As we begin 2018, each month Cadence at Gateway will recognize Arizona leaders in the business, education, government, non-profit and faith based community working to improve our East Valley region. Our education partner on the inaugural Cadence Builds project, Dr. Sally Downey, is our first East Valley Champion. As the Superintendent of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) in Mesa, Dr. Downey provides leadership and direction for 3,000 students on the main campus and over 20,000 at satellite campuses. Sally has been passionately supporting young people and creating new paths to college and careers for more than 40 years. EVIT is a joint technical education district or JTED funded by taxpayers to provide tuition-free career training to East Valley high school students, as well as affordable training for adults through more than 40 programs. Dr. Downey is known for her adeptness at cutting through clutter, speeding up the process and focusing on what matters in education. This keeps students engaged and ensures they’re employable. It also means Arizona businesses have qualified young people to hire – essential in fields including construction and technology that have been identified as pipeline deficits in our region. She creates partnerships with industry so students are gaining skills that matter today and will remain relevant tomorrow. Dr. Downey is a prime example of what is right in Arizona education and is frequently invited to share her vision with statewide and national education, business and governmental leaders. EVIT is also a key component of the Mesa Gateway Knowledge Corridor along with ASU East and Chandler Gilbert Community College – all three just minutes from Cadence. Thank you Dr. Sally Downey for being an East Valley Champion as you make our region a better place for your students, their families and future employers. To learn more about the amazing programs, students and faculty at EVIT visit http://www.evit.com/ Know an individual or organization improving life in Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Chandler or Queen Creek? Send your Cadence East Valley Champion nominations to info@CadenceAZ.com Photo credit East Valley Institute of Technology.