DeAnna Cuevas is principal at Continental School. She was born and raised in Tucson by her parents, Jose and Connie Ortiz. As a student, she attended Mission Manor Elementary School, St. John’s Private School and Salpointe High School.
She graduated from the University in Arizona with a B.A. in psychology and then earned her teaching certification through the Pima Community College Teacher Certification Program. She obtained her master’s degree in educational administration from Grand Canyon University and has continued on with her doctoral work in instruction and cognition there. She lives in Tucson with her husband of 13 years, Antony, and daughters Chloe, 9, and Miley, 7.
Q: I understand your family has lived in the area for generations. What brought them to the area? What did they do?
A: Working at Continental Elementary School has meant so much to me knowing that my great-grandparents Miguel Tanori and Ramona Barboa Tanori used to see Continental when it was first established. Their hard work and efforts to support their children have led me to where I am today.
My great-grandparents resided in Tubac in 1910. They then purchased land in Sahuarita, where they had a ranch. My great-grandfather was a cattle rancher. My maternal grandmother, Maria Tanori Cuestas, grew up on the ranch with her siblings. My grandmother Maria met my grandfather Francisco Cuestas in Sahuarita as they were neighbors. They then married, moved to Tucson, and had children – my Uncle Raul, Aunt Emma and my mom, Connie. They visited the ranch throughout the years and would spend summer vacations there. My mother's cousins still reside on the property. My great-grandparents and grandmother were laid to rest in the Tubac Cemetery.
I grew up hearing many stories of my family who resided in Tubac and Sahuarita for over three generations. These two places have always held a special in my heart and I hope to one day own a ranch in Sahuarita in memory of my grandparents.
Q: You are the principal at Continental Elementary School. What do you like to do when you're not at school? Are you involved in any other organizations or have any hobbies?
A: As the proud principal of Continental Elementary School, I love every minute of my job. When I am not at school I am usually thinking about the students, teachers and parents. I like to go in on the weekends to work. For down time, I spend it on outings with my little girls and husband. We like to travel to places we have never been in Arizona. In the past I have been involved in The Children's Organ Transplant Association. I have also been inspired to raise awareness about colon cancer as I have seen dear friends and family battle colon cancer. My sister Monica and I just took part in the Colon Cancer Coalition 5k race.
I am always looking for ways to help out in the community and I am very interested in learning new ways I can give back to the Green Valley as I see how much this beautiful community cares about our school.
Q: What are the best things about working in Green Valley?
A: The best thing about working in Green Valley are the people. I have continuously been touched by the immense support our school receives from our community members. So many people volunteer their time to tutor our students in reading and math. Residents, businesses, and organizations donate supplies, books, instruments, bikes, adopt families during the holiday season, and provide food for food boxes. As an educator I have been touched to tears at the selfless support the Green Valley community provides to our students, teachers, and families. I love to hear the stories the Green Valley residents share with me when they visit our school about their life experiences. Working in Green Valley is a blessing and I am grateful to be a part of it.