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Principals' Message

From Elementary Principal, Rachael Lay

Lay Letter 8.9.19


Friday, July 19, 2019

Dear Parents and Families,

It was wonderful seeing everyone last night!  This letter will contain much needed information for next week, please read it all the way through.

Campus Hours – School hours are from 8:00 – 3:00. When the campus opens at 7:30 you may begin dropping off your children at the playground, where they must enter at the main gate. Students are not allowed in the building until 8:00, so please make sure your children are appropriately dressed (i.e. a jacket when it’s cold). Dismissal is at 3:00, and during the first few weeks it will be hectic, so please be patient as we all settle into a routine.

Kindergarten – This is a very exciting year for our youngest children, but it’s also a big change for them.  To ease the transition to school we ask for help from all our families.  On the first day you may walk them to the playground and stay with them until 8:00 am. Parents may then walk with the child to their classroom to drop off supplies, lunches, etc.  We will have a little gathering for all kindergarten families in the cafeteria at 8:05am. Please feel welcome to join other kinder families for the refreshments presented by the PTO.

Lunch – If your child is not buying hot lunch, they should bring a healthy lunch from home.  We ask kindly that they do not have soda as a drink and has a well-balanced lunch to help them get through the rest of the day. For the first week you may send cash and/or check in an envelope with your student’s name and the teacher’s name. You will be receiving information about setting up an online lunch account where you can prepay for lunches and keep track of your lunch account balance.

Playground – Opens at 7:30.  We are a closed campus meaning parents may not go to the playground with the exception of the first day of school.

Parent Volunteers – The beginning of the year is very full of setting up expectations, going over policies and procedures along with beginning of the year assessments.  Typically we do not have parent’s volunteers the first 4-6 weeks.  However, at that point we do love having you on campus helping in so many places.


  • Drop Off/Pick Up Instructions
  • PTO Information

We are very excited for an amazing year and we know with your continued support it will be!


Mrs. Lay

Elementary Principal

Rachael S. Lay, M.Ed

Elementary Principal, K-6

Rachael Lay



From Secondary Principal, Ja-Queese Dightmon


Dear Puma Nation,
We want to thank everyone as we onboarded new staff and completed the first few weeks of school. We appreciate all of the support. We want to take a minute to share a few updates on campus.
A Special Thank You
We have had several parents come in to meet us and welcome us to the school. It was a pleasure to meet many of you during the football game. Your kindness has been appreciated. We have had parent volunteers bring programs to the school, join PTO, and attend sporting events. We have a K-12 PTO that is up and running and we are calling all volunteers. Your help is greatly appreciated.
As we have been visiting classrooms, we noticed the level of dedication and hard work by all of the classroom teachers. Everything from the beautiful bulletins and well planned lessons, to the way each one engages with the students.
We would like to give a shout out to a teachers that has gone the extra mile in the past few weeks. This teacher has her lessons planned all the way down to the attention cue. She has designed a classroom so well that any new student that enters the room will know how to join in the classroom community. The way she responds to each student and ensures they are set up for success is impeccable. It is evident that this teacher has been working hard to build a strong sense of community. Please help me celebrate Ms. Croxford for all of her hard work.
In another classroom, we had a Science teacher instructing on Lab Safety. Parents, we are sure you all remember your Lab Safety lesson in high school; it was nothing like that. This teacher had students sitting on the edge of their seats with 100% engagement and conversation about the safety in the classroom. The flow of the discussion made the conversation light, but serious. The humor allowed for the brain breaks needed for the students to process and understand the information presented. This Lab Safety instruction will be forever engrained in each of the students’ minds. Please help me celebrate Mr. Klepfer for all of his hard work.
We have some great news!
Robotics: Our robotics class has had a shipment of bots and legos. The students are thrilled as they are learning to work together to solve problems and will soon be coding the robots.
Technology: Our new computer carts arrived! Our classrooms have increased bandwidth and access points that will allow the students to begin working in Google Classrooms and collaborate on projects.
Science and Math Department: We have been working hard to fill the teaching positions. We are looking for teachers with a very strong background in science. We want to increase the level of rigo and hands on experiences. We have been fortunate to find amazing science subs who love teaching science, and have been working closely with our Science Department and Science Lead, Ms. Oosthuizen. The Science Department has done a wonderful job assisting the new staff and ensuring the curriculum is rigorous and engaging, and for this I thank them.
The Math Department Lead, Mr. Struble has been feverishly working to ensure grades have been uploaded and lessons are following the scope and sequence. Please know we appreciate your patience as we seek qualified and dedicated additions to join the team.
Important Information
Picture Day
Fall pictures on Wednesday, September 4th and make-ups Monday, September 9th.
Progress Reports
Please take a moment and log into PowerSchool to view your student’s grades. Be sure to look at teacher comments. Take some time to chat with your student regarding their progress thus far. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your student’s teachers.
Benchmark Testing:
We have been benchmarking this past week and will finish up this next week. Attendance is critical as this test helps the teachers determine what to teach and to whom. Be sure your child is in class each day and has eaten a good breakfast.
Thank you for your continued support.

With all sincere gratitude,

Mrs. Ja-Queese Dightmon M.Ed.

Principal Sequoia Pathway Academy 7-12


Dear Sequoia Pathway Family:

It is with great honor that I introduce myself, Ja-Queese Dightmon, as Principal for Sequoia Pathway Academy. I have been married for over 20 years and have 5 beautiful children who will be attending both Pathway Elementary and Pathway High School. I have earned my BA and Masters in Education from Arizona State University. My passion and dedication for education has been shaped by my 20 years of experience both in and out of the classroom: working as the Assistant Principal, Director of Curriculum, Staff Development for Sequoia Choice AZDL and Sequoia Charter School. I have served in all sectors of education from charter, public, reservation and private. I participated in the Emergent Leaders Program through the Governor’s Office and have taught pre-service teachers and practicum teachers from Northern Arizona University.

As I have toured your campus, reunited with staff I have worked with in the past, met new staff, visited classrooms, talked with parents and students, I have learned that Sequoia Pathway Academy has a very rich history and has seen many successes. I can tell you all have a great sense of pride for Sequoia Pathway Academy and the community. It is evident that only the elite, top-notch educators and support staff deliver instruction at Pathway. The educators on this campus are committed to increasing student achievement. They strive to know every student in order to design rigorous curriculum to meet the needs of all diverse learners and it is evident by the fact that they have 100% grad rate. I am deeply humbled and look forward to becoming an integral part of the Copa Community and working closely with all of you to continue to build on the foundation laid by the many students, families, and staff members over the past 10 years.

I would like to thank each and every one of you who have reached out and extended such a warm welcome to me on my first few days on campus.

I want to personally invite all of you to attend a brief meet and greet on July 11th, from 6pm to 7pm, in the gym.

Looking forward to an amazing school year. Feel free to stop by the office, my door is always open!

With all sincere gratitude,

Mrs. Ja-Queese Dightmon M.Ed.

Principal Sequoia Pathway Academy 7-12