Principal’s Message

From Elementary Principal, Rachael Lay

Dear Pathway Families,

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I am exceedingly excited to return to Sequoia Pathway this year. In my two years at Children First I was shown every day how fortunate our children are here at Pathway. I want to begin by thanking you for everything that you do for your children to make sure they have a successful school year.

I’d like to give you some background about myself. I have lived in Maricopa for the past 10 years with my husband and four children. My children keep me very active with baseball and track and I enjoy reading and running. I grew up in Houston, TX and went to college at Northern Arizona University where I received my BA in elementary education and special education. I continued my education at the University of Phoenix where I received my master’s in Education Leadership.

When we opened Sequoia Pathway Academy in 2009, the community was looking for a school to support the individual needs of their students. The emphasis was placed on “Knowing Every Child” and I will continue with this same mission. We have adopted a new math curriculum. With the new state testing we have seen a drop in performance over the past few years in the area of math and want to ensure we are giving the students the best resources. The team decided on the adoption of Saxon Math and will receive training on the new curriculum prior to the beginning of the 16-17 school year.

My goal as principal has always been to be available to all students, parents and teachers. I believe in getting into every classroom weekly and being visible to all students and parents. You will catch me at the gate in the morning shaking hands or on the playground catching up with the students. The students will also see me in the cafeteria during their lunches.

With the new school year there is one large change with the school day schedule. During the 15-16 school year the school community selected Friday’s as half-days for teacher planning and professional development. The new dismissal time for students on Fridays will be at 12:30. We will be offering a special rate for our After School Program for families that just need Friday’s. Please make sure that you sign up early to make sure that we are staffed to accommodate all students.

Don’t forget about Meet the Teacher on Thursday, August 4th from 5 – 7 pm. August 8th is the first day of school for students. I am looking forward to a wonderful year!

Rachael S. Lay, M.Ed

From Secondary Principal, Diane Silvia

Dear Parents and Students,

I am both honored and excited to serve as junior high principal. This will be my 8th year at Pathway, and in that time I have held many roles including that of teacher, dean and assistant principal. I have enjoyed many interactions with parents, teachers, students and community members. One thing I can say for certain is that at Pathway there exists a collegial partnership between all stakeholders to provide the best possible academic experience for our students.

The leadership at Pathway has always focused upon creating a culture grounded in mutual respect and shared decision-making. In the eight years I have served at Pathway, I have had the opportunity to actively contribute to the direction and vision of our school and in turn, have always felt strongly tied to the overall success. We are a school that focuses on the well-being of each student and the belief that building relationships is the key to creating an inclusive, supportive learning experience. I am privileged to work with an amazing group of teaching professionals who truly believe that teaching transcends the classroom. Our teachers willingly extend their school day beyond the expected in order to support students in their extracurricular and athletic endeavors. There is a shared belief at Pathway that each student is unique and deserving of a well-rounded education that meets their academic, social, and emotional needs.

Along with teachers and staff, I will work hard to continue the legacy of success established at Pathway by building strong relationships with parents, students, and community partners. We will focus on character education initiatives, use of data to inform instruction, and consistent implementation of differentiated instruction strategies to increase students’ achievement, and providing exciting and challenging enrichment opportunities for all students.

I am proud to take on the responsibility of junior high principal. I am very passionate about education and I look forward to partnering with you to provide our students with a rigorous, engaging, and high-quality middle school experience. As the parent, I recognize the importance of a strong home-school connection. Parents are every child’s first teacher and I believe that by working together, we can make sure your child’s social, emotional, and academic needs are met.


Mrs. Diane Silvia
Secondary Principal