• PXU Governing Board Unanimously Names Ms. Thea Andrade Interim Superintendent

    Thea Andrade

    The Phoenix Union Governing Board unanimously approved Ms. Thea Andrade to serve as Interim Superintendent on the evening of May 4. She will replace Dr. Chad Gestson, who recently announced his departure from the District to serve as the founder and inaugural Executive Director of the Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy at Northern Arizona University.

    Ms. Andrade is the first female Superintendent in Phoenix Union’s nearly 130-year history and will begin serving on June 2, 2023.

    Thea Andrade currently serves the District as Chief Achievement Officer. She brings 30 years of experience in education and over two decades of school administrator experience to the position. A former mathematics teacher, Ms. Andrade taught high school and middle school Algebra and holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Northern Arizona University.

    She has served students as a high school principal, Director of Quality Schools, Director of Assessment & Accountability, Executive Director of Technology & Innovation, and Chief Achievement Officer. Ms. Andrade joined PXU in 2011 and oversees the Teaching & Learning, Student & Family Services, and Safety Divisions in her current role. She is passionate about ensuring equitable opportunities and access to quality seats for all students.

    “It is an honor to serve our incredible students, staff, and families,” said Ms. Andrade following the announcement. “I look forward to working with the Governing Board, our educators, students, and families to continue moving the District forward.”

    “Ms. Andrade has a proven track record of successfully reaching young people,” said PXU Governing Board President Naketa Ross. “Her experience, compassion, and love for our students and families gives the Board full confidence in her ability to succeed. We are excited to work alongside her in this role.”

    “It gives me - and our entire Executive Team – great pleasure to congratulate Superintendent Andrade on her new appointment,” said Dr. Gestson. “She is poised, brilliant, ready, and fully capable of continuing the incredible momentum of Phoenix Union.”

    A Boston native, Ms. Andrade has made Phoenix her home for the past three decades with her son and daughter.