CCUSD announces 3 new principals for 2019-2020

L to r: Swetter, Jensen, Pettinato

Cave Creek Unified School District, servicing Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale and Phoenix students, is pleased to announce three new principals for the 2019-2020 School Year.

At the March 11th Governing Board business meeting, the Governing Board approved the hiring of Mr. Jim Swetter for the principal position at Cactus Shadows High School, Dr. Patty Jensen for principal at Lone Mountain Elementary School and Mr. Aaron Pettinato for principal at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School.

Mr. Swetter is currently serving as the interim-principal at Cactus Shadows High School for the 2018-2019 school year.  Previously, he was the Assistant Principal for Operations and Athletics at Cactus Shadows and prior to that, he was the Dean of Students.  He came to CSHS as a social studies teacher and served as the Varsity wrestling coach. In 2010, Mr. Swetter moved to the Valley from Ohio where taught social studies in the Woodridge Local Schools and coached football, wrestling, and track and field. Mr. Swetter earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University, where he was a four year letterman on the wrestling team. He has earned a Master of Arts in Education; Administration and Supervision and a Master of Arts in Education; Curriculum and Instruction (2008); both from the University of Phoenix. 

Dr. Jensen is coming to CCUSD from Texas where she has served as an elementary school principal for the past seven years. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Foundations in 2011 from Illinois State University. Her research focuses on how to implement successful two-way dual language programs at the elementary school level. She has received a number of awards throughout her career, including a six-star distinction for her school by the State of Texas in 2017-2018. As flattering as these honors have been, Dr. Jensen believes that the purpose of elementary education is to ensure all students have access to an exceptional learning environment that recognizes their strengths, builds on them, and, thus, prepares them for the future.

Mr. Pettinato is currently serving as the interim principal for Horseshoe Trails Elementary School for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year.  He has been a CCUSD employee since 2006, beginning his educator career as a student teacher in a 4th/5th grade combination classroom at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School.  He was hired as a teacher at HTES that year and taught 5th and 6th grades at HTES for ten years.  He was promoted to Dean of Students at Cactus Shadows High School in 2016.  Mr. Pettinato has two MA degrees from ASU, one in Elementary Education and a second in Educational Leadership.  He is a graduate of the 2014-2015 CCUSD Aspiring Administrators Academy and has been a coach, trainer and valued member of many site and district committees.  He is among the first group of educators to travel to China to help launch the Chinese Immersion program at HTES.  He received the District’s highest recognition as a recipient of the Helping Us Grow Award (H.U.G.) in 2010. 

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