Mr. Jeff Lavender was born and raised in Kent, Washington. At the age of 14, Mr. Lavender’s family moved from Kent to Tempe, Arizona, where he graduated from McClintock High School in 1981. Upon graduation from high school, Mr. Lavender enlisted in the United States Army and served a tour of duty in West Germany.
Mr. Lavender earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University in Secondary Education for History, Political Science, and Economics and a Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership. Mr. Lavender began his career teaching History and Government in the Balsz School District in Phoenix, Arizona, for five years before relocating to Casa Grande Elementary School District. He began his CGESD tenure as the principal of Ironwood Elementary School for the 1996-97 school year. Since then, Mr. Lavender has served the Casa Grande Elementary School District as the principal of Casa Grande Junior High School 1997-2001, Cactus Middle School 2001-2007, and Villago Middle School 2007-2018 and 2019-2023. For the 2018-19 school year, Mr. Lavender served in the CGESD District Office as the Director of Leadership, where he supervised principals and leadership development.
Community involvement has always been a priority for Mr. Lavender. Aiding in fulfilling this passion, Arizona Governors Napolitano and Brewer appointed Mr. Lavender to the Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board from 2007-2015. He also served as chairman for three years. Locally, the Casa Grande City Council appointed Mr. Lavender to the Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission, where he served from 2009-2015, including two years as chairman. Mr. Lavender also serves as chairman of the scholarship committee for the Cesar Chavez Memorial Committee of Pinal County, which has raised over $400,000 in scholarship funds for deserving Pinal County high school graduates. In August 2020, Mr. Lavender was elected to the Casa Grande City Council.
As the principal at Cactus Middle School in 2007, Mr. Lavender led Cactus to become the first school in Pinal County to be selected as an A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Education Foundation. He has since piloted Villago Middle School to achieve the same recognition in 2013 and 2017. As a three-time recipient of the A+ School of Excellence Award, Mr. Lavender is highly qualified and happy to serve as an A+ judge for the Foundation. In 2007, Mr. Lavender was recognized as an outstanding leader by the Arizona Council of Administrators for Special Education when he was awarded their annual Outstanding Leadership Award in Administration. Further confirming his prowess as a distinguished and capable leader, the Rodel Foundation selected Mr. Lavender as a Rodel Exemplary Principal in 2010.
Mr. Lavender is married to Gracy, who is a native of Casa Grande. They have three adult children and one grandchild. Mr. Lavender enjoys traveling in his spare time and has visited all 50 states. Mr. Lavender also enjoys playing golf, hiking CG Mountain, and is a faithful and dedicated Arizona Cardinals fan.