Principal’s Welcome

Welcome to the 2020 – 2021 School Year at SLA!

We were all quite proud when the Arizona Department of Education recognized Southwest Leadership Academy (SLA) as a “B” school putting it in one of the top tiers of high schools in the state. This year, with your help and hard work, we hope to achieve an “A” rating. These ratings are based on numerous factors such as career and college readiness, academic performance, credit attainment, and completion of graduation. Many of you have been concerned about test taking but that is the best way for us to determine what we need to work on together. Your academic performance will result in SLA possibly advancing to an “A” rating this year so please help us achieve this important milestone.

Many new things are planned for you for this school year. We have added Art to the curriculum so you can demonstrate your art skills or learn how to bring out the artist inside you. Mr. Bennett is our new art teacher. You will meet our new social worker, Ms. Ayala Pacheco, and her assistant, Bailey Heath who will help you with any concerns you may have at school or home. They can work with you, your parents, your group home leaders, and your brothers and sisters to be sure you have everything you need. We are hoping to have a chorus this year along with the Contemporary Band that Mr. Newley leads.

We will be practicing healthy living at SLA this year. We will be taking your temperature daily and sometimes throughout the day so we all stay as healthy as possible. Face masks should be worn until the Center for Disease Control tells us we can stop. We have facemasks for you but you will need to hold unto them as we cannot issue new ones daily. The school has been disinfected and will be thoroughly cleaned daily. Of course, our behavior mentors are also in the halls all the time ensuring your safety.

Sports will abound this year with almost every sport for both men and women you can imagine. Please sign up once school begins.

We have some new teachers this year – Ms. Wheeler will be teaching both cosmetology and barbering. Mr. Czarnel is teaching science in addition to Mr. Walker and Ms. Despabeladero will be teaching mathematics along with Mr. Connor. Ms. Evans will be providing instruction for our “school within a school”. You will be meeting Ms. Miller our new assistant principal for special programs who is teaching reading, Woz technology courses and also leading the evening and Saturday school programs.

As you already know we love our students at SLA and will do whatever we can to assure your success but it also requires you to take ownership of your education too. Be here every day; don’t be late. You have a great future ahead of you.


Dr. Gregory Fowler – Principal

Ms. Valerie White – Assistant Principal

Ms. Abigail Standley – Special Programs Assistant Principal

Dr. Philip Geiger – Superintendent

Mission & Vision

Southwest Leadership Academy Goals

The mission of SLA is to provide an environment where all students are empowered and inspired to exceed expectations for academic achievement and readiness for college and career.

SLA is dedicated to improving academic achievement of at-risk students by providing an alternative educational program and supportive school environment that includes rigorous academic and social skills instruction that lead to student success in school, in their lives and within their community.

Learn More About Us

Staff Directory

To send an E-mail to the desired staff, please click on their name. The educational background and experience of all educators are available for inspection by contacting Esmeralda Delgado at 602-265-2000 or by visiting the school at 4301 West Fillmore Street, Phoenix, AZ 85043 between 8 AM and 3:30 PM, Monday to Friday.


Regional Dir. of Ed. / Supt.
MBA / Ed.D. In Ed.
ED.D. In Ed.
Valerie White
Assistant Principal
M.Ed. In Ed.
Abigail Standley
Special Programs Asst Prin.
Ms. Harris (2) 500x600
 Guidance Counselor
Ms. Pacheco 500x600
Social Worker
IT Specialist
Graphic Design Diploma


B of Political Science
MS in Systems Management
Jarod Pidgeon M.A.
Computer Lab
BS in Child Development
Health and Fitness
Mr. Ramos
BS in Science
Ms. Heath 500x600
Ms. Wheeler 500x600
Barbering / Cosmetology
Arizona Licensed Instructor
Ms Parker
Special Education
Ms. Despabeladero-500x600


Athletic Director / Behavior Lead
Melisa Hinojosa
Behavior Mentor
Ms. Leyva 500x600
Administrative Assistant
Karen Combs
Administrative Assistant
Yolanda Jones
Cafeteria Manager
Kitchen Assistant
Computer Lab
BS in Child Development