Angelina Canto has been part of the Nogales Unified School District team for almost thirty-two years, dedicated to serving our students, staff, and families since being employed with the district in 1992. She began her career as a science teacher at Pierson Middle School, before moving to Desert Shadows Middle School when the school first opened. At DSMS, she enjoyed teaching math and science classes as well as holding various site leadership roles before being selected as the school’s assistant principal. In 2000, she was named the principal at A.J. Mitchell Elementary School, where she proudly served the school community for seven years before being appointed as the district’s School Improvement Director and later becoming the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.
Ms. Canto has earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Puget Sound. Her post-baccalaureate secondary teaching certification and Master of Arts in Teaching & Teacher Education were both earned at the University of Arizona. Mrs. Canto has also completed doctoral-level coursework at the University of Arizona in educational leadership. Additionally, she has served on several state committees to represent the needs of our students and is honored to give back to the Nogales community as a board member of the Santa Cruz County United Way. Ms. Canto is also an executive member of the University of Arizona Professional Preparation Board and a member of the Arizona Rural Schools Association.
Aissa Celeste Bonillas
Aissa Bonillas was born in Nogales, AZ. She attended Mary L. Welty Elementary, Wade Carpenter Middle School, and Nogales High School. Ms.Bonillas graduated from NHS in 1999. She went on to continue her education at the University of Arizona, graduating in 2003 with a double major in Political Science and Secondary Education and a minor in Spanish.
Ms. Bonillas began working at Nogales High School in August of 2003, teaching Spanish for five years and AP Government for one year.
While teaching at Nogales High School, she also coached the dance team from 2003 to 2005. Ms. Bonillas received a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership - Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix in 2007. She also served as the Honors Coordinator from 2007 to 2009, overseeing the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate program. Ms. Bonillas then became the Assistant Principal at Nogales High School in 2009.
Human Resources Director
Mayra L. Zuniga has a passion for public education, public service, and personnel management. 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, and teamwork. She began her career in the private sector at US Gypsum Company and, prior to joining NUSD, served as HR Director for the City of Nogales.
Ms. Zuniga is a native of Nogales and a product of Nogales Unified School District #1. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration/personnel management from Arizona State University and has been awarded the following professional credentials: Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Society of Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and Certified Public Manager (CPM) through the School of Public Affairs at ASU. Ms. Zuniga is committed to her community both through her professional work and association with civic community organizations.
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.
Clementina Carlyle is enthusiastic about joining the Nogales Unified School District. She has close to 40 years of experience working in the finance field, 14 years in public education and 7 years in private education. She earned her dual Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Mrs. Carlyle also attained the School Finance and Operations (SFO) Certification from AASBO International in 2017.
Mrs. Carlyle comes to NUSD by way of Baboquivari USD located in the Tohono O’odham Nation. She will work with her team to be fiscally responsible, be financially conservative and continue the work to earn the annual Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award via the Government Finance Officers Association as well as the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from ASBO International. Mrs. Carlyle is ethical and is honored to serve NUSD with transparency and integrity.
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 Bachelor 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.
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.
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 by 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 him to manage various types of construction and development projects and has had similarly varied clients with varying complexities and budgets - $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 experience 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.
Safety Services Director
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.
Sandra Licet Jimenez
Continuous Improvement Director
Ms. Jimenez has dedicated twenty-five years to the success of students at NUSD. As a school principal, she implemented evidence-based practices, fostered a collaborative school culture, and facilitated significant improvements in student achievement. Her ability to analyze data, identify areas for growth, and develop targeted action plans has resulted in measurable gains in academic performance and student outcomes.
Ms. Jimenez holds a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and a Masters' degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
In her role as the Continuous Improvement Director, Ms. Jimenez is responsible for overseeing the district's English Language Acquisition services and strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the overall educational experience. She collaborates with school principals, teachers, and district administrators to identify areas of improvement, implement effective instructional strategies, and provide ongoing professional development opportunities.
Ms. Jimenez is dedicated to fostering a culture of continuous improvement and ensuring the success of all students within the school district.