Teaching and Learning

The Department of Teaching and Learning is committed to improving academic achievement for all students by ensuring a rigorous and relevant curriculum. We support teachers and administrators in their work with students by offering high-quality professional development courses throughout the year. We also support teacher leaders at each campus by offering monthly professional development in First Best Instruction.

The Teaching and Learning Department also handles Language Acquisition within our school district. For information, click here



Sonia BustamanteSonia Bustamante
Director of Teaching and Learning

Sonia Bustamante began her educational career in 1998 after working for fifteen years in the private business sector. She taught 4th and 5th grades in bilingual classrooms in surrounding districts and then she went into an EL Coach position. Sonia went into administration as an Assistant Principal before coming to Cartwright in 2006 as the Assistant Director of Language Acquisition before becoming the Director of Language Acquisition.  In 2019, I was appointed to become the director of Teaching and Learning. 



Dr. SantaCruzDr. Margaret SantaCruz
Assistant Director of Fine Arts, Health and Wellness, Social Studies and Teacher Induction Retention and Mentoring

Dr. Margaret Santa Cruz joins Cartwright with 20 years of educational experience. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies, a Post Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education, and a doctor of education degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University. In addition, she earned a Master's degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education and certification in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Santa Cruz was a third-grade classroom teacher for five years, and an instructional coach who supported 5th-8th teachers focused on English Language Learner strategies for three years. She has 12 years of experience as an administrator. She has served as an assistant principal, a principal, and as a director at the district office who supported the district's school counselor team and the district's classroom and student management systems. Dr. Santa Cruz believes in fully supporting all students with their academic, behavioral, and social/emotional development. One of her many goals is to work with the Teacher Induction & Mentoring teams to develop, support, and retain highly effective teachers for the benefit of our students' achievement.

Alex MadaAlex Mada
Asst. Director of Athletics, Field Trips & Extra-Curricular Activities

Alejandro “Alex” Mada is a proud native Arizonan. He was raised in Downtown Phoenix and attended Phoenix Elementary School District (Adeline Gray, Ann Ott, and Herrera), Phoenix Union High School District (Central) and Arizona State University. He currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Phoenix. Prior to attending college, Mr. Mada served in the United States Army. Mr. Mada was stationed overseas and in the Southwest United States. Mr. Mada began his education career immediately after graduating from Arizona State. Mr. Mada has served the West Valley Community as a coach, teacher, and school administrator for 20 years.

Mr. Mada believes all students can be successful, and that education is a portal to success. He also believes opportunities for academic and personal growth can be found in and out of the classroom.

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