Joe Thomas takes great pride in the work of the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and being a teacher. “When school employees come together through Association work, they are demonstrating their intent to create better public schools. The members of the Arizona Education Association lead from the values of fairness, equity, and respect.”
Thomas has been an AEA member since 1997 and in that time has served the Association in several positions, including AEA Board of Directors member, Mesa Education Association (MEA) vice-president, AEA Government Relations and Legislative Task Force chair, Finance and Revenue Committee member, and MEA site representative.
For the 20 years prior to becoming AEA President, Thomas has been a public school teacher, most recently as a government teacher at Skyline High School in Mesa. Thomas believes a free public education system is important to the prosperity of our society. “When we invest in public schools, we are reaffirming the belief that all of us are better when all of us are better.”
Thomas is an Arizona State Board of Education Certification Advisory Committee member and previously served on the School District Redistricting Commission from 2005 – 2008.
Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma in 1995 and his master’s in adult education and distance learning from the University of Phoenix.
Thomas was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. He and his wife Valerie, a counselor in Higley, have three children.