Fernando Parra

Fernando Parra

Raised in Nogales, Arizona, Mr. Parra is a product of the Nogales Unified School District. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1991 with a bachelor of arts. From 1991-2001, he taught for Nogales High School holding the positions of teacher, coach, honors coordinator,and department chairperson. Upon completion of his masters in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, Mr. Parra accepted the role of assistant principal and athletic director at Nogales High School. After three years, he was asked to take on a new challenge as principal of Mary L. Welty Elementary School. There he worked hard to improve academic achievement and change the school’s culture for all students, parents, and school community. Under his leadership, Mary L. Welty Elementary was recognized for academic gains in all core subject areas and received the 1st Annual Superintendents’ Cup for high academic gains and for meeting site goals and expectations. Under Arizona Learns, the school achieved high academic scores which earned them the label of Highly Performing.

In 2009, Mr. Parra accepted the role of Nogales High School principal, where he met the educational challenges in leadership working hard with his administrative team to restructure and implement accountability, academic goals/positive results, and high standards school wide. Mr. Parra also served as assistant superintendent for the Nogales USD for three and a half years prior to stepping into the role of superintendent.

Angelina Canto

Angelina Canto
Assistant Superintendent/Curriculum and Instruction

Angelina Canto is the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Nogales Unified School District. In this role, she works with schools to provide support in the areas of school improvement planning, curriculum mapping, instruction, assessment, and teacher evaluation, as well as in the implementation of state mandated English Language Learner (ELL) program requirements. Mrs. Canto works closely with the director of federal programs to provide needed resources and professional development opportunities to each school site to support the academic goals they have identified for their students.

Mrs. Canto has been employed with the district for twenty five years, working during that time as a middle school science and math teacher, an assistant principal at the middle school level, an elementary school principal, and as school improvement director prior to becoming the assistant superintendent. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Puget Sound. Her post baccalaureate degree in secondary education and her master’s degree in teaching were earned at the University of Arizona. Mrs. Canto has also completed doctoral level coursework at the University of Arizona in the area of educational leadership.


Mayra Zuniga

Mayra Zuniga
Human Resources Director

Mayra L. Zuniga has a passion for public service and personnel management and strongly believes in quality education for our community. As the district’s human resources director, her goal is to provide leadership and HR programs which attract, develop, and retain dedicated support staff, teachers, and administrators that are committed to student learning and excellence in education. She is committed to being an exemplary provider of human resources – values, integrity, ethics, professionalism, quality customer service, public service, and teamwork.

Ms. Zuniga is a native of Nogales and a product of Nogales Unified School District #1. She obtained a bachelor of science degree in business administration/personnel management from Arizona State University and began her HR career as an intern in the ASU-HR department. In 1995, she was hired by the City of Nogales in the capacity of HR director and served for over 16 years before joining NUSD. Ms. Zuniga has a designation of professional in human resources (PHR), a nationally recognized certification in the HR field, and is also a certified public manager through the School of Public Affairs at ASU. She brings a focus on commitment to the organization as a strong business partner.  

Kathy Scott
Grants Director

Kathy Scott joined NUSD in 1977 as a counselor. She then switched to teaching in the English department and later became the grants coordinator at Nogales High School as well as the school improvement specialist and north central coordinator. In February 2011, she became the district grants director. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelors in English and journalism, a masters in guidance and counselling, and a certification in English as a second language. She has also done post-master's work in reading and administration.

Adelmo Sandoval
Finance Director

Mr. Sandoval joined the Nogales Unified School District team in 1998. The experience he has gained as an accounts payable specialist has helped him earn the position of NUSD Finance Director. Since Spanish is his first language, Mr. Sandoval takes this as a great challenge to continue his education; his priority is to improve academically, while improving his English in an effort to reach the next academic level. He has received a master’s degree in business administration (MBA/GM) from the University of Phoenix, a bachelor’s degree in the field of legal justice from the University of Sinaloa, Mexico, a certificate of completion from Pima Community College for English language coursework, and has completed several classes at Arizona Central College/Arizona Association of School Business Officials in the areas of accounting and budgeting.

Additionally, Mr. Sandoval also worked for a local produce company for many years. Mr. Sandoval’s strong interpersonal and communication skills, along with his experience in a multitude of financial areas have enabled his ability to complete tasks while re-enforcing the importance of teamwork with his colleagues. All of which makes him an asset to Nogales Unified School District.

Judith Mendoza

Judith Mendoza-Jimenez
Student Services Director

Judith Mendoza-Jimenez is the student services director for the Nogales Unified School District. She is responsible for registration and students’ health and special needs. The task of his department is to make all student-related services efficient with the ability to solve students’ educational problems using a common sense approach.

Mrs. Mendoza-Jimenez is an example of how someone growing up in the Ambos Nogales area in a rural border town can achieve great heights. She was born and raised in Nogales, Sonora; she attended school there up to the fourth grade before immigrating to Nogales, Arizona.

Mrs. Mendoza-Jimenez is a product of a warm caring family and the Nogales Unified School District. After graduating from Nogales High School in 1996, she attended and graduated from the University of Arizona in May of 2000 with a Bachelors of Science in special education and rehabilitation. She joined the NUSD family in July of 2000 by taking a teaching position at Nogales High School where she taught special education.

