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Leadership

Principal

Kyle Shappee

Kyle Shappee

What a privilege it is to be the principal of Explorer Middle School. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve the students, families, staff, and community of EMS.

Although I have been in the Paradise Valley Unified School District for almost thirty years as a teacher and administrator and have had the pleasure of meeting many parents and students, I certainly have not met all of you. So here is a brief synopsis about me until we meet.

I am originally from upstate New York, I am a die-hard New York Giants fan and while growing up loved watching football with my dad. I have lived in Arizona for over 40 years now and love our Arizona sun.

I hold a Master of Elementary Education (ASU) and a Master of Educational Leadership (NAU). When I was teaching I taught mainly 5th and 6th grade and enjoyed every minute of it. By far my favorite grade level of students to work with is 6th through 8th (Middle School).

My wife and I have been married 32 years and we are blessed with two sons who attended Paradise Valley schools and are Pinnacle High School alum! And my wife is a proud Horizon Husky! My oldest son is a graduate from the Barrett Honors College at ASU with dual majors in Industrial Design and Design Management. He owns his own design business here in Phoenix. My youngest son is a graduate from Grand Canyon University and is a second year Law student at ASU. We are a family that loves our dogs, hanging by the pool, and a great family game night.

I invite you to say "hello" and introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting each family that makes up this outstanding community at Explorer Middle School!

Assistant Principal

Troy Fox

Troy Fox

It is truly my pleasure to serve PVSchools and your kids as the Assistant Principal of Explorer Middle School.

I am originally from Michigan (Go Blue!) and spent the majority of my adult life in West Michigan. I moved my family to the Phoenix area in 2009, seeking sunshine and adventure.  

Prior to being appointed as the Assistant Principal at Explorer in 2016, I taught high school English in the East Valley, Scottsdale, and with PVSchools at Pinnacle High School.  

I have a deep love for all things sports, can’t put down a good book, and love to be outdoors – hiking, camping, and biking with my wife and our two kids.

Dean of Students

Leah Jenks

Leah Jenks

I am so excited to join the Explorer Middle School family as your full-time Dean of Students this year. I came to Paradise last year as an instructional coach at Liberty Elementary and Desert Springs Preparatory Elementary. I am an Arizona native, growing up in Tucson and coming to the Valley to earn my bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from ASU and Master's degree in Educational Administration from GCU.

During my seventeen years in education, I've taught 3rd grade and middle school science, as well as serving students as a Dean of Students and Assistant Principal. 8th graders are my absolute favorite age of students to work with!

My husband (a Paradise Valley alum) and I live in Anthem with our two girls (ages ten and eight) and my fifth grader will be joining the Desert Trails Elementary family this year.

I value deep collaboration with our parents and students and strive to provide open communication. I look forward to serving our students and community this year!