Principal Profile with Pima Butte Elementary School's Randy Lazar
Hometown: Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Valencia, Pennsylvania. Lived in Arizona for over 32 years.
Education: BA in Secondary Education – Social Studies (ASU); MEd in Special Education (ASU); while working on my MEd, I also completed all of the required Elementary Education course work so that I could be certified as an elementary School teacher; completed 30-credit hours in Principal Certification Program (ASU).
Family: Wife of almost 25 years, 14-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son
Teaching positions you’ve held: General education fifth grade teacher (Maricopa Elementary) and various positions as a special education teacher with students in kindergarten to 12th grade at Maricopa Elementary and various school districts in Pinal County and Maricopa County.
Years in Education: 28
First job out of college: Teacher for Maricopa Elementary School (1987-88)
Hobbies: Cooking, yardwork and spending time with my family
First year with current school: 2013-14
Favorite subject when you were in elementary school?
I liked to learn about a variety of things in all subject areas when I was in elementary school. However, when I was in high school, I really liked my social studies classes and my science classes.
What do you like most about being a principal?
To see our students progress academically, socially and behaviorally. I really like being in the classrooms seeing our teachers at work with our students. It is exciting to see students grow over the course of a school year.
Why did you choose education as a career?
I love to teach, and I love to watch people learn. When I was in college, I thought that the best way to impact the lives of others was through the field of education. I still think the same way today. Education opens up many doors for people and provides a pathway for success in any career choice.
What were your first impressions of Maricopa Unified School District?
When I started my career in education, my first teaching position was at the original Maricopa Elementary School, which at that time, was K-8. In 1987, we only had Maricopa Elementary and Maricopa High School. The elementary school and high school shared the same cafeteria. The town of Maricopa was also very small – there were only a half-dozen to a dozen businesses at best. I liked working in a small district within a small town. I also loved the multicultural setting of Maricopa.
What are the biggest challenges facing Maricopa students today?
Students in Maricopa face the same challenges as any other students attending public school across Arizona. It seems like every district is struggling to make ends meet and provide all of the necessary resources for its students and staff. In terms of Maricopa, we need to keep striving for ways to keep up with all of the new technology so that our students are prepared to enter college and/or the work force ready to contribute. In addition, we need to keep searching for ways to offer extra-curricular activities for our students.
What was the best advice you received about your own education?
Education does not stop after graduating from high school. Throughout our lives, we should always look for additional opportunities to enhance our knowledge. Learning is a lifelong journey!
***ADVERTISEMENT***What advice do you give parents of elementary school children?
Altogether, as a team – families, students, and staff – we can have a wonderful impact on the learning experiences of students. If parents can be involved with various learning activities at school, that would be great. Communicating with your child’s teacher on a regular basis is a very important key to student success. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve our school.
What have your students taught you?
That there’s more than one way to learn. The key is to find out how each student learns most efficiently. I think that students want to be successful in school and are excited to show you what they know.