Michael Valdez is originally from Buckeye, Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Arizona State University and his master's degree in business administration from Western University. He has been a social studies teacher at Tonopah Valley High School since 2014. In addition to teaching, he is a club adviser for the student council and culture club at Tonopah. He began his career in education to help the youth in his community. Most of his students seek guidance and role models, and Mr. Valdez feels it is his job as a community leader to help fill the void of such roles. He will be starting his sixth year in working in public education this fall, his ninth year in education as a whole. Mr. Valdez was the mentor teacher to Wang Jian from Tangshan City, China (2017-2018) and Shen Yan from Lanzhou, China (2018-2019).