Rodel Exemplary Principals 2015

The Rodel Foundation of Arizona has named 16 finalists for the 2015 Rodel Exemplary Principal Award. These finalists from schools in high-need communities have been selected for their demonstrated ability to inspire their staff to contribute to school-wide success and the development of a campus that is high achieving, safe, orderly and welcoming.





Alicia Alvarez

Alta Vista Charter High

American Charter Schools Foundation


Cristela Cardenas

Gallego Basic Elementary

Sunnyside Unified


Benda Catlett

Arizona Desert Elementary

Tolleson Elementary


Ricardo Cordova

Carl Hayden Community High

Phoenix Union


Shannon Hannon

John M. Andersen Elementary

Chandler Unified


Heather Henderson

Arizona Charter Academy

Success School


Elaine Jacobs

North Canyon High

Paradise Valley Unified


Connie Jerpseth

Mesquite Elementary

Crane Elementary


Kyann McMillie

Wildflower School

Avondale Elementary


Dr. Peter Morkert

Madison Rose Lane

Madison Elementary


Joanne Pike

Copper Basin K-8

Florence Unified

Queen Creek

Dr. Michael Robert

Encanto School

Osborn Elementary


Lisa Sandomir

Maurice C. Cash Elementary

Laveen Elementary


Christine Sullivan

La Cima Middle

Amphitheater Public Schools


Amy Uchacz

Pima Elementary

Scottsdale Unified


Jeff Wooten

Raymond S. Kellis High

Peoria Unified



The finalists have been through a rigorous process to reach this point. Each was nominated by his or her district superintendent. Researchers then reviewed the nominees, examined school data, visited campuses, interviewed the candidates, and met with teachers and staff. From these finalists, the 2015 Rodel Exemplary Principal cohort will be announced in early January 2015 through media partnerships, on Rodel’s social media pages and at

“A great principal builds and supports a school culture where students, staff, teachers and community members can work together to provide the best education and opportunities for all students,” said Jackie Norton, Rodel President & CEO. “We’re proud to recognize the leadership qualities exhibited by these outstanding principals, and look forward to working with them as they mentor and inspire the school leaders of tomorrow.”

“Rodel Exemplary Principals represent some of the best school leaders that Arizona has to offer,” said Howard Paley, Rodel Chief Operating Officer. “The individuals in our high-need communities are positively impacted by these educators’ abilities to foster a positive culture where everyone is held to high standards of academic growth and student learning.”

Rodel, in partnership with Social Venture Partners of Arizona, developed the Rodel Exemplary Principal Initiative to recognize outstanding school principals and populate a pipeline of highly skilled school leaders for Arizona’s high-need schools. Each cohort of Exemplary Principals provides professional development, field experience, and ongoing mentorship to a class of Rodel Aspiring Principals for two years. After learning from the best, these Aspiring Principals are better prepared to lead their own high-need schools.


The Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s vision is for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educational systems in the country by 2020. For more information on the Foundation’s mission and initiatives, contact Rodel at 480-367-2920 or visit