September Message from Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux

Dear Parents, Community Members and Colleagues,

I wanted to share a unique and innovative program we will be featuring in Pendergast District this year. These days, schools have to compete with video games, television, smartphones, Pokémon Go and much more. Students want lessons that are timely, relevant and challenging. Enter the Pendergast Puzzle Escape Room Bus.  This exciting school bus has been transformed into a mobile puzzle escape room for the students. The Puzzle is based on a one room schoolhouse in a school bus that has undergone a complete exterior and interior transformation. With faux brick walls, wood floors, antique design and authentic props, it is sure to spark conversation around the dinner table with grandparents who just may have memories of learning in this environment. As students and their teachers enter, they will be given the following information:

“It’s the early 1900s and its time to go to school.  You and your school chums would rather be at the swimming hole or fishing or anything else but be in school. The teacher is a strict old bird.  She doesn't allow for any messing around.  When she takes her morning break under the willow tree you and your buddies figure it’s the perfect time to sneak out but she's got a bell on the door and will hear if you open it.  You and your mates have to find another way out before she returns in 45 minutes or you will be stuck here all day doing school work.”  Sound intriguing? I approached one of our partners, GCON about the idea and they signed on to design and build it. Students will use our curriculum including: critical thinking skills, language arts, math, and more to make learning come alive!

According to Tiffany Fisher of GCON, “The Pendergast Puzzle Escape Room Bus has been an amazing project for GCON to help sponsor.   It is exciting to see an idea of Dr. DeBlieux’ come to reality with the help of our in-house designer and our construction team.   Knowing that we helped create something fun, exciting and educational for the kids makes it all worth it.    We hope it will be challenging for all grades from 3rd to 8th grade.  The kids will experience teamwork at its best, along with problem solving and time management.    The best part is the puzzle can be changed out to a new puzzle with very little time and expense. GCON couldn’t be more excited to be sponsoring such a fun project for the kids.”

For more information about the Pendergast Puzzle Escape Room Bus including how you can rent it for your own events and learn along with your families and friends contact Jim Gradillas at or by phone at 623-772-2292. We are currently reserving for the 2018-19 school year. Due to high interest, please be patient as we work through this exciting launch.

Please stay connected with us through our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember, Pendergast is the district that “Bee-lieves” 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.