concerns of our community’s youth. Most recently, members of the YAC/TTC and area students had the opportunity to discuss issues on higher education, youth employment/internships, youth services, and safety with individual community adult leaders. We sometimes forget that the teens of our community have issues and concerns affecting their everyday lives, and many adults forget their responsibility to hear these young people and to provide solutions.

The Key To Employment For The 21st Century Symposium

The 19th Annual Key to Employment for the 21st Century Symposium - February 3, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., University of Arizona Student Union Ballroom, 1303 E. University Blvd.

Students and educators from around Pima County attend this annual event which is supported by the City of Tucson, Pima County, the University of Arizona, and Pima Community College. This Symposium is designed to introduce students to high tech industries as career options for their future, and since its inception has reached over 6,000 students.

2016 Key to Employment Exhibitors: Click here to fill out and submit an exhibitor form for this event. Forms must be submitted by January 15, 2016 to reserve a space at the event. 

Please donate to this great event. The Key to Employment has inspired students to pursue college, science, technology, and 21st Century careers. Your donation allows more youth to attend and learn about hi-tech careers that are available to them. Let's show our students that they can be a part of the 21st Century. Click here to donate.

Resolution of the Metropolitan Education Commission Regarding the Arizona State Fiscal Year 2016 Funding for Education

The Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) was established by Tucson Mayor & Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors to advise and advocate on education issues.  The Resolution Regarding the Arizona State Fiscal Year 2016 Funding For Education was passed unanimously by the Commissioners on March 26, 2015.

25TH Annual Crytstal Apple Awards Luncheon

We Made It! Twenty-five years ago, the Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) founders had a dream of creating a Tucson/Pima County Education Commission. Community leaders envisioned an organization that would advocate for our children’s education and develop programs to address high school graduation and higher education access and success. Since its inception in 1990, the MEC has achieved that goal and much more.

On May 8, 2015, the MEC celebrated its 25th Anniversary at Desert Diamond Casino with the 25th Salute to Education and Business Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon.

A video chronicling the MEC’s history and accomplishments was produced by Media Source America and presented at the event.

If you have any questions please call us at 670-0055. Thank you very much.

The 2015 Crystal Apple Honorees are:



EDUCATION ADVOCATE AWARD – Former Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup

EDUCATION ADVOCATE AWARD -  Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías

TEACHER AWARD – Kevin Kehl, Andrada Polytechnic High School, Vail USD

COUNSELOR AWARD – Eve Rifkin, City High School

CORPORATE AWARD – League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

YOUTH AWARD – Onelio Madrid Calderon, Pueblo High School, Tucson USD

Funds raised benefit the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Regional College Access Center. Media representatives are also invited to the ceremony. For background information on the awards or honorees or to arrange an interview, call June Webb-Vignery, Ph.D. at 670-0055 or email:

2015 Dorothy O. Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Awards

The MEC's Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) is pleased to announce the 19th Annual Dorothy Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Awards Honorees! The award is presented to deserving young persons who have contributed or made a difference to the community, as well as improving their own life.

Ten youth are selected by their peers and acknowledged as winners of the Dorothy Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Award. One of these ten winners is the recipient of the MEC's prestigious Crystal Apple Youth Award. The ten youth are recognized and honored by the community at the 25th Annual Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon, which will take place at the Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino on Friday, May 8, 2015.

The 2015 Outstanding Teen Citizens are:

Alexia Andreopoulos
Cholla Magnet High School
Tucson USD

Onelio Madrid Calderon*
Pueblo High School
Tucson USD

Annaiz Del Campo
Tucson Magnet High School
Tucson USD

Misty Farrar
Presidio High School

Grecia Villa Felix
Amphitheater High School
Amphitheater USD

Braxton Dillard Liddell
Basis Charter High School/Menlo College

Francisco Montaño
Andrada Polytechnic High School
Vail USD

Rodney Rogers II
Cienega High School
Vail USD

Victoria Souksavath
Desert View High School
Sunnyside USD

Juan Torres
Amphitheater High School
Amphitheater USD

* Crystal Apple Youth Honoree

2015 Goal One: Graduate! Poster Contest Winners

Elementary School Category:
Bibiana Gonzales, 4th Grade
Walter Douglas Elementary School
Flowing Wells Unified School district

Elementary School Category:
Gabe Johns-Portillo, 5th Grade
Quail Run Elementary School School
Marana Unified School District

Middle School Category:
Haley Motika, 7th Grade
Vail Academy
Vail Unified School District

Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC)

The MEC’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) is recruiting new members!

