Neighborhood Partnerships

Want to learn more about your city? Have some questions about city programs, policies or procedures? Here is your chance to ask.
When the meetings are established, initial concerns and requested topics and speakers are solicited. City officials will provide a brief update and then field questions from residents in an interactive forum.

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Housing Rehab: Homeowners Wanted

There is still time to apply for federal funds—received by the city of Apache Junction—as part of the owner occupied housing rehabilitation program. The program provides deferred payment loans from $1,000 to $55,000 for heating, air conditioning, plumbing, roofs, ADA accessibility, code violations and health and safety issues.

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Water For Living

Throughout the summer, citizens will have the opportunity to help those in need by donating cases of water to the Water for Living project.

Donations of water or electrolyte- restoring powder can be made at several locations with donations being distributed to a host of agencies.

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Summer Food Program

This summer, the Apache Junction Unified School District will partner with the US Department of Agriculture to offer free nutritious breakfasts and lunches to children age 18 and younger at two locations in Apache Junction.

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Call to Artists

Artists are encouraged to apply for inclusion in the 18th Annual Gold Canyon Arts Festival. The Festival is a one-day event that will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 on the grounds of the Gold Canyon United Methodis. Many artists and participants say this is the “best one day” show they’ve experienced.

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GC Man Takes ‘Honor Flight’

Honor Flight Arizona recently took Gold Canyon resident and Korean War vet Murray Hiatt on his first trip to visit ten memorials in or near Washington, D.C. “They really make you feel important, they meet you at the airport, take your bags and feed you a light breakfast before your departure,” Mr. Hiatt recalled. He marvelled at the warm reception and level of care his group of 30—15 in wheelchairs—were shown by everyone they encountered.

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AJUSD Hires Assistant Superintendent with International Experience

By Dana Trumbull

Dr. Jennifer Cruz, Asst. Superintendent, AJUSD

As of Monday, July 10, 2017, Apache Junction Unified School District (AJUSD) will have its first Assistant Superintendent since 2012. Dr. Jennifer Cruz, previously the Director of Innovative Academic Initiatives at Pendergast Elementary School District (PESD), was approved for hire by the AJUSD Governing Board at the June 26 Board meeting.

Cruz’s accomplishments at PESD include being the primary author of a $467,000 Math Science STEM Partnership grant award, recruiting business partnerships to fund STEM programming, and developing structures to support and retain beginning teachers.

“We are very excited about bringing Dr. Jennifer Cruz to Apache Junction,” Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson stated. “Dr. Cruz has a diverse background that includes working with school systems across the US and internationally. She is kid-centered and tenacious about ensuring that decisions are based on what is best for kids and their learning. She will lead our human resources department to make sure that AJUSD has processes and procedures in place to hire and retain quality employees. In addition, Dr. Cruz will also work directly with our five school administrators to focus on building their instructional leadership skills and consistent procedures and practices across our schools.”

According to a bio released by the school district, “Jennifer’s teaching career began as a teacher in a high poverty, diverse school in Phoenix, AZ. From the classroom, Jen transitioned to the central office in the curriculum and assessment division. She then had the opportunity to become a principal. After more than a decade as a principal in schools that received Title One funds, she transitioned back to the central office as the Federal Programs Manager. During her teaching and administrative career, she gained experience working with students with disabilities as well as those identified as gifted. Serving students furthest from opportunity is an important aspect of Jen’s career in education.

“In 2013, Jen left public schools to work for an international non-profit [Buck Institute for Education]. In her role as Director of Systemic Partnerships, she worked across the United States and abroad coaching leaders, facilitating strategic planning sessions, and providing professional development workshops. After 3 years in this position, she transitioned back to a local school district where she served as the Director of Innovative Academic Initiatives. In PESD, Dr. Cruz supported the growth of STEAM academy schools of choice, gifted education, as well as some partner outreach and grant writing. She is truly excited to work with the team at AJUSD to provide a world-class education for the students in the community.”