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MUSD: Best Place to Work, Best Community Leader


The Marana Unified School District would like to thank the voters of Northwest Tucson and Marana that energetically recognized our district, educators, and schools during the Tucson Local Media Best of the Northwest 2023 competition! The results, featured in the Northwest Explorer, Marana News, and Foothills News beginning March 15, 2023, honored several aspects of our District in numerous categories.

Best Place to Work (2022 and 2023):

  • Marana Unified School District

Marana Unified School District is one of the largest school districts in Arizona, covering an astounding 550 square miles. It takes a lot of staff­ and faculty to make something that big happen, but MUSD is up for the job, with 1,700 employees keeping watch over 13,000 students. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Streeter keeps everything humming.

Best Community Leader:

  • Dr. Dan Streeter, Superintendent

In his third year as Marana Unified School District superintendent, Dan Streeter strives to improve childhood literacy, build relationships with local business partners, make structural improvements in schools throughout the district, invest in fuel-efficient transportation options, expand on classroom technology, accommodate the growth in the area through construction of future K-8 school in Gladden Farms II area, and update schools to serve a larger number of students.

Best School:

  • Twin Peaks K-8 School (winner)
  • Marana High School
  • Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School

Staff­ and faculty at Twin Peaks K-8 works hard to instill pride and a love of learning in their students. Here it’s not just the students who are graded. Twin Peaks has earned an A for more than 10 years from the Arizona State Board of Education, and that’s just one of its awards. It’s also been named an Arizona Higher Performing School through the National Center for Educational Achievement in Science. Besides its academics, there are also plenty of extracurricular activities, such as art and advanced art and choir, to name just two.

Best Teacher:

  • Valerie Ramirez, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary (winner)
  • Jessica White, Twin Peaks K-8
  • Kelly McGarity, Dove Mountain CSTEM K-8

Valerie Ramirez believes creating community in the classroom is the biggest and most important aspect of teaching. “When you have the students on a respect level with you, the teaching part is easy,” she said. “We really build relationships first and, from there, the academics and the rigor come with it.” For Ramirez, working for the Marana Unified School District is a homecoming, as she spent most of her formative years attending its schools.

Best School Leader/Principal:

  • Dondi Luce, Twin Peaks K-8 (winner)
  • Caitlyn Kauffman, Marana High School
  • Matt Uden, Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary

When it comes to running a school, readers believe Dondi Luce is the best. The principal for 16 years, she said her philosophy is simple: build leaders at all levels. “Schools are complex, and it takes the leadership of many to make a successful school,” she said. “My role as principal is to foster collaboration between our teachers, support sta­ and parents for the benefit of students. Twin Peaks K-8 is truly a community e­ffort.”

Best Mascot:

  • Marana High School Tigers (winner)
  • Mountain View High School Mountain Lions

Marana High School’s two tiger mascots — Tony and Tina— look the same, but they dress in themed outfits. On one occasion, they wore Hawaiian shirts to fit with a luau theme. The two mascots appear at events like Future Tiger Night and concerts. They are best known for their “tiger pride” and will sometimes join the cheer, dance and color guard teams. They also have performed special routines for assemblies.

Best Charter School:

  • MCAT High School

Congratulations to all of our schools, teachers, leaders and principals who were recognized!