Oct. 28, 2004
|A UMNS photo by Allysa Adams
High school senior Devin Mauney is running for a school board seat in Tucson.
A UMNS Feature
By Wally Athey*
Devin Mauney turned 18 years old on Sept. 11 and is looking forward to voting in his first presidential election Nov. 2.
is thrilled to be able to cast his first congressional ballot in
Tucson, Ariz., but more important, he will go to his polling place that
Tuesday morning and see his own name on the ballot.
High School senior Devin Mauney is also "School Board Candidate Devin
Mauney" for the Tucson Unified School District. He is one of eight
candidates on the ballot running to fill three school board positions.
believe there needs to be a student voice on the board," says Mauney,
who filed his nomination petitions in July. "Issues that affect
students’ lives, their curriculum, and their schools need to be looked
at from a student’s perspective."
Much of his inspiration comes from volunteering at Christ Church United Methodist in Tucson since the early ‘90s.
was always a leader among the youth…" says the Rev. Rebecca Oakes Long,
his pastor for seven years. "He’s well liked. And he has great respect
for adults." As a pre-teen, he sang in the youth choir and currently
plays saxophone in the Praise Team on Sunday mornings.
"As his spiritual life deepened, Devin matured with a self-reliance and keen sense of the political," Long says.
|A UMNS photo by Allysa Adams
Devin Mauney stuffs envelopes at the headquarters of a Tucson congressman.
is a member of the United Methodist Commission on Communication, was a
delegate to the 2004 Western Jurisdictional Conference, and represented
the jurisdiction at the United Methodist Youth Organization meeting in
Nashville, Tenn., this year. He was in Pittsburgh when the 2004 General
Conference approved creation of the Division on Ministries with Young
Mauney’s candidacy has generated an unusual amount of local news media coverage. A newspaper story in the Arizona Daily Star plus exposure on the local network television stations has given him more visibility than any of the other candidates. "I
think I can win, and I think I can make a difference for all the
students," he says. The Tucson Unified School District has more than 120
schools with more than 60,000 students.
been going to all the meetings that even some of the candidates don’t
end up at and some of the incumbents don’t end up at," Mauney says. "I’m
just trying to hear what’s going on in the district and what people
need for the district."
support of his mother, Meleah Whetstone, and brother, Logan Mauney, has
been critical. "They’re really involved with the campaign," Devin says.
"I know I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without them."
elected, Mauney will stay in Tucson to attend the University of
Arizona, where he already has a scholarship. If not, he’ll consider
attending out-of-state schools. The school board is facing some major
decisions, including replacing a superintendent who resigned under
pressure this year.
*Athey is director of communications for the United Methodist Church’s Desert Southwest Annual Conference.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.