Patricia Smith Named AJUSD's New Student Wellness Coordinator

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Sept. 3, 2022 - PRLog -- Patricia Smith has been named Student Wellness Coordinator for Apache Junction Unified School District. In her new, grant-funded role, Smith oversees, implements, monitors and reviews multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) at all school sites.

The program's emphasis is to create a positive impact on academic performance, improve students' health, and reduce high-risk behavior. Smith will work closely with interventionists, leads for social workers and nurses, and give support to site leaders to build systems that address the whole learner.

Prior to her new role, Smith was the principal at Desert Vista Elementary School for 11 years.

"I became a principal to serve and support others to reach their goals in our educational system and to build a learning community that empowers students to always believe in themselves," said Smith. "Over the years I realized that it goes much deeper than academics for student growth and achievement. We can't forget about the needs of the "whole learner". My belief is that in order for student achievement to increase, we must address and build a system of support where all students feel a sense of belonging and their student wellness needs are being met. When our district established the Student Wellness Coordinator position, I knew through my experiences as an educator for 25 years, my belief in our district, as well as my passion to improve our MTSS, that this was the next step in my career and to serve our learning community of AJUSD."

Smith has a personal connection with how unforeseen issues can be an obstacle to academic success.

"I remember being picked on in school as a sixth grader and made fun of because of the way I looked. This affected my self-image, confidence, and availability to learn in school," said Smith. "I didn't want to go to school. This went on for a while until I finally realized that I needed someone to help me. This time period in my life is one that I have carried with me and have shared with my students as a teacher and a principal so they knew WHY I wanted to help them through any challenge they may be having, but also to share the message of how their actions can have a lasting impact on another person. I also have become the person I am because of the positive support and guidance of others who have pushed and inspired me to know I matter. I'm important, and I belong. This is why I have stayed with Apache Junction Unified for the past 20 years and want to continue to give back to our students, staff, and community."

Registration is currently underway for all Apache Junction Unified School District schools. For more information visit

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