Since its inception in 1990, the Metropolitan Education Commission’s (MEC) Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC) has proven of exceptional value. Composed of middle and high school students representing public, private, charter and parochial schools across our city and county, the YAC/TTC gives youth a strong positive voice in our community. In October of 1993, the Tucson Mayor and Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors amended the resolutions establishing the MEC to include two youth representatives on the MEC. These students are chosen by the YAC/TTC to represent youth in the MEC’s decision-making process.

The goals of the YAC/TTC are to provide youth/student input on policies and programs designed to improve the quality of education throughout Pima County and to engage in activities, which foster leadership, citizenship, and the best educational opportunities for all Tucson youth. The YAC/TTC has been identified and utilized as an important contributor to the City of Tucson and Pima County community organizations to increase youth civic involvement.

The Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress core group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the months September through May at the Joel D. Valdez Public Library, 101 N. Stone Avenue, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The 2015-2016 YAC/TTC Meeting Schedule is as follows:

  • August 2015
  • MEC Retreat August 8, 2015
    7:45 a.m. — 12:00 Noon
    U of A Student Union Catalina Room
  • September 2015
  • Wednesday, September 2
  • Wednesday, September 16
  • October 2015
  • Wednesday, October 7
  • Wednesday, October 21
  • November 2015
  • Wednesday, November 4
  • Wednesday, November 18
  • December 2015
  • Wednesday, December 2
  • Wednesday, December 16
  • January 2016
  • Wednesday, January 6
  • Wednesday, January 20
  • February 2016
  • Wednesday, February 3
  • Wednesday, February 17
  • March 2016
  • Wednesday, March 2
  • Wednesday, March 16
  • April 2016
  • Wednesday, April 6
  • Wednesday, April 20
  • May 2016
  • Wednesday, May 4


If you have any questions please contact MEC Program Coordinator Ed Nossem at 520-670-0055.

Please click the link below for the application:

YAC TTC Letter and Application docx

Email completed application to: or fax to 670-1110

Crystal Apple School Counselor Award

Do you know a school counselor in Pima County that has gone above and beyond to help students stay in school or provided exceptional guidance toward college and/or a career?

We want to know about them too!

The Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) is seeking nominations for the School Counselor Crystal Apple Award to be given to a K-12 school counselor who has provided exceptional support and guidance to students. Nominations will be accepted by an individual or group using the accompanying form. The nominations can be submitted along with endorsements and anything else that supports the claim that education and future planning is a top priority for this nominee. guidance toward college and/or a career?

Through the Crystal Apple Awards the MEC brings the community together to support systems of education that ensure both equity and excellence. The presentation of the Crystal Apple Awards celebrates the positive collaboration within the communities of education, business, government and the general population. The Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon will take place on FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015 at the Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

No contribution is too small in the eyes of the MEC because community recognition is a powerful tool that can educate and motivate people! Please take the time to complete this nomination form and give the MEC an opportunity to recognize a school counselor’s efforts on behalf of education in our community.

Click here for the: School Counselor Nomination Form

Or email us for more info:

Enter the Goal One: Graduate! / Meta Numero Uno: Graduar! Poster Contest

The Metropolitan Education Commission invites Pima County’s Elementary, Middle & High School students to participate in the Goal One: Graduate! / Meta Numero Uno: Graduar! Poster Contest.

Winners attend & will be given special recognition at the MEC’s 25th Annual Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon on Friday May 8, 2015 at Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway.

The poster theme should inspire and/or reflect your educational goal for continued higher education.

Contest criteria: Poster Size - 11” x 17” - minimum, 14” x 18” - maximum. Medium - Any type of art medium may be utilized

Topic: Within the poster artwork, the theme title MUST INCLUDE either and/or both: GOAL ONE: GRADUATE! or META NUMERO UNO: ¡GRADUAR!

Due Date: FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

Entries can be mailed or dropped off at: Metropolitan Education Commission, 930 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85719

PLEASE NOTE: All poster entries become the property of the Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC).

Click here for the: Poster Submission Form

Each poster submission MUST have the following attached to the back of the poster:

Student Name
Teacher Contact
Student Home Address
Parent/Guardian Telephone Number
If you have any questions please contact us at 520-670-0055 or email:

Regional College Access Center (RCAC)

Facilitates the access to and success in college for all Pima County students, with a special focus on students from low-income households or who are the first in their family to attend post-secondary education programs. For more information, please click on the link below: