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I can BEE What I want to BEE! by Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Superintendent, Pendergast Elementary School District


have always been known as a “Bee”-liever with my BEE philosophy. The bee, a symbol I wear every day, reminds me that scientists can prove it is aerodynamically impossible for the bumble bee to fly. Its body is too heavy and its wings too light to sustain flight. However, the bumblebee chooses not to be influenced by science’s negative viewpoint and flies anyway. When you look at the bee, think this thought — “I can BEE what I want to BEE!” As an educator and superintendent of the Pendergast District, we embrace this and believe we can and do everything to ensure our 9,500 students on 12 campuses in the cities of Avondale, Glendale and Phoenix receive an outstanding educa-



tional experience. Thanks to the vision, insight and support of our amazing Governing Board members — Susan Serin, President; Hilda Ortega-Rosales, Vice-President; Jose Arenas; Sen. Martin Quezada; and Jete White — we are able to set goals to focus on high achievement for students, a well-trained staff and an engaged community. Our organization is innovative, unique, solution-oriented and spirited. The district is 88% diverse with 80% of the students receiving free or reduced breakfast and lunch. The Board and Administration have set forth collaborative goals through our Strategic Plan with a vision, mission, beliefs and goals to focus on how vital continuous improvement is to student success.

The District is keenly focused on educating the “whole child” through research-based academics, fine arts, physical education, technology, extracurricular programs and a full-time counselor on each campus. Leadership opportunities are encouraged for students at each grade level that include clubs, organizations, student government and community service. The District has signature Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) academies throughout our schools that include Dual Language, Ethnic Studies, GCON Design and Build, Computer Science, Agriculture Ecosystems, Energy, Conservation and Efficiency Academies, Orcutt | Winslow Architecture, Planning and Construction Academy, Leadership and Accelerated Math, Banner Children’s Health, Medical, and Forensics Academy, Entrepreneurship, Jeremy Anderson’s Next Level Leadership Academy and others. Leadership and mentoring are a cornerstone of the District and present through the B.E.E.S. Institute (Becoming Extraordinary Effective Stewards) meeting monthly to train a new genera-

tion of leaders. Additionally, Gina Godbehere and I, class members from the Leadership West Class XXII, started the first of its kind Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life conference to eradicate bullying and focus on issues such as suicide prevention, depression and other issues plaguing youth today. Five thousand students, staff members, law enforcement personnel, business community members and government officials gathered to learn about and address these critical issues. One hundred fifty-eight schools throughout Arizona attended the conference, and all district leaders were involved in this monumental and vital effort in January 2019. The District is also known for its 8th Grade Superintendent’s Council that mentors and trains youth to be the leaders of tomorrow and focuses on career and college readiness and community service. We welcome our stakeholders to join us in partnership. Please connect with us on our website at, Facebook or Twitter. Pendergast is the District that believes in you!


Profile for ROX Media Group

Glendale LIVING Magazine  

Fall 2019

Glendale LIVING Magazine  

Fall 2019