David Mandel

With the hiring of David Mandel as Marana High School principal, both Marana and Mountain View high schools, as well as Marana Middle School, will have new principals. 

Mandel replaces Allison Murphy who accepted a position of chief of school leadership in Littleton elementary district in Phoenix. 

His hiring was officially approved at the June 11 meeting of the Marana Unified School District Governing Board. 

Mandel comes to Marana from the Flowing Wells School District, where he is the assistant principal overseeing curriculum, instruction and career and technical education. 

Prior to his stint at Flowing Wells, he served as assistant principal for curriculum at Tucson High Magnet School and Rincon High School, both in the Tucson Unified School District. Mandel’s teaching experience includes high school American and Arizona history, United States government, and Advanced Placement U.S. government and politics.  

“Marana is an exceptional high school, and I am honored to have this opportunity to be a part of the community,” Mandel said in a press release. “I look forward to working with the staff, students and families as together we ensure our students are provided a comprehensive high 

school experience consisting of strong, collaborative relationships and clear consistent expectations for student learning and growth.”

Mandel has a reputation for a strong knowledge in curriculum design and implementation, instructional practices, policy, evaluation and assessments. 

Over the past seven years, he has overseen multiple academic departments including curriculum, career and technical education, counseling, mathematics, exceptional education and English language development. 

According to MUSD, Mandel “is highly skilled in data-driven assessments to increase student achievement, program evaluation and curriculum development, fiscal management and strategic planning.”

He has dedicated much of his career to the development of new programs and courses. Some of his successful program include “3.0 is My Goal,” which hopes to advance career and college readiness. Another program, “Electric Technologies,” was designed to give students the opportunity to develop electrical skills. “Relationships 2.0” focused on developing bonds between school and family. 

He has worked hard to enhance student services through the counseling department and develop smaller learning communities with the hopes of “providing transformative learning experiences for students.” 

“I believe that in order to provide an excellent experience and to build community satisfaction, a school must rest on pillars of safety, curriculum, instruction and personnel,” Mandel added. “As the principal of Marana, I will ground my leadership in the philosophy that our actions should always be in the best interest of students and that all individuals will strive to reach their fullest potential when given an opportunity.” 

Mandel has a master of education in educational leadership from the University of Arizona and a bachelor of arts in political science from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. He will receive his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Arizona in August.   

Todd Garelick and Heather Pletnick will take over as principals at Mountain View and Marana Middle School on July 1. 

They replace Patricia Cadigan and Kristin Reidy, who both took administrative positions with MUSD.

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