Arizona Hero Daniel Hernandez Jr. Wins School Board Seat Near Tucson

The hometown hero is headed back to his old school district.

By Jamilah King Nov 11, 2011

Remember Daniel Hernandez, Jr? He’s the quick-thinking former Congressional intern who helped save Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life after she was shot in Tucson back in January. In the media appearances that followed, Hernandez, 21-year-old openly gay political science major at the University of Arizona, graciously diverted attention from himself so we could all stay focused on the tragedy that had taken six lives and scarred many others.

Despite all the attention he’s gotten, Hernandez has remained committed to public service. And that commitment recently paid off when he was elected to a Tucson-area school board. "I didn’t feel like I was doing anything concrete," Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times about his life since the shooting. "I wanted to find a way to do public service."

He’ll be going back to Sunnyside Unified School District, just outside of Tucson, which is the same district from which he graduated high school from in 2008. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that Arizona has cut spending per student by 24 percent since Hernandez was enrolled four years ago. Hernandez’s first priority? Protecting all-day kindergarden.

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