Meet the Superintendent
Dr. Linda Arzoumanian
Linda grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where her family had pioneered in the 1800's. She grew up in the family home surrounded by teachers. Her grandmother and two great aunts were teachers in public school settings in Wisconsin, Illinois and Kentucky. Every summer she was surrounded with tales of teaching. She has always said, "My career was determined the moment I was born." She was surrounded by the beauty of the lands of her ancestors. Culture and the arts were an important part of the family heritage. One great aunt was an artist teaching in the public schools in Chicago. Another ended her career teaching children of poverty in the slums of Philadelphia. She taught the children on her majestic grand piano while sharing tea and cookies with them so that they learned good manners and correct grammar. These great aunts took a great deal of interest in Linda whether introducing her to the Roosevelt family in Washington D. C. or having her attend art seminars and ballets in Chicago.
Although Linda's altruistic nature led her to begin a career in religion and philosophy, she soon realized that teaching really was the right choice. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics when people thought anyone with that degree was a "walking encyclopedia" because they had to be so versed in so many topic areas. Her real choice however was early childhood education having been selected her junior year to serve in the laboratory preschool program at her undergraduate university as the only intern for the program for three year olds.
Soon after graduating she entered a master's degree program on full scholarship to Ohio University in the area of Human Relations or better known now as Community Development.
A hiatus of full time work occurred after deciding to raise a family and support a husband going for a doctoral degree at the University of Maryland. She never lost her vision of the children of poverty in West Virginia, of the migrant workers in Michigan where she spent summers or the migrant field workers in Wisconsin where she worked along side of them to earn money for college. The abject poverty was everywhere and little children were without formal education as they helped their families in the fields.
For Linda, there has always been struggle between whether or not you teach the adults to become better parents and home educators or do you guide children to realize their potential. She has worked in all arenas of teaching from preschool to college but her favorite was teaching teachers to be better teachers of young children.
Linda moved to Arizona several years ago. She became actively involved in the community volunteering in the schools and providing consultation in the area of early childhood education. Her two sons were well on their way to adulthood when she decided to return to school for her doctorate. It had been a dream of hers since she was 13 years. What a great day it was when the degree was conferred.
CODAC Behavioral Health Services, Inc. provided the perfect setting for the now Dr. Arzoumanian as she collaborated with others to develop the first nationally accredited early childhood program in public housing in the United States. She also developed an infant/ toddler center at the VA hospital in Tucson. She added her expertise to the revitalization of one of the more at risk neighborhoods in Tucson where a new elementary school was built along with new public housing, a child care center, a full service community center and a library. It was the culmination of all those components that led to truly integrated family services. She was responsible for a multi million dollar grant from SAMHSA (Integrated Family Services) which focused on aligning education, prevention, early intervention, and health treatment for children 0-8 and their families. For Linda, this was a dream come true.
However, the call came for her to move into the arena of politics as the county school superintendent. The services that the office provides to the teachers, administrators and children of Pima County are unsurpassed in the state. Her strong belief in leadership, service and collaboration leads to enhanced collaboration and excellence in education.