Araceli Simpson has joined Apache Junction Unified School District’s Educational Services Department’s team as a community services liaison. Prior to accepting the new grant-funded position, she worked as a receptionist at Cactus Canyon Junior High.
Mrs. Simpson is fluent in written and oral Spanish and English. Her duties include serving as an English language learner compliance clerk and test administrator, translator, community outreach contact and McKenny Vento assistant. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistant Act authorizes the federal education for homeless children and youth.
The Apache Junction resident has already saved the district hundreds of dollars by serving as an official translator rather than having to outsource written Spanish/English translation materials and oral interpretation. She has also been able to direct students and families toward resources that can be used to enhance their lives and help students succeed in school.
“I see my role as a bridge to help others and improve communication between our students, families and district,” said Mrs. Simpson. “I know there are a lot of individuals who could use a little extra help but don’t want to ask such as helping provide ways to pay-for-play so more students can participate in sports and other activities. It is very fulfilling to be able to help our students and families in this way.”
When not at work, she enjoys camping, hunting and listening to country music with her husband, Brandon and sons David, 13; Ethan, 11; and Jayden, 7.
The family adopted Brit, a retired K-9 German Shepherd who served in the Air Force as a bomb dog and drug sniffer.
The family actively supports Mission K-9 Rescue, an organization that rescues, reunites, re-homes, rehabilitates and repairs any retired working dogs that have served mankind in some capacity. For more information about Mission K-9, go to missionk9rescue.org.
For more information about AJUSD or its schools or departments go to ajusd.org.
Editor's note: Sally Marks is Apache Junction Unified School District’s public information officer.