While at Nogales High School, she was a curriculum leader and served on the School Improvement Team, Safety Committee, as a class sponsor,and created the Successful Kids Improving Life Long Skills (SKILLS) Club where students with special needs were integrated into the school’s community.

She received a masters of arts from the University of Arizona in May of 2005 in special education and rehabilitation. In 2008, she earned a masters in education in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and joined the Nogales High School administration assistant principal in July of 2009. She was very instrumental in the implementation of a school-wide professional development intervention and in helping NHS achieve its site goals by meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

In March of 2011, she took the reins as interim principal and applied and was subsequently accepted for the position of school principal for the 2011-2012 school year.

Alejandro Lopez

Alejandro Lopez
Information Technology Director

Alejandro Lopez is the information technology director for the Nogales Unified School District. Alejandro manages the technology department staff using a synergistic approach to ensure that the network, computers, software, and all telecommunications are operational, efficient, and secure. He works with the finance director and the superintendent to determine budgetary needs and administers all technology-related purchases district-wide, including E-rate projects. Alejandro’s focus is to provide up-to-date technology and technology support to teachers, administration, and other district employees, maximizing the learning opportunities for all Nogales Unified School District students.

Alejandro has led the Nogales Unified School District's technology department since September 2008. Prior to taking on his new leadership role with the IT team, he successfully completed five years of service as a network technician for our district. Alejandro has a bachelor of science in Information Technology with a concentration in Technology Management.  He has also received recognition as a Microsoft certified professional. 

Oscar Islas Jr.

Oscar Islas Jr.
Support Services Director

Oscar Islas, Jr. is a local Nogales resident, born in Tucson and raised in Nogales. Oscar graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arizona in 1981. After graduation, he worked with a Tucson architecture firm, a couple of development companies (private and government sectors) prior to moving to Los Angeles. While in California Mr. Islas was employed with a couple of project management companies and prior to opening his own project management company (Islas Consulting, LLC).

 Mr. Islas’ experience as a project manager has allowed his to manage various types of construction and development projects and have had similarly varied clients with varying complexities and budget - $5K to more complex projects - $300M. His project management experience has prepared him for the challenges involved with managing consultants, architects, engineers, budgets and schedules; not unlike what the role of Director of Support Services for Nogales Unified School District necessitates.  In the Support Services Director role one must collaborate with others, follow local governing rules and regulations, develop budgets and scopes of work, manage individuals with various backgrounds, experiences and expectations; along with dealing with people’s expectations and adapting to managing those expectations for a positive outcome of all projects.

NUSD will continue to deal with limited State funding, remodeling and/or aging buildings & infrastructure along with personnel and community expectations, which will require planning, staffing and preparedness to deal with these issues now and in the future. These types of issues are exactly what his architectural degree and the past 35 years of work experiences have prepared him for. Each individual project issue has a myriad of solutions which need to be individually reviewed and evaluated reasonably and rationally before being implemented and realized in order to achieve a positive outcome for everyone’s expectations. Mr. Islas will add value to NUSD in solving these types of issues as he understands the design/construction process, local subcontractor means and ways and has always dealt with the managing of expectations diplomatically between all the different parties which are always part of each project.


Minerva Valenzuela

Minerva Valenzuela
English Language Acquisition Coordinator


Minerva Valenzuela is the English language acquisition coordinator for the school district. Her responsibilities are to ensure that the district is in compliance with state and federal laws, in the identification and reporting of English Language Learners and their English language proficiency levels. Minerva and her staff ensure that all school sites have current language designations, and the required documentation for all of their students, in order to assist in providing all students with appropriate program placements and services. Her duties are also to provide SEI program support to district and site administrators, specialists, teachers, and parents.

Minerva has served as the English language acquisition coordinator since July 2005. Prior to coordinating this department, she worked as a 6th grade science and English language development teacher at Wade Carpenter Middle School. She has served as a structured English immersion trainer for our district, and has extensive SEI training in instruction and best practices for the development of English language skills. She has a bachelors degree of arts and a masters degree in educational leadership. She holds an Arizona K-8 teacher certificate and a K-12 bilingual endorsement. Minerva is currently completing her principal internship at A.J. Mitchell Elementary School.

Luis Andrade

Luis Andrade
Director of Safety Service 

Luis Andrade was born and raised in Nogales, Arizona and is a Nogales Unified School District Graduate. He graduated from Nogales High School in 1994 and from Pima Community College in 1998 with an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.

Mr. Andrade began his career as a Dispatcher/Parking Control Officer with the City of Nogales in 1998. In the same year, Mr. Andrade was hired as Police Officer with the Nogales Police Department. He attended the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center in Tucson, Arizona and graduate in 1999. His assignments included: The Communications Division, Parking Control Division, Patrol Division, School Resource Officer Division, D.A.R.E. Division, G.R.E.A.T. Division, Motors Division and promoted to the Criminal Investigations Division.

Furthermore, Mr. Andrade holds a General Instructor’s Certificate from Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, Instructor’s Certificate in Civilian Active Shooter Events from Texas State University and Instructor’s Certificate in A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lock-Down, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) Active shooter events.

In January of 2021, Mr. Andrade accepted the role of Nogales Unified School District #1, Director of Safety Services. Mr. Andrade is grateful for the opportunity to serve and be part of the Nogales Unified School District. He strives to provide the best and safe environment for all.

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