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New Phoenix Union assistant supt., principals highlight administrative moves

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  • Craig Pletenik/Phoenix Union High School District

Dr. Schavon Waggoner, Left, Moves To Principal Of Cesar Chavez High School. Sherry Celaya, Center, Is The New Phoenix Union High School District Assistant Superintendent For Business And Finance. Kate McDonald, Right, Moves To Principal At South Mountain High School.

A new assistant superintendent and principal changes at Cesar Chavez, Betty Fairfax, South Mountain and Metro Tech High Schools are among the Phoenix Union administrative changes for the 2015-16 school year.

Sherry Celaya is the new assistant superintendent for business and finance, replacing Lorrie Drobny, who is retiring. Celaya brings over 30 years of school finance experience to the District, coming from Cartwright Elementary where she was the director of business services for three years. She was also the chief financial officer for Scottsdale Unified and Roosevelt School District, and business manager at Casa Grande Union High School District and Picacho Elementary District.

New Phoenix Union assistant supt., principals highlight administrative moves 2015NewAdminHP2

Dr. Schavon Waggoner, left, moves to principal of Cesar Chavez High School. Sherry Celaya, center, is the new Phoenix Union High School District assistant superintendent for business and finance. Kate McDonald, right, moves to principal at South Mountain High School.

Dr. Schavon Waggoner moves to principal of Cesar Chavez from the Betty Fairfax principal, and former assistant principal Phillip Wooley becomes the Fairfax interim principal. Waggoner, after a year at Fairfax, is returning to Chavez, where she was a business teacher and a professional development specialist, beginning in 2007. She was an assistant principal for three years at Central High School prior to becoming a principal.

Wooley has been at Betty Fairfax since the school opened in 2007, and in the District for 20 years. He has been an assistant principal for four years, and served as a professional development specialist as well as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate coordinator.
Wooley taught social studies and coached at Maryvale, Camelback and Trevor Browne, as well as in the Dysart and Buckeye Districts. He is a graduate of Maryvale High School and resident of Laveen.

Scott Gayman, the principal at Chavez since 2007, will become an administrator on assignment, supporting South Phoenix schools. Gayman brings over 22 years of Phoenix Union administrative experience to multiple campuses as an administrator on assignment. Besides his eight and one-half successful years at Cesar Chavez, he was an assistant principal at South Mountain for 10 years. His knowledge of school leadership and the community will be focused on Betty Fairfax, Cesar Chavez and South Mountain.

Former Metro Tech Principal Kate McDonald replaces the departing LaCresha Williams at South Mountain and assistant principal Bryan Reynoso will be interim principal at Metro Tech.  McDonald takes over at South Mountain for Williams, who is moving to Georgia. McDonald started her education career at South as an English teacher in 1991. She has been at Metro Tech for nine years, including seven as principal. During her regime, the school has been named an A-Plus School, a Beat the Odds School, earned the largest Science Foundation Arizona school grant and has a 90 percent graduation rate. Prior to Metro Tech, McDonald was the District’s language arts content specialist for four years. She has been a National Board Certified Teacher in English Language Arts since 1999, the second NBC teacher in the District to earn the prestigious distinction.

Reynoso, an assistant principal for instruction for three years at Metro, moves to interim principal. He has seven years administrative experience, including four at North High. Reynoso taught for 28 years, 23 at Phoenix Union. He was a math teacher, and instructional specialist at Trevor Browne High School from 1985-2008. Reynoso earned his B.S. in Mathematics Education at West Texas A&M, and Masters of Secondary Education at ASU.

Other administrative changes include the hiring of David Jarrett as director of construction and facilities. He has over 30 years of experience in construction and facility management, most recently as the Director of Planning, Design and Construction for Dignity Health hospitals. Melissa Jackson moves to exceptional student services (ESS) supervisor at the District level, coming from an assistant principal position at Camelback High School. Chris Jones joins the Bostrom High staff as an administrator on assignment, coming from the ESS department. Sharon Bernero will be an administrator on assignment, splitting assistant principal duties at Maryvale and Trevor Browne, the two largest high schools. She moves from a curriculum supervisor position at the District office.

Among the new administrators, Cortney Stewart becomes Camelback’s assistant principal for registration, promoted from the school’s professional development specialist. Leah Barton at Carl Hayden moves up to assistant principal for registration from the science classroom. Matt Lersch becomes assistant principal for instruction at South Mountain, coming from an ESS facilitator role at Alhambra. Dan Dodge joins the Metro Tech administration team as an interim assistant principal for student opportunities, from Camelback. Brian Guliford was selected as assistant principal for student opportunities, coming to PUHSD from Pendergast Elementary School District.

For more information, please contact Craig Pletenik at (602) 764-1530.