CASA GRANDE — Educational staff who hail from the Big Apple are coming to the Big House to fill roles within the Casa Grande Union High School District.

During the latest CGUHSD board meeting on Tuesday, New Yorkers Jared Walther and Miguel Marrero were introduced as the new assistant principals of student services and student affairs, respectively. Marrero will be taking over duties as the new Vista Grande athletic director.

The previous athletic director, Robert Pierce, resigned in December.

“I’m a New Yorker at heart,” Marrero said. “But I’ve been here many moons and I am looking forward to bringing some of my experience to this wonderful district.”

Marrero comes to Vista Grande from ASU Prep in Phoenix.

Walther similarly said he’s “excited” about his new role within the district, having originally been an economics teacher at Vista Grande and a long standing assistant track and field coach.

Earlier in the meeting, championship-winning Casa Grande Union football coach Jake Barro addressed the board to recap the Cougars’ incredible run. Last year the team went 13-0 in the regular season and ended up winning the state championship.

“The goal when I was hired was to make Casa Grande Union the best place to play football in Arizona,” Barro said. “In 2021, we were.”

Barro thanked the board, the community and staff for all of their support, noting the high attendance level at the state championship game in Tempe.

“As I left the stadium that night, six different families came up to me,” Barro said. “Our students are just so fortunate to be able to experience this.”

Barro also touted the student athlete’s average GPA of over 3.4, and that nine of the 11 players attending NCAA schools next fall would have qualified to attend just on their academic merits alone.

CG Union athletic director Randy Robbins offered an overall optimistic overview of the return to regular sports activities during the prior fall semester. Currently there are 43 extracurricular CG Union clubs operating; among sports, the boys golf club was restarted, and a new freshman tennis program had nine participants.

Concerning Vista Grande, student representatives with the Spartan Athletic Activities Advisory Committee told the board they were working on reinvigorating ‘school spirit’ which has been an issue since the start of the pandemic.


Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at

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