At the July 9 Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board meeting, the Board approved Dr. Patricia Goolsby and Bill Hazell as assistant principals at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction. They will be joining Principal Dr. Christopher Lineberry to complete the new administrative team.

In a previous interview, Dr. Lineberry stated, “I am absolutely smart enough to know that I don’t know everything… Strong leaders find people who are strong in those areas where they aren’t and empower them to fly.” With the hiring of Goolsby and Hazell, it appears he has done exactly that. “I am a global thinker – big picture,” commented Lineberry, after Tuesday evening’s vote confirmed the positions. “I believe in building relationships with both students and their families. Pat is very detail oriented and academically focused. Bill has a tremendous depth of experience working with student data systems and scheduling. We’ll make a great team.”

Both Goolsby and Hazell also bring previous experience facilitating the growth of the Advancement Via Individual Development program (AVID). The AVID program was successfully integrated into Cactus Canyon Junior High last year and will expand to AJHS this year. AVID focuses on developing students’ positive mindsets, peer support, organizational skills, study skills, communication and self-advocacy to unlock student potential.

Dr. Goolsby was considered a strong candidate in her application for the AJHS Principal position, but lost the job to Dr. Lineberry in a split vote. According to Lineberry, however, neither he nor Goolsby have any reservations about working together. “Anytime that you interview against someone, there is a sense of competition. That being said, I liked Dr. Goolsby right from the start; we hit it off and we connected. As we walked away from the interview that night, we even said to one another how nice it would be to possibly work together someday. What a tremendous opportunity for me and for the students of Apache Junction High School to get to work with someone of the caliber and experience of Dr. Goolsby. I am thrilled that she is a part of this team as an assistant principal.”

Prior to joining the district, Dr. Goolsby was the principal at Tempe High School and principal of East Valley Academy/Crossroads Junior & Senior High Schools in Mesa. During her 38 years in education, she has taught math and dance, coached volleyball, pom and cheer, served as musical director/choreographer and facilitated the growth of AVID and Academic Intervention programs serving struggling students. She also served as an assistant principal at Westwood High School in Mesa and Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix.

“I am very excited about joining AJUSD!” said Dr. Goolsby. “It’s going to be a fun and productive year.”

Dr. Goolsby received a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (with Distinction) from Northern Arizona University and has completed her Superintendent Internship. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education, also from ASU. Her academic awards and distinctions include: Outstanding Dance Education graduate from ASU, Teacher of the Year from Saguaro High School, District Teacher of the Year from Scottsdale Unified School District and Art Educator of the Year from the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

Bill Hazell comes to AJHS from the Tempe Union High School District, where he has worked for 21 years, most recently as assistant principal -activities at Corona del Sol High School. 

Hazell's career began with eight years as a high school mathematics teacher. In 2004, upon completion of his Principal Certification, he accepted a position as assistant principal - academics at McClintock High School, where he stayed for 14 years. He has a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University.

Throughout his administrative career, Hazell has managed student data systems (Synergy), scheduling, registration, attendance and student discipline. His achievements include earning the National Title I Distinguished Schools Award as Site Title I Coordinator, serving on the AdvancED External Review team and on a School Improvement Team where labels of 'A,' 'Excelling' and "A+' were earned. He has also served on Site and District Curriculum Councils regarding the development and implementation of new and existing curriculum.

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