Dr. JoEtta Gonzales & Daniel Kent
Total Dollars Raised:
Dr. JoEtta Gonzales
Dr. JoEtta Gonzales was born and raised in Kearny Arizona. JoEtta is truly an Arizona Native., and her journey through school shows that. JoEtta attended Ray High School, and then went on to attend Arizona State University (BAE), then to Northern Arizona University (M.Ed), and then finally she finished up her schooling at Arizona State University (Ed.D). All of her hard work and diligence in paid off, and she is now the Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District.
JoEtta, told us that “as Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District, I get to work with amazing educators and support staff to influence and shape the future. I’ve been passionate about working with children all my life, and in this position, I have the opportunity to help ensure our children have safe, supportive schools and opportunities to grow intellectually and socially. I’m passionate about continuous improvement, with the intent to do ordinary things extraordinarily well; and I’m driven by the notion that education changes lives and strengthens communities”.
We also learned that JoEtta’s husband Joe is also a native to the area, having attended Casa Grande Union High School. The Couple have 3 adult daughters and 2 grandsons that they enjoy immensely, and they also care for her mother who lives in their home, and have a cute little dog named Lolita.
Something that not everyone may know about JoEtta is that she is an avid sports fan. She told us that “there’s nothing I like doing more than watching sports with my family. On TV or in person, a great athletic matchup brings me great joy”! Another fun fact is that she wanted to be Cher when she grew up.
JoEtta was asked what her favorite story from your work/professional life? We loved her response!
“Recognizing staff for their sense of compassion is one of the favorite things I get to do as a Superintendent. We have a #BeKind award that we give out once or twice a month, and it’s a big surprise. Early the morning before, we put yard signs out in front of the school that say, “Our District is recognizing an extraordinary educator today”. No one except the supervisor knows who is getting the award, so the signs bring an element of suspense to students, family members, and staff alike. The recipient’s family is brought in, and a group of directors from the District Office all show up to deliver the surprise recognition. We walk down the hall with celebratory music, and all enter the employee’s work area together. We celebrate the kindness of the employee by sharing a collector’s coin, a certificate, and kind words from everyone who came. It’s heartwarming and moving to appreciate staff in this way. I’m so glad we started this tradition”!
Daniel grew up in Idaho where he started dancing at the age of 12. He became a Latin ballroom competitor, and was able to travel to may parts of the world. Daniel became a tow time national finalist in the Youth Open Latin division. He has been teaching for the past 17 years, and has coached many dance teams along the way. He has studied ballroom with many top world competitors, as well as Ballet, Jazz, and Dance Education at BYU-I, and CGU.