Chris Miranda

Newly appointed DSMS Principal Chris Miranda, second from left, is joined by his father-in-law Luis Ainza, wife Nadia, mother-in-law Rosie Ainza, sister-in-law Natalie Ainza and son Aiden at the NUSD governing board meeting on May 28.

Christopher Miranda is moving up at Desert Shadows Middle School.

After serving as the school’s vice-principal for the past four years, he will take over as the DSMS principal starting in the 2019-2020 academic year after the Nogales Unified School District governing board approved his appointment on Tuesday.

Miranda started at NUSD in 2004 as a computer technician at Desert Shadows. He went on to work as a career and technical education (CTE) teacher for eight years, during which time he was named Pierson High School’s Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Miranda’s educational credentials include earning a bachelor’s of science degree in educational technology and a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix, and a master’s in education leadership from Arizona State University.

He will take over at DSMS for outgoing Principal Joan Molera, who resigned after serving in the school’s top administrative post since 2004.

As vice-principal under Molera, Miranda “has made a positive impact on the culture and climate of the school as a school leader,” according to a memo submitted to the school board by NUSD Human Resources Director Mayra Zuniga.

A committee of nine administrators, teachers and parents helped in the principal search, which saw three finalists – one internal and two external applicants – interview for the position. The committee concluded that Miranda “is a strong instructional leader who is respected by students, teachers, staff and the school community,” according to the memo. “He is viewed as a leader who has proven himself and who will continue to provide meaningful educational opportunities for students to succeed.”

In recommending Miranda’s 12-month appointment to the school board, Superintendent Fernando Parra said: “Mr. Miranda has already had a very positive impact on education in NUSD.”

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