Meet Principal Mary Garrett-Perez

Sierra Vista Unified School District is excited to announce that Mary Garrett-Perez will be the new principal at Huachuca Mountain Elementary!  Mary brings a passion for education and 20 years of educational experience to our Lightning Bolts.  

Let’s meet our new principal Mrs Garrett- Perez!

My passion for schools and working with young people began at an early age; I spent my summers playing school in the basement of my parent’s Chicago home.  Neighborhood students were procured and “lessons” shared in a musty basement, where my neighborhood friends passed the time reading and solving multiplication facts through hot, humid summers.  Even now, old friends joke about how I coerced them into learning as part of a neighborhood game.  

Throughout my life, I have never wavered from my passion for teaching young people, and that passion has propelled me forward to my current role as Principal of Huachuca Mountain Elementary school.  

I have been honored to teach thousands of Cochise County students since 2002 when I arrived at Fort Huachuca as an assignment for my husband’s career in the Army.  My first position was at Tombstone High School, then Buena High School, and my final teaching role was at Colonel Smith Middle School on Fort Huachuca. While I had an interest in school leadership, the cost of additional certifications and university costs felt daunting. 

To overcome the obstacle of university costs, I applied and was selected as an Arizona Diamondback teacher partner, where I earned my principal certification through a scholarship program.  I also continued to hone my leadership skills by taking on additional roles through the Fort Huachuca Accommodation school district as coordinator for their Summer Academy program, athletic director and teacher mentor.

Additionally, as a passionate educator in our community, I was overjoyed to advocate for rural schools as an Ambassador for Excellence in Arizona’s teacher of the year program.  After recognition, I was able to leverage the role to meet with legislators and state senators to advocate for rural Arizona districts. I hosted Gail Griffen twice in a program called “take your legislator to school.”   Additionally, I served on a committee to ensure passage of the Sierra Vista School District bond, and served on the bond oversight commission. 

Finally,  I am a National Board Certified teacher, and continuously work to improve my understanding of curriculum and best practices. I hold a bachelor's degree in History and Spanish from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, my first master’s degree is in Educational Technology from the State University of New York at Potsdam, and my second master’s degree is from the University of Phoenix in School Administration.

Despite my love for  academic learning, my best teachers have been my own children.  Both of my daughters attended Huachuca Mountain Elementary school and working with their dedicated  teachers as a parent to support them as they grew as readers and learners has been a great joy.  Both girls are currently attending Buena High School, and continue to grow as individuals.  

My goal as principal is the same as my goal as a teacher; I seek to inspire excellence every day through unwavering passion, energy and love for my students and teachers.  I will walk in my purpose acting with intention for my students, staff and families at Huachuca Mountain Elementary School. I am a firm believer that the ability to read and write well opens the door to any career or college path a child might desire.  Literacy is the biggest social justice issue of our time and I will work to ensure the students of Huachuca Mountain Elementary School continue to learn and grow in an environment that supports excellence.  

Huachuca Mountain has a long history of excellence in Cochise County and Sierra Vista.  I am honored to continue to build upon the legacy.  


Mary Garrett-Perez