Maricopa’s Principals: Part 1

Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel

Who is the most important person in a school building? A previous column stated the answer is the school’s principal. He or she influences the learning environment for students and creates an atmosphere where teachers and staff will excel.

Maricopa is fortunate to have a number of excellent principals, yet few citizens know much about the people who occupy the seats of power in our schools. Over the next few months, this column will highlight the principals of Maricopa schools.

Dr. Jennifer Robinson is the principal at Maricopa Elementary, where her credo includes focusing on high expectations for teaching and learning. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and has degrees from SUNY Cortland, SUNY Buffalo and ASU. Her 25 years’ experience in education include being a classroom teacher, various academic coaching positions and six years as principal at MES.

When asked about a major accomplishment this year, she points to MES being in the Leader in Me Lighthouse process. Currently, three schools in the state hold this status. Looking forward to the 2018-19 year, she anticipates continued growth for her teachers who are working to achieve National Board certification.

Randy Lazar, principal at Pima Butte ES, grew up in a rural area near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has lived in Arizona 35 years. His undergraduate and master’s degrees were received at ASU, and he is in his 31st year in education. Prior to the five years he has been principal at Pima Butte, he was a special education teacher, education program specialist and special education director.

He points to the implementation of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program as a major accomplishment this school year. He looks forward to the introduction of a new language arts curriculum next year. According to his belief system, education opens many doors and, as a principal, his function is to maximize the education provided at his school.

Janel Hildick is in her seventh year as principal at Butterfield ES. She grew up in Toms River, New Jersey, and received her BA at Georgian Court University. Her master’s in education was obtained at ASU, and she has 25 years in education. Prior to Butterfield, she was an elementary and bilingual teacher, as well as a high school Spanish instructor. She points with pride to the fact BES received a Results Based Award from the state this year.

She eagerly anticipates the new language arts curriculum as it is implemented next year. Hildick believes all students are capable of high achievement, regardless of their background; high expectations equal high results.

Coming in April, learn about more Maricopa elementary principals. MUSD secondary and charter school principals will be spotlighted later. Murray Siegel has a PhD in MathEd and 42 years of teaching experience.

This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.


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