Help Us Welcome Our New Leaders!

Help Us Welcome Our New Leaders!
Posted on 09/18/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Help Us Welcome Our New Leaders!We're welcoming many new faces this school year! Here are some of the new leaders joining Salt River Schools, as well as some interesting facts about their background, interests, and goals.


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  Tell us about your education background: I am excited to serve as Assistant Director of Education for Salt River Schools. I have worked in education for my entire career. I began my career as a middle school teacher, but have also worked as a physical education teacher, basketball coach, counselor, school principal, and district administrator. I have dedicated my career to supporting students, always striving to provide the best education possible. My career began with teaching and coaching in Alberta, Canada. Since coming to Arizona, I have worked mainly in administrative roles on campus and at the district level with Glendale Union, Higley, and Ed Key.

Where did you go to school?
 I earned my bachelor's in education and a master's of education in school counseling from the University of Alberta. I completed my doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

What made you want to work at Salt River Schools? I have friends that taught and coached basketball for Salt River Schools, they spoke very highly of the Community and the schools. Throughout my career I have enjoyed serving students to enhance their opportunities for a better future. I am extra blessed to serve in this Community, which has such a rich history and culture that is so exciting for me to learn and experience. I am here to support this great Community in providing the educational and operational supports for students in Salt River Schools to have amazing opportunities.

How long have you lived in Arizona? I have lived here for more than 20 years, and Arizona is definitely home for me! I am very active and enjoy participating in the many outdoor activities that Arizona provides. I also enjoy playing on an ice hockey team. I am a big Phoenix Suns fan. I am blessed with a son and three daughters; they help keep me feeling young with all youth enthusiasm and their many activities. The California beaches are our most popular family vacation destination.

The Education Division’s theme for the 2023-24 school year is “Salt River Rising.” What does that theme mean to you? I see the vision of a “phoenix,” the legendary bird rising to live again. Similarly, “Salt River Rising” is a theme of never giving up and rising up to the challenges that are presented. It invokes thoughts of hope and the belief that anything is possible if we work hard and stay focused and determined. The Community has such a rich history and culture, which provides a strong path forward. President Kennedy said, “A rising tide raises all boats.” As an educator, I have such an awesome responsibility: To provide the supports needed to equip all of our students with the skills needed to respond to any of life challenges.


Tell us about your education background: I am honored and excited to serve as Assistant Superintendent for Salt River Schools. I have worked in K-8 education for 23 years as a classroom teacher, middle school assistant principal, principal, and curriculum director. I hold 8 years of classroom teaching experience from multiple states and 13 years of site or district-level leadership in the Kyrene and Roosevelt school districts here in Arizona. The majority of my experience has been in service of underserved students as a classroom teacher, site leader, and district administrator. I have diverse experience in both public and private school systems in the states of Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Arizona.
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Where did you go to school? I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Western Illinois University and a Master of Education in educational leadership from George Mason University.

What made you want to work at Salt River Schools? While in Virginia I taught in a Title 1 school district, Alexandria City Public Schools, and found my passion for working with diverse cultures. This passion and a desire to serve a strong community drew me to serve as Assistant Superintendent at Salt River Schools, and I am excited to learn and experience the Division’s rich history and culture. I am committed to ensuring quality educational experiences for students and supporting the professional development of our staff.

How long have you lived in Arizona? I have lived here for 16 years and love the beautiful Arizona weather, culture, and diverse terrain. I have been married for 24 years and have two daughters. In my leisure time, I enjoy cooking, gardening and traveling. I also enjoy hiking with my family, including our loving and boisterous golden retriever, Gracie.

The Education Division’s theme for the 2023-24 school year is “Salt River Rising.” What does that theme mean to you? Salt River Rising is a powerful theme that evokes feelings of hope and empowerment for students, families, and staff members. The Assistant Superintendent plays an important role in supporting all stakeholders to connect with their strengths, identify areas of growth, and develop a plan for setting and achieving personal goals. I think knowledge is powerful, and it can truly be leveraged through an intentional connection to the history, culture, and language of the Community, the ability to draw connections between current resources and the strength of this Community to serve our children.

