Mitra Khazai has lived in the Madison School District since 1996 with her husband, Greg. They have three boys, whose experiences at Madison schools have informed her views on public education. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and has worked in state government policy, environmental and economic development fields in three states. She has also led a Southwest regional environmental nonprofit. In Illinois, she served as Governor James R. Thompson’s Executive Assistant for Natural Resources and staffed Governor Jim Edgar’s natural resources transition team.
Mitra is co-chair of the Madison Advocates. She served as chair of the Madison Simis Site-Based Management Team and as coordinator of the Simis DIGGS gardening program for 8 years. Mitra is a founder of the non-profit organization, Family Promise – Greater Phoenix, a homeless family service provider and served as president of the board of directors. She is currently an honorary board member.
Mitra consults with non-profit organizations on capacity and program development, strategic planning, and board recruitment and training.
Mitra believes that public district schools play an important role in achieving and reflecting American ideals. She serves on the governing board because she believes how students are educated today will substantially determine the kind of society we all live in tomorrow. She is committed to ensure that Madison students continue to achieve a high level of academic achievement; our society profits from better informed citizens and a highly skilled workforce. She believes one of the greatest challenges is to strike the correct balance between our academic programs and the constraints of our financial resources, while advocating for sufficient funding from the Legislature.
John Dewey, the American education reformer, wisely said that “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.” The role of public education is for the common good; all Americans deserve equal opportunities to maximize their individual potential. This in turn, positively impacts our society and culture. Madison schools and our students, mutually benefit all our taxpayers.