Dr. Debbi C. Burdick 
August, 2016

Dear CCUSD Staff, Parents and Community,

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year. I hope you spent the summer relaxing, finding time for yourself as well as enjoying family time. 

As we begin another school year, we look forward to you being a part of our Cave Creek family and hope you become involved in our schools and community. The Cave Creek Unified School District is known for its incredible staff with their commitment to excellence. To those new to our school community, we are looking forward to your contributions to our students and team. We are so fortunate to have a school district for which we can be proud of--with students, staff, families and the community coming together to support our mission to Inspire Excellence. This is the reason why CCUSD is the #1 School District in Maricopa County, has consistently been designated an "A" School District by the AZ Department of Education, and CCUSD schools have achieved A+ Schools of Excellence status by the Arizona Educational Foundation. 

I would like to take a minute and update the administrative changes for the new school year. I am very excited about our dedicated team of professionals who are here to ensure that our staff and students have exceptional educational experiences in our student-centered school district: 

  • Mr. James Swetter is the new Assistant Principal of Operations and Athletics at Cactus Shadows High School.  Mr. Swetter is transferring from the position of Dean of Students at Cactus Shadows High School.  
  • Mr. Aaron Pettinato is the new Dean of Students at Cactus Shadows High School.  Mr. Pettinato is transferring from a teaching position at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School. 
  • Mr. Thomas Espy is the new Director of Academic Services and Assessment.  Mr. Espy has been a math teacher for 14 years, is gifted endorsed and was the Research Data Analyst for Dysart School District.

New to their positions in the spring of 2016,

  • Mr. Ted Chiarello is the new Director of Finance.  He comes to us from Peoria Unified School District where he was an internal auditor.
  • Mr. Mike Santina is the new Director of Facilities and Construction.  Mr. Santina is transferring from the position of Grounds & Energy Conservation Coordinator.

This year, as every year, we commit ourselves to providing the very best educational experience possible. Our focus is on continuous improvement and communication. We will update you often through our newsletters, social media, out dials and text messages, as well as in school and community meetings. Please take a moment to visit our district and school websites. Have a meaningful and productive 2016-17 school year. I will see you in our schools! 


Debbi Burdick, Ed.D.