I would like to congratulate Valerie Dehombreux for seven wonderful years serving as our principal of McDowell Mountain Elementary School in our Fountain Hills School District! Ms. Dehombreux (or “Ms. D,” as the students and teachers affectionately call her), you will be dearly missed and we deeply thank you for your service.

Ms. D had huge shoes to fill when she started serving as principal after Ms. Joanne Meehan’s 30 wonderful years of service at our elementary school. Ms. D came in with a tremendous attitude and enhanced our school in many ways. She added a new data-driven approach and provided tremendous metrics. One of her most outstanding commitments was working tirelessly for McDowell Mountain to receive the coveted “A+ rating” two years ago. This makes a huge difference to parents when deciding which school their young children should attend.

As an 11-year board member of our Fountain Hills Coalition, I can’t thank her enough for her passion, drive and willingness to work in partnership with the Coalition in preventing destructive student decisions in the critical areas of alcohol, marijuana, vaping and illegal use of prescription drugs. I realize it might surprise the community, but it’s imperative that students, and their parents, receive this valuable information even at such a young age.

And finally, as a personal friend, your door has always been open to me and I felt very blessed that we could always speak very candidly and honestly with each other. Well done, thy good and faithful servant. I can’t wait to observe the next steps God has planned for your professional life, Ms. D, and I’m confident it will be very good!

With gratitude and appreciation.