Park University’s Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center and Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center held a combined commencement ceremony on August 5th  at the True Vision Church Northeast Campus in San Antonio, Texas.  Tina M. Thieken of Vail earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology.

Vail resident Matthew Wells Lanier graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management as a part of the summer 2017 class.

Connie Erickson

Connie  Erickson of Vail will be honored during the 2017 homecoming celebration to be held September 5th through the 9th. Ms. Erickson received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Black Hills State University in 1969. After teaching grades K-8 in Aberdeen and Rapid City for more than 25 years, Connie embarked on a prestigious career in leadership serving as principal at seven institutions throughout Colorado and Arizona. Connie is currently Principal of Senita Valley Elementary in Tucson, and district elementary principal at Ventana Institute, a school for students with severe emotional disabilities. She recently completed 17 years of service as principal at both Civano Community School and Senita Valley Elementary School.

Matt Emory

Matt Emory has the distinction of being Acacia Elementary School’s first Assistant to the Principal. The position to assist Acacia Principal Terri Brooks was developed this July 2017 when Acadia’s student population neared 700. Matt Emory is no stranger to our Vail culture, having taught fourth and fifth grades at Senita Valley Elementary School under Principal Connie Erickson.  He has a Bachelors in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and a Masters Degree in Education Leadership and Principal Certification from Northern Arizona University. Prior to coming to the Vail School District, he taught fifth grade for several years and was an assistant principal in another school district in Tucson.

When asked what attributes he brings to Acacia, he lost no time in answering. “Enthusiasm, dedication, experience, ideas for continued success and growth, compassion, and relationships with students, families, staff, and community,” were the attributes he provided with no hesitation. Acacia, located on Colossal Cave Road, was the first elementary school built after the days when all grades were housed in facilities now known as Old Vail Middle School.

Lisa Blanchard

As Andrada continues to grow, (the student body has reached 900), there is need for another Assistant Principal. Lisa Blanchard joins current Assistant Principal, Rod Carrier. Lisa will focus her efforts on our freshman class, handling any discipline issues as well as building community among the class and helping to bridge the gap between middle school and high school. She will also handle the future planning and daily operations of our CTE Department and Pathway programs. Lisa Blanchard started the Sports Medicine Program the first year Andrada opened and continues to teach Sports Medicine 1 and 2 in the mornings. She is a dynamic instructor and administrator who builds strong connections with students and co-workers.

Kim Valdez

Kim Valdez had been selected to serve as the Assistant Principal at Rincon Vista Elementary School (RVMS) RVMS Principal Cristela Cardenas has announced. “As part of the selection committee, we immediately recognized the valued that Ms. Valdez would bring to both RVMS as well as the Vail School District (VUSD). She is a dedicated and professional educator and leaders. She brings to RVMS and VUSD qualities that are hard to come by in today’s work force – quality, experience, and wisdom. Her track record of success in Sunnyside USD combined with those traits will lend itself perfectly to driving success at RVMS,” said Jon Aitken, VUSD Governing Board Member and RMS AP Selection Committee.

Ensign Taylor Burleson

Ensign Taylor Burleson, U.S. Navy, is a graduate of Cienega (class of 2014) and is one of the U.S. Navy’s newest Commissioned Officers.  ENS Burleson is the first Vail Navy JROTC program graduate to receive an Officer’s Commission.  She was also one of the fist Vail Navy JROTC Cadets to receive a University of Arizona Navy ROTC Scholarship while attending Cienega.  Her first assignment as a Surface Warfare Officer is USS BOXER (LHD-4) in San Diego, CA.

Private First Class Dulce K. Manriquez

, U.S. Marine Corps, successfully completed U.S. Marine Corps Basic Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on July 21, 2017.  PFC Manriquez is a graduate of Cienega (class of 2016) and the Vail Navy JROTC program.  She is currently attending Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune.

AARP recognized David Jácome for the volunteer hours served as an A2O Level 2 agent and his community volunteer work.  Level 2 is awarded to agents that have enrolled a certain number of consumers into Medicare Supplement plans in a year’s time.  He has met the requirement for the past three years.

Ryan and Violet Lasater

Pastor Ryan Lasater is the new Pastor at Victory Baptist Church. He and his wife Violet are fresh from three and a half years at Bible College in Oklahoma, where Ryan was immersed in Bible studies and Violet did part time work for the college and taught physical education at the college’s k-8 school. She had previously taught at Cottonwood Elementary in the Vail School District. They have two children. Marie in seventh grade and Tyrol in 8th at Old Vail Middle School. Pastor Lasater was ordained two weeks ago. His grandfather is  Dr. J. C. Joiner the lead Pastor at New Testament Baptist Church in Tucson.

The previous pastor of Victory Baptist Church was Pastor Dan Dunham with his wife Debbie. They served for 13 years. They will traveling for 8 months of the year preaching to churches in Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Three months of the year they will travel to Southern Arizona.


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