Meet the principal: Navajo Elementary School’s Matthew Patzlaff

Name: Matthew Patzlaff

School: Navajo Elementary School

Town/Neighborhood: North Scottsdale/ North Phoenix area

What I’m excited about and why: Helping and inspiring others to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Matthew Patzlaff

What I like most about being an educator here: Seeing that “light bulb go on” for the students when something clicks for them.

Changes I’d like to see in public education: I would like all students to have access to the resources they need to be successful.

Favorite community cause and why: Miracle League of Arizona — Field of Dreams in Scottsdale and so ALL children get the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity regardless of their physical abilities.

When and why I moved here: 2005 and to better my education and for the weather.

Where I lived before and why I left: Wisconsin; Looking for more career opportunity and better weather.

My family: My wife Jessica, daughter’s Ava (6), Ella (3), son Evan (1) and dog Packer (12)

What I like most about what I do: Helping students and staff be the best they can be.

Previous occupations and why I left: I have always been an educator and have worked with kids my entire life.

If I had picked a different occupation, it might have been: Police officer

My interests and hobbies: Spending time with my family: Following and playing sports (especially the Green Bay Packers) and being outdoors.

The best and/or worst time in my life: Best = wedding day and worst = hard to say. I think during very challenging times, important life lessons can come up that makes us better people in the long run.

My best and/or worst habits: Best = work ethic and worst = too talkative

The trait(s) I admire in others: Perseverance, growth minded and kindness

People who inspired me (and how): My parents and Vince Lombardi

My guiding philosophy: As an educator, I feel it is our responsibility to help inspire that passion for students to become lifelong learners.

  • The brain that does the thinking, is the brain that does the learning.
  • “The journey is the reward” in life & you get out what you put into an endeavor.

My advice to today’s youth: With hard work and determination, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

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