Villago Principal Biography

Jeff Lavender, Principal

Jeff Lavender, Principal


Mr. Lavender was born and raised in Kent, Washington. At the age of 14, Mr. Lavender’s family moved from Kent to Tempe, Arizona where Mr. Lavender graduated from McClintock High School. Mr. Lavender joined the United States Army after graduating and served a tour of duty in West Germany.

Mr. Lavender has a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University in Secondary Education for History, Political Science, and Economics. He also has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Mr. Lavender taught history and government in the Balsz School District in Phoenix, Arizona for five years before arriving in Casa Grande in 1996 to be principal of Ironwood Elementary. During his tenure in Casa Grande, Mr. Lavender has been principal of Ironwood 1996-97, Casa Grande Junior High 1997-2001, Cactus Middle School 2001-07, and Villago Middle School 2007-present.

Community involvement has always been a priority for Mr. Lavender. Governor Napolitano and Governor Brewer appointed Mr. Lavender to the Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board from 2007-2015, where he served as chairman. The Casa Grande City Council appointed Mr. Lavender to the Planning and Zoning Commission for Casa Grande from 2009-2015, serving as chairman for two years. Mr. Lavender is also chairman of the scholarship committee for the Cesar Chavez Memorial Committee of Pinal County which has raised over $400,000 in scholarship funds.

In 2007, Mr. Lavender was principal of Cactus Middle School when they became the first school in Pinal County to be selected as an A+ School by the Arizona Education Foundation. Villago was also recognized as an A+ School in 2013 and 2017. He also serves as an A+ Judge for the Foundation. Mr. Lavender was selected as a Rodel Exemplary Principal in 2010 by the Rodel Foundation. In 2007, the Arizona Council of Administrators for Special Education gave Mr. Lavender their annual Outstanding Leadership Award in Administration.

Mr. Lavender is married to Graciela, a native of Casa Grande. He has two grown children and one grandchild. In his spare time, Mr. Lavender enjoys traveling, playing golf, and watching the Arizona Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.


                                                                                                                               Updated 8/14/2017

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