A Message from the Superintendent
Peoria Unified has a long legacy of fiscal responsibility, academic success and a commitment to educating the whole child.
Through the support of our community, we continue to offer programs of choice, cutting-edge career and technical education experiences and rigorous learning environments that meet the needs of each student.
I am proud of the work of our staff members over the past two years that allowed us to be one of the first school districts in Arizona to open our doors during the pandemic.
Peoria Unified remains committed to doing the work that is important to you, our community. Because of you, every student, every day, is prepared to shape tomorrow.
Peoria Unified Governing Board
David Sandoval, President
Cory Underhill, Clerk
Rebecca Hill, Member
Rep. Beverly Pingerelli, Member
Bill Sorensen, Ed. D., Member
Listen to our podcasts
To hear bi-weekly updates on timely topics, listen to our Trending Peoria podcast
For quarterly updates on our Strategic Plan, check out the Progress Report podcast
Ranking our Success
Best District in AZ: #9 out of 131*
Best District in AZ for Athletes: #3 out of 133*
District with the Best Teachers in AZ: #10 out of 149*
College Readiness rating: 9.6 out of 10, far above the state average **
Sources: *Niche.com, **Great Schools
Your Bond Dollars at Work
The last bond was approved in 2012. How students benefitted:
- Safe and maintained schools for learning
- Greater access to technology
- Newer vehicles for student transportation
How the 2012 bond was spent on capital items, such as:
- Safety enhancements
- Campus/facility upgrades
- Flooring & roofing
- Heating & cooling
For more details on bonds or overrides, check out the specific projects by school on our website.
Invest in our Future
Apply online at jobs.peoriaunified.org
Here's what makes Peoria Unified stand out above all others - we offer:
- Competitive salaries
- Employee stipends
- Strong sense of community
- Join a team that values you – your work, your support, your effort
- Professional growth – 18 credits a year
- Desirable schedule – matches kids’ schedules
- Loan forgiveness
- Coaching support for the first year
- Full onboarding team to support you upon your arrival
- National award-winning employee recognition campaign
- State retirement
- We recognize longevity
Because you care how we spend your tax dollars...
- We spent less than the state average on administration*
- We provided Financial Transparency with annual audits and the past 10 years of budgets on our website
- We received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International for our Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021
- We also received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Assocation, also for the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021
Because you want every student to achieve their full potential...
- We employed 1,701 highly-trained, qualified teachers and are the largest employer in the northwest valley
- We continued to teach the Arizona State Standards; and do not teach sex education or critical race theory
- We offered free all-day kindergarten to 2,373 students
- We offered over 23 dual enrollment, Advanced Placement and honors courses
- High school seniors secured a record amount of scholarships, totaling over $72.9 million
- We highlighted over 8,200 students at the 20th annual Peoria Arts and Cultural Festival
Additionally, we celebrated multiple state champions across the district:
Robotics - Cobra Commanders Team 498
Boys Basketball 5A Champs
All Girl Stunt Div. II Champs
ABODA Marching Band State Champs
Wrestling Bella Bocanegra 100lb Champ, Liberty Girls Team Champs
Golf Team Golf State Champs Div I.
Hip Hop Dance State Champs
Track and Field 4x100 Relay State Champs Div. 1
Badminton, Alexandria Hogan and Juliana Traylor Rowen doubles state championship. Team State Chams Div. II
Wrestling Markell Rivera-Cain, 175 Div II Champ, Pablo Macias 144 lb Div II Champ
Winterguard State Champs
MESA Day State Champs
Track and Field, Kaitlyn Kaye Div. 2 800m, 1600m. Women's varsity 4x800 relay
Triple Jump Malachi Marshall
High Jump De'mykal Anderson
Because you want the next generation to be responsible citizens...
- We continued to start each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence
- We hosted events across Peoria Unified that celebrated our veterans, honored the fallen and recognized first responders
- We hosted the 37th Annual Patriotic Speech Contest for 66 junior high students
- We continued to teach students the importance of registering to vote
2021-22 Notable Achievements
Peoria Unified, in partnership with the City of Peoria, earned a Westmarc “Best of the West” Award in the Quality of Life, Enhancement in the Community Award. This award was given for the Peoria Community Arts Projects.
Three employees received a Hometown Hero Award by the Peoria Independent:
- Jennifer Cheesman at Zuni Hills Elementary School
- Jeff Sears at Peoria High School
- William Babb at Peoria High School
Peoria Unified’s Partnership with Glendale Community College to offer this Preschool program as a part of their Early Childhood Education (ECE) Lab received a first-place award in the collaboration category for the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Golden Bell Promise Program.
Raymond S. Kellis High School and Sunrise Mountain High School renewed their status as national banner Unified Champion schools. To receive this designation from Special Olympics, these schools must demonstrate their ongoing commitment on the pathway towards the Inclusion Revolution through Unified Programs such as Unified Sports, inclusive youth leadership and whole-school engagement.
Cadet James Cook, a student at Liberty High School who serves as an AFJROTC Cadet at Cactus, was recently selected for the J-100 Scholarship. This is a Character-in-Leadership Scholarship and provides 100 Cadets a four-year scholarship covering 100% of tuition, room and board.
The Sunrise Mountain varsity boys basketball team was selected as this year’s recipient of the AIA 5A Conference Sportsmanship Award. The award is handed out annually in each conference to the team that exhibits the highest level of sportsmanship, as seen by the officials.
CeCe Jacobs, a junior high math teacher at Cheyenne Elementary School was one of two individuals in the nation to receive an ALEKS All-Star Educator Award from McGraw Hill. These awards are given to teachers who use the ALEKS technology platform and go above and beyond to help their students succeed.
Mrs. Carrie Melkin, the director of bands at Sunset Heights and Parkridge Elementary Schools won the O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Teaching Award, given by the Arizona Music Educators Association to an individual who demonstrated exceptional ability as a music teacher.
The PSBN, or Peoria Student Broadcast Network, programs at Liberty and Sunrise Mountain High School received Student Awards of Excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the student version of the Emmys). Liberty High School, led by James Byrne, took home two Student Awards of Excellence in the Regional Student Production Awards, and one staff Emmy for Deven Henry. Students at Sunrise Mountain High School, led by Amy Nygard, were awarded 11 regional Student Awards of Excellence and they received 4 national nominations. The national awards are the first ever for Peoria Unified.
Peoria Unified Arts Education Director, Mr. Robert Panzer, received an Outstanding Service Award from Arizona State Univeristy for his work with ASU’s student teachers.
Brett Stafford, the Badminton Coach from Ironwood High School, was selected as both the 2021 AIA Peoria Section Coach of the Year, and the 2021 Division II Coach of the Year.
Because you want our school buildings to meet the needs of all students...
- We made recommendations that will ensure each program is offered efficiently in a facility that makes the greatest impact for our students
- We conducted safety audits to ensure the physical safety of our facilities meet the highest standards
- We hired a safety coordinator to review and oversee our emergency operations plan
- We grew partnerships with local business and faith leaders to provide us with feedback