Second Maricopa High School Groundbreaking

Maricopa Unified School District Superintendent Tracey Lopeman speaks May 7 during the groundbreaking for the district’s second high school.

MARICOPA — The Maricopa Unified School District board unanimously voted on June 2 to renew Superintendent Tracey Lopeman’s contract as superintendent for the next three years.

Lopeman has been with MUSD for the last three years as superintendent and has seen a lot of changes. Board member Jim Jordan described Lopeman as a team player who knew how to make the right decisions to further the excellence that MUSD strives for.

“I’m really impressed with your ability to find the best people and put them in the right place,” Jordan said. “The hires that you have made that I’m familiar with are incredible and they’re the reason that we’re in as good of shape as we are right now.”

Board members also detailed her ability to roll with the punches and enact change in the midst of extreme challenges — namely the global pandemic that took hold in 2020. Vice President AnnaMarie Knorr said Lopeman isn’t one to back off from obstacles.

“One thing that stands out to me is her ability to face challenges and face them head on,” Knorr said. “She doesn’t shy away from a challenge, she doesn’t shy away from a problem, and she does it with a positive, can-do attitude. Nothing really gets her down, it’s amazing — she keeps me going sometimes when I’m like ‘Oh my gosh, another challenge,’ and she’s like ‘this is what we’re made for, this is why we do it.’”

Board President Ben Owens also touted Lopeman’s leadership capabilities and credited her in the board’s ability to make swift and difficult decisions. Robert Downey, who has been with the board since February, said that he was drawn to the position because of the positive environment he saw at MUSD and the culture that Lopeman has created.

“I knew I wanted to join something that was successful and had a good vision that I could contribute to, and what I found out pretty quickly was that Dr. Lopeman was very well organized,” Downey said. “The last three years she has achieved a lot, (and) she also wants to make things better.”

During her time as superintendent, Lopeman has overseen the creation of a new high school, repeated staff raises and the installment of countless new programs and curriculum for MUSD students to enjoy.

Lopeman will now continue to preside as superintendent through 2024.

“The board is united in our commitment to those four strategic goals, and it’s a great foundation,” Lopeman said.

“We’re really just getting started.”

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Katie Sawyer covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at ksawyer@pinalcentral.com.