Superintendent's Message

Posted by Scott A. Menzel, Ph.D. on 8/1/2020

Greetings, CITYSunTimes Readers,

As Scottsdale Unified School District’s new superintendent, I am pleased to make your acquaintance through this publication! Although my contract officially began on July 1, I have been involved in the work of the district since my hiring by the SUSD Governing Board in March. My thanks and appreciation go to former superintendent Dr. John Kriekard for his work during this transition period.

My vision for the future of SUSD is one that will propel the district toward the academic excellence and exceptional student achievement that define a world-class school district. Our expectations should be nothing less. I look forward to collaborating with the Governing Board and district staff to launch new initiatives that draw from my experience in community engagement; diversity, equity and inclusion; strategic planning, and fiscal management. To read more about my background, go to

A supportive community and engaged parents are essential ingredients in any successful education system and make a huge difference to a superintendent. The fact that SUSD can lay claim to both already has and will continue to result in exciting, new opportunities for our students, and we can do even more in our work together.

In order to strengthen two-way communication and ensure we are hearing from diverse perspectives within the district, it is my intention to expand the platforms through which the district seeks stakeholder input. To understand what the community’s hopes and aspirations are for SUSD, new tools will permit deeper dialogues to take place and enable priorities with the widest community support to become clear. This clarity of vision, backed by research-based plans and accountability for implementation, will lead to SUSD’s long-term success.

I eagerly anticipate getting to know you better and have appreciated my engagements to-date with such esteemed organizations as the Scottsdale Education Association, the Scottsdale Parent Council, the Student Advisory Board and the Scottsdale Charros. Likewise, seeking the insight of our outstanding school and department administrators, our caring cadre of teachers with their rich classroom connectedness to students and all of the district’s dedicated employees will be key in helping blaze our trail forward. All contribute to the success of SUSD’s 23,000 students, now and in the future.

Planning for the 2020-2021 school year has been our focus this summer. Anticipating, weeks and months ahead of time, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our state and district at the time we re-open has been challenging. With the safety of students and staff as our number one priority, we have considered multiple options, including a return to in-person schooling with enhanced cleaning and safety protocols, hybrid options with a combination of in-person and online instruction, and 100% online education for those who need it. The choices offered provide the flexibility to accommodate each SUSD family’s unique needs; however, if at any time we see an increase in the spread of coronavirus through our community or we do not feel that safety standards are being maintained, we are prepared to modify our plans and take appropriate action. You can review the plans at

As we become better acquainted, it is my hope that you will find me to be a transparent and collaborative leader. I have high expectations of myself and of those who work with me in service to children and families. I look forward to the challenge of leading SUSD and believe that together, we can accomplish amazing things for students.

To learn more about Scottsdale Unified School District, visit