Human Resources


The mission of the Human Resources Department is to ensure the recruitment, selection and employment of the best-qualified personnel for each position in the District. The Cartwright Elementary School District is an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate based on age, race, color, religion, sex, marital status, disability, or national origin.

Our staff holds high expectations for themselves and our students, believing that all students can learn and succeed. The District engages in advocating, promoting, and securing the rights of all persons who are stakeholders in our educational community.

Educators in the Cartwright School District collaborate as members of a professional learning community. That community fosters mutual cooperation, emotional support, and personal growth as we work to enrich the lives of our students and parents.

Department Goals

  • To support expanding academic achievement through the employment and retention of quality personnel.

  • To focus on ensuring excellent customer service for all Cartwright Elementary School educational community members.

  • To promote Social and Emotional Learning by working to guarantee the fair and consistent treatment of all district personnel and constituent groups.

Tom HancockTom Hancock
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources

Mr. Thomas Hancock has been working in public education since 2004. His prior experiences in Cartwright include serving as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, assistant principal, principal, and the Assistant Director of Human Resources. Additionally, he was the Director/Administrator for Human Resources in the Peoria Unified School District and the Vice President of Human Resources for an educational staffing company. Mr. Hancock has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University.

Dr. MaryLou ChavezMary Lou Chavez
Director of Human Resources

Mrs. Mary Lou Chavez has thoroughly enjoyed every day of the past 30 years serving as an educator. In the past 4 years she served as both Executive Director and Director of Talent (Human Resources) for Phoenix Union High School District where she was responsible for employee benefits, employee relations, Interest Based Negotiations, recruitment, hiring, staffing, overall management of human resources functions. Prior to going to Phoenix Union, Ms. Chavez was the Assistant Director of Specials Service for Cartwright and is happy to be back to serve the students, staff and community. Additionally, Ms. Chavez held positions as Principal and Assistant Principal including Program Administrator for the Rodel Foundation where she worked on increasing math achievement with schools in Yuma, Flagstaff, Quartzite, Tuba City, and Parker. Most importantly, Mrs. Chavez served as a classroom teacher for 13 years.

Mrs. Chavez is married and enjoys traveling whenever an opportunity exists. In the past she served on the board for Expect More AZ, First Things First, Glendale Community College President’s Circle, and Maricopa Community Chancellor’s Hispanic Advisory Board.

Heather CruzHeather Cruz
Assistant Director of Human Resources

Dr. Heather Cruz currently serves as the Assistant Director for Human Resources for the Cartwright Elementary School District. She recently held the Associate Superintendent for High Academic Standards for Students with the Arizona Department of Education. She served over 1.1 million students, 950,000 teachers, more than 600 districts and 14 Career and Technical Education Districts across the state. She brings 29 years of education experience serving as a teacher, administrator, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent and associate superintendent. Bringing a large lens of experience, she has served as an education consultant and worked with different education business entities.

As a well-known contributor and expert in the area of teacher supervision, school law and policy, Dr. Cruz has served as an adjunct professor for Arizona State University and does so currently for Northern Arizona University. She is an active member of Arizona School
Administrators where she has served as the President-Elect, President, and
Past-President. Dr. Cruz serves as the Secretary/Treasurer and Webmaster for The Best Public Education in Arizona Foundation.

Cruz is an ongoing advocate for district public schools where she works passionately to ensure that all students achieve success.

David SantellanesDr. David Santellanes

Dr. Dave Santellanes has been the District’s teacher recruiter since 2000. His prior experiences include serving as an elementary school principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent for personnel services, superintendent of schools, and Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Northwest Coalition for Community Education Development at the University of Oregon for 11 years. He received The Oregon and National Community Education Association’s highest awards and has served as an adjunct professor in numerous universities throughout the country. Dr. Santellanes has over 50 years of experience in education and received his Ed.D. degree in 1973 from Arizona State University, M.A. from Central Michigan University in 1971, and B.A from Arizona State University in 1968. He has served as a senior consultant on two national evaluations of education and strongly believes that students will succeed when strong teachers and caring parents collaborate with the emphasis on student learning. Dr. Santellanes enjoys working at the Cartwright School District because everyone’s efforts are focused on student achievement.

Michelle RobertsonMichelle Robertson
TOSA Human Resources

Michelle Robertson has been part of the Cartwright Elementary School District since 2002. Ms. Robertson has served the district as a teacher, Content Specialist, and Induction & Retention and Staff Development Specialist. Additionally, she represented employees as the Cartwright Education Association President, Vice President, and Negotiation Chair for many years. Before her career in public education, Ms. Robertson worked in the medical, behavioral and social service field.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.