Sections    Sunday April 21st, 2019
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Eight educators named Exemplary Principals by Maricopa County School Superintendent

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  • Laurie King/ Maricopa County Education Service Agency

Tim Fountain, Principal Of Gateway Pointe Elementary School In The Higley Unified School District Was One Of Eight Exemplary Principals Honored By Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson. Photo Courtesy Of MCESA

Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson is pleased to announce the eight 2018 Maricopa County Exemplary Principals. Watson announced these “best of the best of the best” as Exemplary Principal Award recipients in surprise ceremonies at each principal’s school last week.

The 2018 Exemplary Principals are:

  • Priscilla Gossett, Madison Heights Elementary School, Madison Elementary School District
  • Eric Gundrum, Sahuaro Ranch Elementary School, Peoria Unified School District
  • Dale Shough, Cheyenne Elementary School, Peoria Unified School District
  • Rhonda Warren, Sunburst Elementary School, Washington Elementary School District
  • Tim Fountain, Gateway Pointe Elementary School, Higley Unified School District
  • Sarah Zembruski, Trailside Point Performing Arts Academy, Laveen Elementary School District
  • Dr. Marianne Lescher, Kyrene Traditional Academy, Kyrene Elementary District
  • Heather Anguiano, Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School, Chandler Unified School District 

The Exemplary Principal Award recognizes school leaders that value ​that support and empower teachers who provide excellent education opportunities to students. The superintendent annually presents the Maricopa County Exemplary Principal Award to school leaders who:

Exemplify practices and leadership (during the past three school years) that contribute to improved student learning.
Involve staff, parents, and community members in developing an effective school culture.
Have a history of high teacher retention.

Superintendent Watson stated, “I am a teacher that ran for County School Superintendent to support my fellow teachers in improving learning for all students. One way to do that is by celebrating the leaders that clear the way for great teaching to happen. Principals have the power to create positive teaching environments and, in turn, excellent learning opportunities for students. These principals do that and I am pleased to present them with this award.” 

Learn more about the Exemplary Principal Award and about each of this year’s winners, along with their photos, at

Maricopa County Education Service Agency video: Meet the 2018 Exemplary Principals

About the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent

The Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent, led by elected Superintendent Steve Watson, is statutorily responsible to serve Maricopa County residents, especially its 725,382 students. The superintendent’s office works to strengthen teacher voice, increase respect for the teaching profession, and create resources that teachers can use to teach creatively and with autonomy.