Venessa Whitener

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Venessa Whitener
Venessa Whitener.jpg
Board member, Higley Unified School District Governing Board, At-large
Term ends
Years in position 8
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sArizona State University
Master'sArizona State University
Office website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey

Venessa Whitener is an at-large member of the Higley Unified School District Governing Board. First elected to the position on November 7, 2006, she won re-election in the November 4, 2014, general election.[1]

While the governing board is a nonpartisan political body, Whitener was a Republican candidate for District 21 of the Arizona House of Representatives. She lost the Republican primary election on August 24, 2010.


Whitener holds a B.S. in secondary biology education and an M.S. in educational leadership from Arizona State University. She has worked as a teacher and coach for elementary and high schools. She is a member of the Arizona School Board Delegation for Congressional District 6, a Federal Relations Network Representative, a Board Fellow Mentor for Teach for America and an Arizona Flinn Foundation Leadership Academy honoree.[2]

Whitener's family includes her husband, Scott, and their three sons. Their sons attend Cortina and Centennial Schools.[2]



See also: Higley Unified School District elections (2014)


Two at-large seats were up for election in 2014. Incumbent Venessa Whitener ran for re-election. Fellow incumbent Kim Anderson did not file to run in the election. Greg Wojtovich, Michelle Anderson and Rebecca Jarman joined Whitener on the ballot.

Incumbent Whitener and newcomer Wojtovich won the general election.


Higley Unified School District, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngVenessa Whitener Incumbent 28.4% 5,552
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGreg Wojtovich 24.8% 4,853
     Nonpartisan Michelle Anderson 24.3% 4,760
     Nonpartisan Rebecca Jarman 22.5% 4,404
Total Votes 19,569
Source: Maricopa County Recorder/Elections Office, "2014 General Election Results," accessed December 20, 2014


Whitener reported $60.00 in contributions and $31.17 in expenditures to the Maricopa County Recorder's office, which left her campaign with $28.83 on hand.[3]


Whitener did not receive any official endorsements.



See also: Arizona House of Representatives elections, 2010

Whitener lost to J.D. Mesnard and Tom Forese in the August 24, 2010, legislative primary. Mesnard and Forese proceeded to the general election, where Forese won the seat.

Governing board

The 2010 governing board election was canceled because Whitener and fellow incumbent Kim Anderson ran unopposed to retain their seats.[4]


Whitener was first elected to the Highley Unified School District Governing Board on November 7, 2006.[1]

Election results

Higley Unified School District, At-Large General Election, 4-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKim Anderson Incumbent 41.2% 4,503
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngVenessa Whitener 30.2% 3,298
     Nonpartisan Greg F. Land 28.2% 3,085
     Nonpartisan Write-in candidates 0.4% 47
Total Votes 10,933
Source: Maricopa County Recorder, "General Election November 7, 2006, Final Official Results," November 19, 2006

About the district

See also: Higley Unified School District, Arizona
Higley Unified School District is located in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Higley Unified School District is located in the city of Gilbert, which lies in southwestern Arizona in Maricopa County. Phoenix is the county seat and the state capital. In 2013, Maricopa County was home to 4,009,412 residents according to United States Census Bureau estimates. In the 2011-2012 school year, Higley Unified School District was the 23rd-largest school district in Arizona and served 10,484 students.[5]


Maricopa County slightly overperformed compared to the rest of Arizona in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Maricopa County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.6 percent for Arizona as a whole. The median household income for the county was $54,385 compared to $50,256 statewide. The poverty rate in Maricopa County was 15.8 percent compared to 17.2 percent statewide.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2013[5]
Race Maricopa County (%) Arizona (%)
White 84.7 84.0
Black or African American 5.7 4.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 2.7 5.3
Asian 4.0 3.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.3 0.3
Two or More Races 2.7 2.6
Hispanic or Latino 30.0 30.3

Presidential Voting Pattern, Maricopa County[6][7]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 602,288 749,885
2008 602,166 746,448
2004 504,849 679,455
2000 386,683 479,967

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[8]

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