Students, staff and parents at nine Mesa Public elementary schools will welcome new leaders this fall.
At the March 31 board meeting, the governing board approved the transfer of three and hiring of six principals for the 2015-2016 school year. The appointments include familiar faces and first-time principals.
Ashton has served as principal at Mendoza Elementary for the past five years. He has also been an elementary principal, assistant principal and elementary teacher in Wisconsin and Illinois. Ashton earned his bachelor’s degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate in educational leadership from National-Louis University in Chicago. He earned his administrative certificate from Northern Illinois University.
Falcon Hill Elementary
Cannon is a TAP™ (Teacher Advancement Program) Master Teacher at Guerrero Elementary. A 16-year district veteran, she has also been a fourth-and fifth- grade teacher at Kerr Elementary and basic skills specialist at Holmes Elementary. Cannon previously taught at middle schools in North Carolina and Washington. She has a bachelor’s degree from University of Washington, a master’s degree from City University in Washington and a doctorate in educational leadership from Arizona State University.
Red Mountain Ranch Elementary
Collins has spent the last four years as a dean at Cerritos Elementary School in the Kyrene district. Previously she taught first through fourth grade for 13 years in Kyrene. She is also an adjunct faculty member for Rio Salado Community College. Collins earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASU. She holds elementary education and educational leadership master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University.
Hay is currently the Title 1 instructional specialist and administrative resident at Keller Elementary. He previously spent 10 years at Stevenson Elementary, where he served as a teacher, TAP™ Master Teacher and TAP™ Mentor Teacher. Hay graduated from Red Mountain High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASU. In 2014, he earned his master’s degree from ASU as a member of the iLeadAZ program.
In her 19 years with Mesa Public Schools, Heath has served as Ishikawa Elementary’s principal for the past 14 years, principal of Franklin South for one year, a first- and second-grade teacher and an administrative intern. Prior to Mesa, Heath spent seven years in Greeley, Colorado, as a primary teacher and staff developer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
A TAP™ Master Teacher, Henderson is a six-year veteran of Whitman Elementary. He has been a TAP™ Mentor Teacher and second- and third-grade teacher. He taught third grade at Webster Elementary and spent a year as Supervisor of English at Himeji Senior High School in Japan. Henderson is a Westwood High School graduate and earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASU. He completes his master’s in educational leadership from NAU this May.
Lamanna has been a Mesa Public Schools director of special education for the past three years. She has also taught special education in Illinois, served as the early childhood coordinator in the JO Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley, and was a middle-school assistant principal and director for educational service in Page, Arizona. Lamanna earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from ASU and her master’s in educational leadership from Loyola University in Chicago.
Shill is a 20-year district veteran. Currently the team leader at Smith Junior High, he has served as a Title 1 instructional specialist, basic skills specialist, professional development specialist and first- and sixth-grade teacher at Lehi and Longfellow elementary schools. Shill is a Westwood High School graduate with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASU. He holds master’s degrees in elementary education and educational leadership from ASU and NAU, respectively.
Torres has been the principal at Keller Elementary since 2010. Previously, she spent three years as an assistant clinical professor at NAU. She was also an assistant principal for six years in the Creighton and Paradise Valley school districts. Torres taught for six years in the Isaac Elementary District. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from New Mexico State University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from ASU.