“Salt River Rising” makes me think about the importance of literacy across generations to include strong reading foundational skills for our students and preserving the art of storytelling. I envision opportunities for students to engage with elders in the Community during literacy nights that include innovative strategies for connecting with literacy, as well as preserving the opportunity for stories to be shared orally.

Tell us about one of your favorite books: As my own children were growing up, we loved the book, “My Great Aunt Arizona,” written by Gloria Houston. It is a true story about a teacher who shared her love of learning with her students, empowering them to learn about the world around them. In addition to reading, it utilizes storytelling to kindle a desire to learn and explore. I think the power of this story lies in the connection to community, the desire to learn and explore, the recognition of learning that begins at home, and is then ignited in school through the power of a great teacher.

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  Tell us about yourself: I am very excited to join Salt River Schools as the Exceptional Student Services Director. I grew up in a small farm town in Michigan with a family rooted in encouragement and education. Having watched my grandmother and great aunt make many contributions to support students and leadership in education, I was always inspired to do the same.

Throughout grade school I had a passion for helping, inspiring, and collaborating with others to support the youth in my community. This passion continued to grow through my bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and my master’s degree from Arizona State University. I’ve worked in Michigan and across Arizona to support schools and students with exceptional education programming. I look forward to working with and for the Salt River Schools community to support our exceptional learners.

How long have you lived in Arizona? Arizona has been my beautiful home since 2017, and I have loved learning to enjoy the heat, hike the mountains, and discover the magnificent culture. My husband and I share our home with our rescue dog, Buddy. I enjoy traveling to explore the world and spending my time outdoors.

What does the Education Division’s theme, “Salt River Rising,” mean to you? Throughout my career in education, I’ve had the pleasure of working with fellow educators and students who have demonstrated the value of rising up, and encouraging others to do the same. It’s quite an inspiration to see students—many facing incredible challenges—show their tenacious drive to become successful, all while supporting others around them to succeed. As educators, we have the responsibility to model perseverance; although we also face challenges, we can use our passion for making communities stronger with collaboration and encouragement.

Tell us about your favorite book: “The Black Book of Colors,” by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria, paints vibrant imagery by using senses other than sight. Braille letters and entirely black pages accompany descriptions of taste, texture, and smell to provide new ways of thinking and engaging with a printed book. “The Black Book of Colors” offers a unique literacy experience and reminds us that when include others who are different from ourselves, the outcome is often feeling a sense of belonging, importance, and value for everyone.


Tell us about your background: I am Navajo with family from various communities in northern Arizona. I graduated from Tolleson Union High School. As a teenager, I focused on my education and extracurricular activities to get into Dartmouth College, where I studied engineering sciences and studio art. Being away from home and my family was difficult and so was my coursework, but I persevered and earned my bachelor’s degree.
  Danielle Doctor

After two years of working various jobs, I found myself curious about becoming a teacher. For the past 22 years I have worked at four different K-12 charter schools with various styles of instruction. It has always been my intention to use my knowledge and skills to help our Native communities, especially our children. It’s my belief that education is the best route to success and raising our community. I am excited to work for Salt River Schools.

What are your hobbies? Outside of education, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, sewing, reading, listening to music, watching Phoenix Valley sports, and learning.

What does the Education Division’s theme, “Salt River Rising,” mean to you? When I think of Salt River Rising, I think of a phoenix rising from the ashes and the adversities it had to overcome. Similarly, I think Native people have many challenges set before them. We often find it difficult to believe we can get through something, but I think as a school community we can help each other get through anything. We can find ways to uplift each other, whether it be telling someone they did a good job or helping someone with a difficult task. At Salt River Schools, it’s my job to do what I can to help others improve.

Do you have a favorite book young students might recognize? My favorite book since childhood is “James and the Giant Peach,” by Roald Dahl, who also wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was my favorite movie as a child.
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