The Rodel Foundation of Arizona has named 21 educators from across Arizona to the 2013 class of Rodel Aspiring Principals. This month they will begin a two-year course of training, shadowing and mentorship with a Rodel Exemplary Principal as they prepare to become principals at high-need schools.



School, District


Jennifer Ambrosio

TAP Master Teacher

Esperanza Elementary School, Sunnyside Unified School District


Allison Barbor

Administrative Intern

Copper Canyon Elementary School, Paradise Valley Unified School District


Keely Bina

Teacher on Assignment

Desert Willow Elementary School, Casa Grande Elementary School District

Casa Grande

Liz Burton

Assistant Principal

Ruth Fisher Elementary School, Saddle Mountain Unified School District


Alma Carmona-Alday

Learning Supports Coordinator

Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence K-8, Tucson Unified School District


Lori Conner

Assistant Principal

Safford K-8 Magnet School, Tucson Unified School District


CheriDawn Emerson

Assistant Principal

Horizon Elementary School, Glendale Elementary School District


Kirk Guddendorf

Instructional Coach

Thompson Ranch Elementary School, Dysart Unified School District

El Mirage

Ana Gutierrez

ELA Mentor Teacher

Longview Elementary School, Osborn School District


Joshua King

Achievement Advisor – Math and Science

Glen F. Burton Elementary School, Glendale Elementary School District


Philip Lemar

Co-Director of Bands and Music Technology

Connolly Middle School, Tempe Elementary School District


Lea Lopezgamez


Los Amigos Technology Academy, Sunnyside Unified School District


Dora Saldamando


C.E. Rose Elementary School, Tucson Unified School District


Melissa Stockton

Assistant Principal

Bicentennial South Elementary School, Glendale Elementary School District


Alissa Thelen

ELD Instructional Coach

Trailside Point School, Laveen Elementary District


Ryan Tyree

Assistant Principal

Kachina Elementary School, Peoria Unified School District


Kimberly Valdez

Academic Behavior Interventionist

Gallego Elementary School, Sunnyside Unified School District


Tanya Whiteford

Outreach Coordinator

James W. Rice Primary School, Alhambra Elementary School District


Catherine Wood

Dean of Students

Littleton Elementary School, Littleton Elementary School District


Phillip Wooley

Assistant Principal for Instruction

Betty Fairfax High School, Phoenix Union High School District


Jessica Worthington

Master Teacher

Lattie Coor School, Avondale Elementary School District



“We are pleased to have such great applicants for this year’s program,” said Jim Rice, Director of the Rodel Principal Initiative. “These Aspiring Principals have the potential to become great school leaders with the mentorship and encouragement provided by Rodel Exemplary Principals.”

“Success in any field is greatly improved when you have outstanding mentors,” said Jackie Norton, Rodel President and CEO. “We know that these Aspiring Principals have the talent to excel, and with the support of their Exemplary Principal mentors, they will be able to succeed as school leaders in Arizona communities that are most in need of great leadership.”

Rodel, in partnership with Social Venture Partners Arizona, developed the Rodel Exemplary Principal Initiative to recognize outstanding school principals and populate a pipeline of highly skilled school leaders for Arizona’s most challenging schools. Each cohort of Exemplary Principals provides professional development, field experience and mentorship to a class of Rodel Aspiring Principals. After learning from the best, Rodel 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