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Administration | Departments

Dr. Lynnette Michalski

Superintendent, Sacaton Elementary School District #18

 As a student-focused educator for 25 years, Dr. Lynnette Michalski has been a successful superintendent, teacher, and principal. She has dedicated 16 years of leading instruction for students on the Navajo Reservation and with Tohono O’odham students in the San Lucy District. She earned her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Northern Arizona University and her Doctorate degree from Grand Canyon University. She, and her husband Dennis (music teacher), have been married for 31 years and have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Stephanie, who also work in the field of education. 

Dr. Michalski is known for her expertise in school improvement and her outgoing passion for public education. She truly believes that every student can reach their individual potential. She has written multimillion-dollar school improvement grants, implemented research-based instructional programs, trained teachers, and has a proven track record of increasing graduation rates and student test scores. Lynnette believes that student success begins in the home and continues in the classroom with supportive teachers. She cares deeply for students, staff, and public education. She has the knowledge and expertise to bring people together for the betterment of students and their ongoing success. She is excited to be joining the Sacaton community and is looking forward to celebrating many accomplishments.

Mrs. Debbie Ybarra

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment


Ms. Ybarra has been a successful educator for the past 35 years as a teacher, principal, director and most recently an executive director for Early Learning and Community Schools in Scottsdale School District.  She has had the opportunity to open two new schools for Gilbert Public School District and Higley Public School District.   She has worked in inner city, rural and suburban schools.  She received her undergrad from New Mexico State University in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education and her masters from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Supervisory.  Debbie and her husband Stephen Ybarra (Administrator) have been married 29 years and have three adult children, Jose Joseph graduate from UofA who followed his parent’s footsteps into the education field in special education, Gabriella graduate from ASU in (Hospitality) and Christiano graduate from ASU in Electrical Engineering.  

Mrs. Ybarra has had the opportunity to lead the Elementary Principals for the State as the President of the Arizona School Administrators Elementary Division and held the office of Secretary for ASA Board.  As a principal, her school received the honor of being named the #1 elementary school in the state of Arizona based on their AZMerit test results, along with being named a A+ school of excellence site.  She has trained many educators who have gone on to be Principals, Curriculum Directors, Superintendents and Literacy Coaches but what she is most proud of is the accomplishments of her students and adults that she has worked with.  She believes that if you make each decision on what is best for students then students will always excel.  Relationships are important and students need to believe that adults are there for them always.    

Mr. Jake McCormick

Director of Technology

Jake McCormick, as the Director of Technology, his goal is to serve teachers and students by establishing an environment that encourages creative and independent use of technology throughout the school district. This includes researching new and emerging technologies, providing technical guidance in infrastructure, hardware, software, and technical support for teachers and students campus-wide.

Jake grew up in western Nebraska and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Network and System Administration. Jake served as a Network Engineer for a regional school office serving twelve different school districts and later became the Technology Director for a school district south of Lincoln, NE. Jake has served on teams that have developed cyber security, infrastructure, and best student computer device practices.

Jake is excited to be part of a great community and team at Sacaton School District!

Ms. Stephanie Celis

Principal, Sacaton Elementary School


Stephanie Celis is the Principal for Sacaton Elementary School, PreK-4. As the administrative and instructional leader for PreK-4, she is responsible for helping all students become innovative leaders and problem solvers who are prepared for success in college and their preferred careers.

Stephanie Celis comes to Sacaton Elementary School with 21 years of experience and a passion for teaching and learning. Stephanie’s varied experiences as an instructional leader include: Teacher, Curriculum Integration/Library Media Specialist, Instructional Coach, Senior Student Information Systems Coordinator, Director of Academic Programs and Assessments, Principal at ASU Preparatory Academy, and current position as Principal of Sacaton Elementary School.  These experiences have shaped Stephanie’s unwavering belief that all children are able to learn at high levels not by accident but by design. 


As an Arizona native, Stephanie attended Arizona State University and earned a B.A. in Elementary Education. She earned two Master's degrees, one in Educational Leadership and one in Curriculum and Instruction. Stephanie continues to serve this mission by pledging to elevate instructional teams to reach their highest potential so that all students may have a meaningful and purposeful school experience. A safe and positive campus climate will always be at the forefront of Stephanie’s priorities. She believes communication, being visible and available to listen to all concerns are key in ensuring a successful experience for all. 

When she’s not working with students and teachers at Sacaton Elementary School, she is spending time with her husband Alex and three energetic daughters, Kylie, Teagan and Harper.

Mrs. Celis and her school staff are excited to serve the students of Sacaton Elementary School… Go Braves!

Mr. Bright Benson

Principal, Sacaton Middle School


Mr. Benson is excited to be the proud principal of Sacaton Middle School! 

After Mr. Benson graduated from the University of Arizona, he started his teaching career at Baboquivari Unified School District, located on the Tohono O’odham Nation, where he began serving as a fifth grade teacher. During his time as a teacher, Mr. Benson was nominated for the National Teacher of the Year Award by the University of Arizona CIAN department. 

After teaching grades 5th, 6th, and eventually teaching and coaching athletics for Baboquivari High School, Mr. Benson moved into administration serving as Dean of Students at Indian Oasis Primary school, and a year later serving as Dean of Students and Athletic Director at Baboquivari High/Middle School. 

After receiving his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Arizona, Mr. Benson went on to serve as the Assistant Principal of Baboquivari High/Middle School for four years prior to accepting the position at Sacaton Middle School. 

Mr. Benson is an advocate for all students and strongly believes all students can learn and achieve at high levels. Mr. Benson believes that students must be active participants throughout their school experience, and that all staff must invest in the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being of every student. 

Mr. Benson and his school staff are excited to serve the students of Sacaton Middle School… Go Braves! 

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