Teaching and Learning

The Department of Teaching and Learning is committed to improving academic achievement for all students by ensuring a rigorous and relevant curriculum. We support teachers and administrators in their work with students by offering high quality professional development courses throughout the year. We also support teacher leaders at each campus by offering monthly professional development in First Best Instruction.

Textbook Adoption Committee Website Information

Patricia Lopez
Director of Teaching and Learning
Patricia Lopez has more than 33 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She has taught special education, regular education and ELL. She was an assistant principal, principal of an elementary and middle school and currently is the Director of Teaching and Learning in a large, urban, K-8 school district. Patricia has done extensive work in professional development with teachers and school administrators. She has also worked as a facilitator with governing board members. Her passion is to improve learning for all and improve Tier I instruction for all learners. Patricia has studied the work of John Hattie and believes in the philosophy that we are "Evaluators of our Own Impact."
Melissa Acevedo
Melissa Acevedo
Administrative Specialist
In 2015, Melissa Acevedo started out at John F. Long School as the administrative specialist, but moved to Teaching & Learning in the summer of 2017. As a specialist, she makes sure her department has what it needs to be successful and is instrumental in organizing events, professional development and other activities. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing a second degree. In her free time, she enjoys pretty florals, reading poetry, and walking her dogs.

Cathy Garza
Assistant Director of Reading and Writing (Grades 4-8)
Cathy has worked in the Cartwright School District since 2003. Justine Spitalny Elementary was the school where she began her teaching career.  She was then an instructional coach at C. W. Harris and Desert Sands. This was a rewarding experience as she was able to support teachers in improving their craft. Her current role is the Assistant Director of Reading and Writing. She thoroughly enjoys her job and working in the Cartwright School District. We continue to support teachers in improving their efficacy, and work to support learners in making at least one years growth each year.

Christine Ramirez
Assistant Director of Reading and Writing (Grades K-3)
Ms. Christine Ramirez is the Assistant Director of Reading and Writing for grades K-3. Her educational experience includes seven years in the classroom and twelve years in the capacity of instructional leader and administrator. Ms. Ramirez earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education from Arizona State University; a Masters of Education in Counseling-Human Relations from Northern Arizona University; and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Ms. Ramirez is a strong believer in the collective impact that teachers, school leaders and district leaders can make on the educational experiences of every student by staying focused on actions that will educate every child, every day, in every given opportunity
Richard Hagen picture
Richard Hagen
Assistant Director for Educational Services-Induction & Retention, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Health & Wellness
Richard Hagen has been in education for 25 years. As a classroom teacher for nine years, he taught both elementary and middle school. Richard has been a strong supporter and advocate of extra-curricular and extended-learning opportunities for students as a coach, summer school instructor and after-school enrichment activities leader. His experiences leading and developing district-wide programs and systems have prepared him for his current role as Asst. Director for the programs: New Teacher Induction, Social Studies, Music, Band, Art, PE, Health. Richard is a servant leader who strives to build relationships with all stakeholders in the organization, and empowers those he leads with the opportunities and responsibilities to make a significant impact on student learning.
Susan Connell
Sue Connell
Language Arts Content Specialist
Sue Connell came to the Cartwright District in August 2015 as a Move on When Reading Specialist. She then became a Mentor and is currently the district Move on When Reading Specialist. Sue is in her 17th year of Education with experience in various grade levels K-8. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Minor in Early Childhood from Jamestown College, North Dakota and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Sue has both a Reading and SEI endorsement as well as an Administrative License.
Windy Mariscal
Windy Mariscal
Language Arts Content Specialist
Windy Mariscal began teaching in the Cartwright School District in 2003. She taught in grades K-3 at John F. Long for 14 years. She is currently the K-3 Language Arts Content Specialist. She holds a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Arizona State University and is nationally board certified in Literacy: Reading Language Arts. Her professional goals include supporting teachers in first best instruction and through the process of national board certification.
Shawna Dunsmore
Shawna Dunsmore
Language Arts Content Specialist
This is Shawna's 16th year with the Cartwright School District. She has taught both sixth and fourth grades. Currently, her position is English Language Arts Content Specialist 4th-8th grades. She received her Bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University and her Master's degree from Arizona State University. She believes all children deserve a great education. Her goal is to help our students reach their fullest potential. When she's not teaching, she loves exploring the outdoors. Hiking, camping, riding... anything that gets her out enjoying the wonderful Arizona weather!
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