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Phone: (520) 545-2025
Fax: (520) 545-2121
2238 East Ginter Road, Tucson, AZ, 85706

JUNE 27, 2017 / MODIFIED JAN 29, 2018 03:01 PM
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As Superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District, Steve Holmes serves as the top administrator in Southern Arizona’s second largest school district. Steve is an accomplished educator with over 21 years of successful service in public education. As an educational leader, he has a proven ability to manage and implement large-scale systemic efforts through strong and strategic collaborations with administrators, teachers, and staff. Steve is committed to the transformation of schools to ensure all students are college and career ready.

During his first year as Superintendent, the Sunnyside District established Vision 2020: A 5-year Strategic Plan and opened Gallego Intermediate 4-8 Fine Arts Magnet School. Steve worked collaboratively with the Governing Board and central staff to develop strategies to engage the community and redesign central office support to serve school sites in implementing the core areas outlined in Vision 2020.

Prior to becoming Superintendent, Steve served as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Sunnyside. In this role, Steve was a key architect in the District’s one-to-one laptop initiative, in which he worked to achieve equity of access to technology for all students.

A champion for equity, Steve has built a reputation for his strong advocacy of equitable services for English Language Learners. He has had multiple opportunities to provide clarity and insight to national education audiences. Steve was a facilitator on an educational panel for the National Congressional Hispanic Caucus Conference, where he spoke on policy implications for English Language Learners in relation to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Steve has also served as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Arizona’s second largest district, the Tucson Unified School District. While in this position, he brought multiple stakeholders together to participate in visioning processes. This included facilitating a sub-committee of over fifty community members, teacher leaders, administrators, and parents in the development of annual goals and strategies to support that district’s teaching and learning vision in the areas of curriculum, instruction, professional development, data, and assessment.

Steve is an alumnus of the Sunnyside District and often shares his perspective through the eyes of one who attended and experienced Sunnyside schools. He draws upon these experiences when engaging students, teachers and school leaders, to promote a deeper focus on creating classrooms that emphasize high expectations and student agency. As he enters his second year as Superintendent, there is much excitement among staff and the community because of his insight on instructional practice and his strategies for building a culture of high academic achievement in Sunnyside.


Performance Goals for the 2017-18 School Year


  • Goal 1: Customer Service

a) Implementation a customer satisfaction survey at all 21 schools (external – parents relative to enrollment and disenrollment) and 3 departments (Human Resources, Business Office, and Transportation-Internal for now but external in the future)-Develop monthly reports where in growth of response rates over time (Elementary, Middle, and High Schools) b) Provide Professional Development for office staff (priority), monitors, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers and others classified that interact with parents and the public-Quantify the number of participants from each category with mandatory participation from each school site and department. c) Establish and implement an action improvement process for data collected from surveys conducted in Human Resources. (Develop a sample model for use of survey data-Internal and external)

  • Goal 2: Achievement

a) Improve aggregate performance in Literacy and Mathematics by a minimum of 5%. b) Minimize the variability in performance across grade levels (per school) based minimally on the cohort performance from the previous year.

  • Goal 3: Enrollment

a) Develop an enrollment campaign geared at recapturing students that have left or never enrolled and attracting new students to our district. b) Establish a positive city- wide presence to regain a formidable reputation regarding the educational experience in our district (emphasizing our positive image). Gather artifacts of the efforts made in this area and quantify an expectation for meeting this goal.

  • Goal 4: Leadership

a) Establish a formal document that outlines policies, procedures and work instructions relative to standard school operations (staff handbook). This handbook must be consistent across schools with standard operating procedures and district policy. b) Place a stronger emphasis on effective communication with students, teachers, and families in the existing principal evaluation instrument. c) Develop a community outreach plan unique to each school that encourages greater involvement from and with the broader school community.