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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
April 2024
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AJUSD Announces New Additions to Leadership Team
By Lindsay Hansen - Thursday Mar 28, 2024
Apache Junction Unified School District (AJUSD) is pleased to announce the addition of three dynamic individuals to its leadership team: Gina Salazar, Jeff Cox, and Benjamin Gwin. These talented professionals bring a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to education to their respective roles within the district.

*Gina Salazar - Director of Business Services*

Gina Salazar, an Arizona native and former United States Marine Corps member, joins AJUSD as the Director of Business Services. With a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Argosy University, Salazar brings over seventeen years of experience from Casa Grande Union High School District, where she served in various capacities, including Business Manager and most recently as Director of Business Services.

*Jeff Cox - Director of Career & Technical Education (CTE)*

Jeff Cox, a proud product of Apache Junction's K-12 education system, returns to his roots as the Director of Career & Technical Education (CTE) after a distinguished 26-year career in education. Cox, who holds multiple degrees from Northern Arizona University, has served in roles ranging from teacher to Assistant Principal/Athletic Director. For the past seven years, he has excelled as a district-level Director of Athletics and Community Education.

*Benjamin Gwin - Assistant Principal Apache Junction High School - Athletics*

Benjamin Gwin, originally from Tucson, Arizona, assumes the role of Assistant Principal - Athletics at AJUSD. Gwin's educational journey includes earning two master's degrees and extensive experience in various educational capacities, including teaching, coaching, and athletic administration. His background includes roles such as Athletic Director, Instruction Coach, and Academic Behavior Specialist.

"We are thrilled to welcome Gina Salazar, Jeff Cox, and Benjamin Gwin to the AJUSD team," said Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Superintendent of AJUSD. "Their diverse backgrounds, leadership skills, and dedication to student success make them valuable additions to our district. We look forward to the positive impact they will have on our students, staff, and community."

With these new hires, AJUSD reaffirms its commitment to providing quality education and support services to the Apache Junction community.

For more information about AJUSD, please visit