Tag Archives: Terry Goddard

A wonderful civics lesson for all

A huge video monitor was used to share a message of welcome from President Barack Obama.

Twenty people. Nineteen different countries of origin. Anywhere from four to 52 years of time spent living in this country. Working here. Contributing.

The flag of the United States of America. The flag of the Department of Homeland Security. Girl Scouts. Public officials, including former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

The story of a man whose family escaped the wars in Nicaragua when he was just a first grader. A vivid description that captivated each person in the audience, including the very youngest.

The Pledge of Allegiance. The National Anthem. Trusting, innocent voices singing, “This land is my land, this land is your land….” Knowing it.

Smiles that wouldn’t stop. A baby that wouldn’t stop crying. A videotaped message from the President of the United States.

Hugs. Tears. Handshakes of congratulations. A sunsplashed patio. Fairytale Brownies and lemonade. Goodbyes. Good wishes.

Two of the citizenship candidates who were led to the ceremony by Desert View Learning Center students.

Desert View Learning Center in Paradise Valley hosted a naturalization ceremony Friday. Because several of our staff members have children who attended the school, its principal, Piya Jacob, invited us to attend. Multimedia journalist Vicki Louk Balint, staff photographer Daniel Friedman and I were honored to witness this sacred rite of passage that is something akin to a baptism, a wedding and a graduation all rolled into one.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services typically conducts these ceremonies within the confines of a courtroom. Just recently, the decision was made to offer some of the ceremonies within different venues in the community. Desert View was chosen because one of its parents is an immigration officer.

The students played an active role in the event. Their artwork adorned the programs. They made paper flags of each citizenship candidate’s country of origin. The candidates proudly carried their flags as they were escorted by the third grade class into the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix. (The school rents space from the church.) A Girl Scout troop presented the colors.

The entire student body was seated on the floor at the front of the sanctuary so that each student had a clear view of the ceremony. Many wore red, white and blue. The group sat quietly, respectfully, jumping up only when it was time to sing one of several songs they performed.

Piya, herself a native of India who became a naturalized citizen a number of years ago, was expecting “a wonderful civics lesson for all, and a most heartwarming ceremony.” The actual event surpassed all expectations.

Candidates take the oath of citizenship.

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Cover child part two

Not many kids can say they’ve been on the cover of a magazine — twice. So 11-year-old Kevin Goddard has something of a claim to fame.

As if he didn’t already. Kevin is the son of Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, whose family roots go deep in our community. Kevin’s grandfather, Sam Goddard, was Arizona’s governor in the 1960s. And his dad is now running for the same job.

But this is a story about Kevin, not his dad.

The first time Kevin appeared on our cover, in October 2003, he was 4½ years old and attending The Family School in Phoenix, a unique nonprofit preschool and kindergarten that blends state-of-the-art practices in early childhood development with parenting education, counseling and other services that support the entire family. The school serves a diverse population of young children and families, which was part of its appeal to Kevin’s parents.

The Family School was founded by Susan Cedar, M.C., L.P.C., whose expertise I tapped in early 1989 while creating a plan to launch Raising Arizona Kids — and whose guidance I continued to seek both personally and professionally as a friend, mentor and sounding board for many years to come.

So when the school’s staff asked me if I would allow them to auction off a “your child on the cover” opportunity at a spring fundraiser, how could I refuse?

I don’t remember how much money the cover raised for the school, but it must have been substantial because three families pooled their resources to purchase it. One of those families was the Goddards.

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Just another day in the Goddard household

It was starting to feel like summer on Friday afternoon as we set up for a June cover shoot with Attorney General Terry Goddard and his 11-year-old son, Kevin.

Dan Friedman sets up for the shoot.

The temperature was in the 90s and the air had that little bit of a sticky feel to it. But the lush gardens in the backyard of the Goddard home, in historic Central Phoenix, were still holding their own, unwilling to give up the last fresh breaths of spring.

As Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams and photographer Daniel Friedman set up for the shoot, I followed Kevin around the garden in search of ladybugs.

The Goddards’ son is an afffable, easy-going kind of guy who accepted our invasion of his home and backyard as though it happens every day. He took me under his wing and showed me around the yard, pointing out the lily pads in the pond and the towering sunflowers that had found their way into the flower bed.

Sunflowers in the Goddard backyard.

We noticed that some of the other, more delicate flowers had been attacked by aphids, so Kevin started off on a mission to load up the vulnerable plants with exterminator ladybugs. Dan had a hard time dragging him away when it was time for the photo shoot with his dad, who wrote a story for the June Father’s Day edition of Raising Arizona Kids magazine. His article, “Raising a Reader” describes the reverence for reading that has characterized generations of Goddard family members and includes a list of books Terry has enjoyed reading aloud with Kevin.

We look forward to sharing Terry’s story in June. Meanwhile, here are some more pictures I took at the Goddard home Friday. — Karen

Terry Goddard and his son Kevin

Getting started...

The Goddards' three dogs, including Petey (left) and Jake, were NOT happy to be cloistered in the house during the shoot.

We wanted to get a family shot with mom, Monica Goddard, too--but who let the dogs out?


Kevin enjoys photography and took some fabulous shots as we were waiting. He and I swapped tips while the real pros did their work.