Dr. Jennifer Cruz, District Superintendent
Dr. 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 identified gifted 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 systems, 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.
Kerry Pohlmeyer, Executive Administrator to the Superintendent & Governing Board
Dr. Shelmon Brown, Chief Academic Officer
Joanne Fimbres, Chief Financial Officer
Patti Tussey, Chief Human Resources Officer
Ramiro Alvarez, Communications & Outreach Coordinator
Raymond Pohlmeyer, Director of Interactive Design & Digital Learning