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public education

Peoria Unified governing board approves new department heads

Posted 5/3/24

The Peoria Unified governing board approved two new directors last month at public meetings.

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public education

Peoria Unified governing board approves new department heads


The Peoria Unified governing board approved two new directors last month at public meetings.

At the April 13 meeting, the board voted to approve Ashley Worrell as the executive director of community education, and at the April 25 meeting, the board approved Jesse Remo as director of preschool.

Executive director of community education is a new position in Peoria Unified, which will bring together KidZone, Preschool and the Family Resource Center all under a newly established community education department where Worrell will lead a cohesive team.

Bringing these areas together under one leader supports Peoria Unified’s strategic plan for student success and community connectedness, according to a news release. It will also allow Peoria Unified to explore how the district supports all learners with enhanced enrichment opportunities outside the regular school day.

“Most school districts run these areas through a comprehensive and supported community education department, and we are thrilled to be able to do the same in Peoria Unified,” said Danielle Airey, the district’s chief communications officer.

Worrell has served as Peoria Unified’s KidZone director since 2016. In October 2023, Worrell added the role of acting Early Childhood Director to her duties as KidZone Director when Peoria Unified’s long-standing director of preschool retired. The executive director of community education position was created by repurposing another administrative position and does not increase the total number of district administrators.

Prior to working in Peoria Unified, Worrell was a quality first coach with Southwest Human Development for three years. She began her career in 2009 where she served as a Head Start teacher for the Deer Valley Unified School District. Worrell received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood. She earned her master’s degree in educational leadership, also from Northern Arizona University. Worrell holds a principal certificate from the Arizona Department of Education.

Remo will serve on Worrell’s team following the retirement of Debbie Pischke. Remo began her career in Peoria Unified in 2010 where she served as a special education self-contained teacher for Peoria Unified’s preschool programs. She continued her experiences in early childhood by moving into general education classrooms teaching both general education students and gifted students. In 2016, Remo moved into a unique role within Peoria Unified’s preschool department, serving special education students and their teachers as the Preschool Itinerate Resource teacher. Two years later, Remo started a new role within the preschool department, serving as an early childhood mentor where she worked with new teachers and assistants, provided quality professional development for the preschool department, facilitated needs assessments for the preschool department and served as a back-up for the district's preschool director.

In March 2023, Remo was appointed as an assistant principal at Sky View Elementary where she worked alongside their principal, Tammy Maas, providing ongoing support to general education teachers, preschool teachers, and special education teachers.

“Remo is passionate about early childhood education, and she is excited to return to the preschool department in a new leadership capacity to support the district’s work in the Community Education Department,” Worrell said.

Another notable administrator appointment from April 2024 includes Chad Eichenlaub as Peoria Unified’s next director of Career and Technical Education. Eichenlaub currently serves as the coordinator for Peoria Unified’s MET Professional Academy and is stepping into this role as current director, Barb Coakley, pursues other opportunities within the district. Prior to joining Peoria Unified, Eichenlaub was a principal at a high school in Alaska from 2019 to 2021. His background is in teaching as Eichenlaub held the role of a business teacher from 2012 to 2017 in both Montana and Alaska. Eichenlaub will transition into his new role on July 1, 2024.