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Education

Florence Unified welcomes 2 new principals for new school year

Posted 5/23/24

Students at two schools in the Florence Unified School District will be saying hello to two new principals when the school year starts in July.

Pending FUSD Governing School Board approval, …

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Education

Florence Unified welcomes 2 new principals for new school year

Posted

Students at two schools in the Florence Unified School District will be saying hello to two new principals when the school year starts in July.

Pending FUSD Governing School Board approval, Kimberly May will be the principal at Magma Ranch K8 and Kayla Piel will be the principal at Circle Cross Ranch STEM Academy for the start of the 2024-25 school year.

May has been a teacher for almost 30 years, starting in Gary, Indiana, before relocating to Arizona in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and special education from Ball State University; a Master of Education in elementary education, curriculum, and instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University; a Master of Science in school administration from Indiana University/Purdue University at Fort Wayne; and has completed all coursework toward a Doctor of Education in administrative leadership of teaching and learning from Walden University, a district press release stated.

She is a national board-certified teacher candidate and currently serves on the board of the Arizona Math Leaders as the southern region vice president.

May joined FUSD in 2018 and returned to her first love of teaching at Copper Basin K-8 through 2022. She has served as the district’s K-8 Math Curriculum specialist for the past two years.

“ Mrs. May brings a wealth of experience, passion, and dedication to our school community. Her commitment to fostering a nurturing and innovative learning environment will undoubtedly inspire our students and staff to reach new heights,” FUSD Superintendent Chris Knutsen stated in the release.

Piel was born and raised in Mesa and began her career in education in 2004 at Noah’s Ark Preschool and Kindergarten in Mesa. In 2008, she took over as owner and director of a small preschool facility in Gilbert. This experience prompted her to pursue a career in public education, the release stated.

She relocated to San Tan Valley while finishing her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University. In 2013, she began her career with FUSD, teaching at Anthem K8 and then later at Circle Cross Ranch.

She then pursued her master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and shortly after, she became the dean of students at San Tan Heights K8 and was promoted to assistant principal.

“Ms. Piel's dedication to educational excellence and her passion for fostering a nurturing and dynamic learning environment make her an invaluable addition to our team,” stated Knutsen in the release.