Superintendent Leadership Team
Victoria Farrar, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Victoria Farrar manages procurement and special projects for Cartwright. She has over nine years of experience managing all areas of school operations including human resources, transportation, business services, food service, maintenance and accounting. She is a member of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials and currently serves on the membership committee. She received her MBA from Grand Canyon University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science.
Deputy Superintendent for Educational and Family Services
Ema Jáuregui, Deputy Superintendent for Educational and Family Services, started her career as a K-8 school teacher. She later became a teacher at Estrella Middle School and then transitioned to school administration as a preschool assistant principal. She has worked as an assistant principal in K-5, K-8, and middle schools. For six years, she served as the principal of John F. Long Elementary School. In 2016, Ms. Jáuregui joined the Educational Services Department, where she served as the director of STEM/PLC and then as the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services.
Dr. Heather Cruz
Assistant Superintendent of Human ResourcesDr. Heather Cruz is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the district. With more than 30 years of experience in education, Dr. Cruz has served in various roles including teacher, administrator, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent, and associate superintendent at the state level. In addition to her work in the district, she is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, where she shares her expertise in teacher supervision, school law, and policy. Dr. Cruz is actively involved in the education community, serving as a president and treasurer for the Arizona School Administrators and as the webmaster for the Best Public Education in Arizona Foundation. She is also the Chief Academic Officer and Co-Founder of Ribbit Learning Company. Dr. Cruz is a dedicated advocate for district public schools and is committed to ensuring the success of all students.
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Marco Antonio Ruiz is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Cartwright. He joined the district in July 2023 and has dedicated his entire educational career to working in full Title I districts. Mr. Ruiz specializes in implementing a systematic approach to school improvement in inner-city, predominantly Hispanic populations. Marco earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Bilingual Elementary Education from the University of Arizona in 1998. Later, he completed his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2006. Currently, he is finishing his doctoral studies in Educational Leadership from the same university. Throughout his professional journey, Marco spent nine years teaching in the Wilson Elementary School District. He then served as a principal in the Isaac School District for six years. Eventually, he joined the Fowler Elementary School District, where he held several roles, including principal of Western Valley Schools (K-8th), Curriculum Director, and Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services. As a proud parent to Marco Antonio Jr., a current student in Harvard University's Masters program, Mr. Ruiz understands the significance of advocating for children's future and providing them with every opportunity for success. He believes that educators play a vital role as mentors and guides in this journey called life.
Executive Director of School Leadership
Patricia Lopez has extensive experience as a teacher and administrator, accumulating over 35 years in the field. She has taught special education, regular education, and English language learning (ELL). Throughout her career, Patricia has held various roles, including assistant principal, principal, Director of Teaching and Learning, and currently serves as the Executive Director of School Leadership. She is highly involved in professional development, working closely with teachers and school administrators to enhance curriculum and instruction through Visible Learning. Additionally, Patricia has a strong background in governance, having served as a Governing Board Member in her district for 10 years. Outside of her professional commitments, Patricia has made significant contributions as a foster parent and surrogate parent for special education students in foster care. Currently, she is the founder of the Krystal Lopez Memorial Scholarship Fund, which focuses on providing scholarships to teenagers battling cancer.
Dr. Juan Medrano
Assistant Superintendent of District Operations
Dr. Juan Medrano has been a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He is a supporter of high-quality education for public education for all children. He is a lifelong learner committed to educational equity for all of our scholars and is excited to serve our Cartwright community. Previously, he served as the Director of Special Services and is looking forward to leading the District's Operations plan in a future-focused way.
Dr. Derek Etheridge
Executive Director of Business Services
Dr. Etheridge began his career with the Cartwright School District in 2006 after moving from his hometown in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Dr. Etheridge is a former middle school math teacher, math content specialist, assistant principal, and principal. He recently achieved the Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations® (SFO®) certification by the Association for School Business Officials International (ASBO). Dr. Etheridge began in the Federal Programs department in May 2019. He earned his bachelors degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his master’s degree in K-12 leadership from Capella University, and his doctoral degree in organizational leadership with an emphasis on K-12 leadership from Grand Canyon University. Dr. Etheridge also acquired a Master of Accountancy in 2019. Dr. Etheridge’s favorite things to do include spending time with his family and attending baseball games during the spring and summer. In fact, his personal goal is to visit every professional baseball stadium in the United States; he hopes his one-year-old daughter will grow up to share his same love for the game. In his role as the Director of Federal Programs, Dr. Etheridge is committed to providing principals and schools with the resources they need to ensure high levels of learning for all students.
Dr. Carlos Perez
Executive Director, Social and Emotional Learning and Community ProgramsDr. Carlos Perez is an experienced administrator and educator with a diverse background in K-12 education. His career spans across various settings and roles, including district-level administration, elementary and middle school teaching, and high school assistant principal and elementary principal positions in Anaheim, California. Dr. Perez possesses a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities that each educational level presents. His invaluable experiences have allowed him to develop a holistic perspective on the unique needs and developmental stages of elementary and middle school students. Equally important, Dr. Perez has honed his knowledge and skills in supporting the adults who play a crucial role in the education and growth of these students.
Victor Hugo Rodriguez
Executive Director of Public RelationsVictor Hugo Rodriguez is an accomplished professional currently serving as the Executive Director of Public Relations for Cartwright. With an impressive background in journalism, Victor Hugo is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist, bringing his expertise and passion for storytelling to his role.Having joined Cartwright in July 2022 as the Director of Public Relations, Victor Hugo leverages his extensive experience in the field of communications. Prior to joining Cartwright, he spent nearly 20 years as a television news reporter and news correspondent for Univision and NBC-Telemundo in prominent cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, and Sacramento. Through his journalism career, Victor Hugo excelled in effectively communicating and connecting with diverse communities, bringing important stories to light. In addition to his journalism career, Victor Hugo also served as a Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. This role provided him with valuable insights into public relations and community engagement, further enhancing his ability to effectively communicate and build strong relationships. Beyond his professional endeavors, Victor Hugo is deeply involved in mentoring and supporting aspiring journalists. He enjoys spending quality time with his daughter and actively participates in mentoring students from the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism through programs like ALMA and The National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Through sharing his knowledge and experiences, Victor Hugo is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of storytellers and empowering them to succeed. Victor Hugo Rodriguez received his Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications from California State University Dominguez. With his extensive background in journalism, public relations, and community engagement, he continues to make a significant impact in the field and contribute to the success of the Cartwright School District.
Linda Parker is an Executive Assistant to Superintendent Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor. She has served the district and the community in several positions over the years.
Christine Santos has been in the Cartwright School District since February 2006. She is currently one of two Executive Assistants to the Superintendent and Governing Board. Christine is passionate about serving the Cartwright School District community and loves working in education to assist students and their families.