July Message from Dr. Jennifer Cruz

Dear Parents, Community Members and Colleagues,

As you know, the fourth of July is an important milestone for our nation. Independence Day commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. This Fourth of July marks 246 years of independence. As we approach our celebrations this Fourth of July, I wish you a happy and safe fourth with your family, friends, and loved ones. Please remember to watch your children when they’re in or near water.

I’m excited to share some timely news with you! At  the June 7th Governing Board meeting, the board unanimously approved our District’s new Strategic Plan. Strategic planning plays a vital role in our continuous improvement efforts. A team of people from across the district worked together to get input from staff, students, and families to assess what they think about Pendergast and envision what we should do in the future to get better. We are excited to share that our new mission is to be “a high-performing, collaborative community preparing students to compete in a globally connected society.” Our vision is “Innovative schools. Empowered Learners.” Here in Pendergast we value integrity, inclusion, innovation, and community. Throughout the 2022-23 school year, we will continue to provide updates about our Strategic Plan and communicate how we plan to achieve our long term strategic goals.

Finally, we want to share that the Marketing and Communications Team has been hard at work, refreshing and revamping our District's website. In July we plan to launch our new district website, which will be more user friendly, easier to navigate, tailored to our community’s needs, and will include captivating content that will engage our users. We can’t wait for you to experience our new website!

We deeply appreciate your support and belief in the Pendergast District. We invite you to stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, our website and Twitter. Please remember, we are Pendergast, the district that believes in YOU!


Jennifer Cruz

Dr. Jennifer Cruz


About Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Cruz

Dr. Jennifer CruzDr. Jennifer Cruz was born in New Jersey and grew up outside of Washington DC. Jennifer was chosen by the PESD Governing Board as the second Latina Superintendent in the Pendergast District in February 2021.  Jennifer graduated from Arizona State University and went on to teach 4th grade, 6th grade, and gifted identified students in Phoenix, AZ. Her experiences are varied and include serving as a teacher, mentor/coach, principal, Federal Programs Manager, Director of Innovation, adjunct university professor, consultant, assistant superintendent, and Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Cruz has worked throughout the United States and abroad coaching educational leaders, facilitating strategic planning sessions, serving as a liaison between city agencies and school system, and providing professional development workshops on Project Based Learning, leadership, continuous improvement strategies, curriculum mapping, and design thinking.

While working for an international non-profit focused on Project Based Learning, Dr. Cruz worked with educators across the United States as well as in Australia, Chile, Mexico, and the United Kingdom to support their journey to empower students through Project-Based Learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). She also worked closely with leaders on the challenges associated with scaling innovations across large systems.

Jennifer earned her Doctorate in Leadership, Innovation, and Policy Studies from Arizona State University. She is an AZ certified K-8 teacher and administrator. Improving outcomes for students furthest from opportunity and advancing equity is an important driver of Jen’s career in education.

In her spare time, Jen enjoys spending time with her family, road cycling, traveling, reading, and volunteering in the community.  She was selected as a member of Leadership West Class 23, and is currently a member of the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission.

After serving for more than 20 years as an education advocate and instructional leader, Dr. Cruz is proud to serve the Pendergast community as its superintendent.