Scott Backus – New Principal of Deer Valley Middle School
Principal Scott Backus has a 19-year career in education. He started his career in 2001 with the Amphitheater School District in Tucson, where he taught sixth and seventh grade social studies and science for four years. He then taught global studies and sociology at the high school level. He was the founding principal of Tucson International Academy East. Mr. Backus then spent a year as the director of Tucson Unified School District’s Alternative Education Department, where he oversaw 13 individual campuses focused on academic and behavioral at-risk students. Additionally, Mr. Backus was an assistant principal for Pearsall Junior High School in Pearsall, Texas and principal of McDowell Middle School in Hondo, Texas.
As principal of Deer Valley Middle School, Mr. Backus said he will implement instructional strategies that will impact learning. He will create a positive, healthy school culture for students and staff and he will provide discipline for students that need it, while mentoring them toward becoming better human beings.
Q&A with Deer Valley Middle School Principal Scott Backus
What is the most important lesson being in education has taught you?
Having a career in education has taught me that you must always try to help a student succeed. I can try every strategy I know or use every tool I have to reach and help a student and sometimes you get a win and sometimes you don't. Either way, it's worth the effort to try to help students.
What advice would you give a parent to help his/her child be successful in school?
Today, parents need to be a partner in their child’s education. They need to be invested in their learning but also teach them a moral code to live by. Parents need to help students develop habits that will make their lives successful, they need to guide them toward a lifestyle of service to others.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in education?
When I was in my 30s, I would go to work every day and listen to a program called Focus on the Family. For an entire week they played a presentation given by Guy Doud, who had become Teacher of the Year and he got to meet President Ronald Reagan. I was so moved by his observations about students that I wanted my life to be about helping kids grow and succeed. Because of that broadcast, I went back to college and got a teaching degree.