Welcome to Combs Traditional Academy
We’re one of five elementary schools in the J.O. Combs Unified School District, located in the warm and beautiful San Tan Valley of Arizona. You’ll find our school conveniently located at the southeast corner of Combs & Gantzel Roads. We proudly serve students in kindergarten through 6th grade.
What people are saying about Combs Traditional Academy
A Message from our Principal
This is an emotional and difficult letter for me to write, as it is the final one I will write as the principal at Combs Traditional Academy. As was previously shared with you, I will be moving into the district office as the coordinator of curriculum and instruction next school year. The search for a new principal is underway, and I am excited to soon meet and introduce to all of you the person who will be taking Combs Traditional Academy into its next chapter.
Over the last seven years, I have watched Combs Traditional Academy grow from a school of 85 students and five teachers to where we are now. I have enjoyed watching your children grow over the years, from the time our current sixth graders were kindergartners with Mrs. Russell to where they are now. During that time, the school earned the first A rating from the Arizona Department of Education for the J.O. Combs Unified School District, had numerous students represent the district at the Pinal County Spelling Bee and regional Battle of the Books, and received a site visit in consideration for the Arizona Education Foundation’s A+ School of Excellence award.
I know I leave the school in good hands with the dedication and the quality of the people who work with your children every day. We have a terrific staff and community. While we recently received news that we were not awarded the A+ award, the feedback from the committee was very positive. They found a school that has a family-oriented environment with a high degree of community involvement, especially with our art masterpiece program. They found a school culture that encourages students to be kind and caring through our Knight’s Notes program and our motto of rigor, responsibility, and respect. Within the classroom, our community values the rigor of our program and the work we have done toward helping students set and monitor goals. The committee was also very impressed with our parent pickup and drop-off system and stated that it is a model for other schools to follow! This and all of the feedback we received from the team that visited us will be shared with the incoming principal, which I believe will help them to guide the school and our community to new heights of excellence.
Our students recently completed AzMERIT testing. The state board of education recently passed the new A-F accountability grade rubric for schools, which means that we will be receiving a letter grade in the fall. Much of the grade will be based on the performance of our students on AzMERIT and AIMS science. Part of the grade will be based on their proficiency and part of it will be based on their growth. I will be excitedly watching to see where we end up once the scores are released, but I believe we have what it takes to be an A school.
In addition to my departure, we will also be saying goodbye to three of our teachers. Ms. Hrubec, Ms. Dahl, and Mrs. Hargarten will be moving on to new stages in their lives. We wish them good luck, and they will be sorely missed.
Finally, we will be saying goodbye to our sixth graders and other students who may be moving on to a new school next year. I would like to specifically mention the sixth grade students who will be our first students to leave Combs Traditional Academy who have been here since kindergarten. Those are Alex Darby, Shelby Walag, Isaac Sedillo, and Arianna Burks. We are proud of them, as well as all of our departing sixth graders.
I want to finish by expressing my thanks and gratitude to all of you in the Combs Traditional Academy community. It has been a wonderful experience being your principal. I am glad that I am still going to be close by, but I want you to know that I will miss each and every one of you.