Jobs for America's Graduates honors Tolleson Elementary Supt. with leadership award
Sections    Thursday June 27th, 2019
Twitter Profile Facebook Profile LinkedIn Profile RSS Profile

Jobs for America’s Graduates honors Tolleson Elementary superintendent

  • |
  • Graciela Candia/Jobs for Arizona's Graduates

Tolleson Elementary School District Superintendent Lupita Hightower

Tolleson Elementary School District’s Superintendent Lupita Hightower received the 2015 National Leadership Award from Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) at the 35th Anniversary Leadership Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C on Dec. 3.

Hightower, who holds a doctorate degree in education from Arizona State University, was recognized for her commitment and involvement in the support of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates in the district.

Jobs for America's Graduates honors Tolleson Elementary superintendent LupitaHightower

Tolleson Elementary School District Superintendent Lupita Hightower

JAG, known as one of the nation’s most successful programs in helping young people facing great challenges, is recognizing local and state leaders from across the nation who support JAG in their day to day careers and are advocates for the program and JAG students in their community. The award distinguishes leaders who work to build partnerships and financial resources to engage more students that can benefit from the program.

JAG classes are currently offered to students at Desert Oasis, Sheely Farms and Porfirio H. Gonzales elementary schools. Hightower has been with the Tolleson Elementary School District for over seven years and has been the superintendent for nearly five years.

“We have incredible JAG Counselors working with our extraordinary students. JAG has benefited the community tremendously.” Hightower said. “We have not expelled a student in the last 5 years. Additionally, 100% of students in JAG have promoted and more than 80% have improved their GPA.”

The program was launched in 1980 and has served more than 35,000 Arizona students and has demonstrated remarkable impact in boosting student achievement, engagement and preparation for careers and college.

There are currently 25 programs and more than 1,300 students being served. Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates President Graciela Candia said the program’s success is a joint effort between education partners, the community and JAG.

“We are very proud JAG is recognizing Dr. Hightower for this prestigious award. Her wisdom and guidance have been instrumental in helping JAG thrive and grow in the Tolleson Elementary schools,” Candia said. “We are thankful for her phenomenal leadership in her district and for her support of the JAG program, leaders and the students.”

Jobs for America's Graduates honors Tolleson Elementary superintendent JobsForArizonaGraduatesLogo JAG currently operates in 32 State Affiliates across 1,000 communities. Over one million underserved youth have gone through the program since its inception with 90%-plus of JAG students graduating from high school and 80% employed, in post-secondary education, or both a full 12 months after they graduate. This employment rate is double the rate of students with similar backgrounds who are not in JAG. If you would like to more information about JAG in your community, email or call 602-216-9506.

About Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates

Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates is an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates, the longest running and most successful dropout prevention and school to career transition program in the country. The mission of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates is to help young people to stay in school and to acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills they will need to be successful upon graduation. For more information about Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, please visit

For more information, please contact Graciela Garcia Candia at 602-216-9507 or email at