November Message from Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux

Dear Parents, Community Members and Colleagues,

By now, many of you are familiar with the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Conference and movement that was started three years ago by myself and colleagues from Leadership West Class XXII. Here is the impetus for this incredible movement and the results we are seeing.

In Arizona, much like the rest of the country, bullying in schools and cyber bullying has increased, and death by suicide in young adults has increased exponentially. The World Health Organization states that death by suicide remains the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds worldwide.  Youth related deaths have found to be preventable if only people had the tools to make a difference.  Gina Godbehere, Maricopa County Attorney and Northwest Bureau Chief and I decided that something must be done to turn the tide. We used our leadership skills and community connections to harness the power of a community that came together to create a movement with the Speak Up, Stand Up and Save a Life Conference  in January 2017 with 1,400 people participating, the largest one of its kind in Arizona. Last year, at the second annual conference in January 2018, at Grand Canyon University, 4,500 people participated. Students listened to inspiring speakers and were given tools to help them create innovative ways to help classmates who may be in crisis from bullying and other issues. The day ended with a challenge to then share their solutions with their schools and create a new program that has now inspired 380,000 students throughout Arizona. This year the conference will be held on January 22, 2019 at GCU.

The SSS movement has been selected as a Finalist for the WESTMARC Best of the West Excellence in Innovation Award that will be held on November 15, 2018, and I am very proud of the team that made this happen. Hundreds are now involved in making this a success and we know of at least four suicides that have been prevented at one of the local high schools as a result of the action teams and follow up.

Please check out the SSS website for more information and be sure your school is registered. We are also looking for volunteers to help, so drop us a line if you are interested. You could be helping to save lives of our precious youth.

We look forward to meeting with parents and community members to explain this system that is being widely used across the country to help students become more responsible learners and teachers better practitioners.

Please stay informed by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook and on our website, and please remember, Pendergast is the district that believes in YOU!

Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux
Proud Pendergast Superintendent

About Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux

Lily Matos DeBlieux was born in New York City, New York where she attended elementary school and two years of high school. In 1973, the family moved to Isabela, Puerto Rico where she completed high school and college.  Her professional preparation includes degrees in Elementary Education (BA), Educational Leadership and Supervision (MA and PhD), all from the University of Southern Mississippi. She also obtained a Business Administration (BA) degree from the University of Puerto Rico.  Her past experiences include being a teacher, elementary principal, middle school dean, director of religious education at a military base, assistant superintendent, adjunct professor, English for speakers of other languages instructor, business owner, and community volunteer.  Lily owned a technology company for six years before returning to her true calling: education.

Dr. DeBlieux was appointed as Superintendent of the Pendergast Elementary School District in May 2014. Pendergast District is in the West Valley serving 12 schools and approximately 10,000 students in Avondale, Glendale and Phoenix. Lily’s leadership motto is, “All decisions will be made in the best interests of students.” On her signature is a bee. She has adopted this as her theme because aerodynamically the bee shouldn’t be able to fly but it does. She “BEE”-lieves in the potential of education to change the lives of children and is excited to work with a school board that supports moving the school district to the next level of student achievement.

Lily loves to spend time with family, read, travel, and serve her community.  She is active in many civic organizations and is passionate about bettering her community as an investment in the future of the students in the district.  She is married and has two grown children and a new grandchild.