• Hello, Mustangs! 

    I am extremely humbled to be chosen to lead Desert Vista Elementary as the new principal. I am excited to work with the dedicated faculty, talented staff, and engaged school community.

    I started my professional career as a teacher’s aide in a preschool classroom while I was attending the University of Texas El Paso for my degree in early childhood education in 1997. For 11 years I worked as an elementary teacher in Kindergarten, first, second, and fifth grades in Texas and Arizona. I also served as a school librarian.  

    I earned my master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in 2008 in Educational Administration. The past 14 years of my career have been serving as a school administrator holding a variety of roles including dean of students, assistant principal, and principal. I have worked in the Higley and Gilbert school districts in K-8, elementary, and middle school level school leadership. 

    I consider myself a lifelong learner. When I am not at school, I spend lots of time reading and staying current with educational practices. My husband and I have lived in Mesa for the past 20 years and we have a daughter 22, a son 28, and a 3-year-old granddaughter. We are passionate about music and frequently attend concerts and live performances. We love to swim and play with our two rescue dogs, Maisie and Sophie. 

    I hope you will come to know me as a leader who makes all decisions with the best interests of students in mind. Ensuring that students receive an exemplary education in a setting that is safe and supportive is my top priority. I am committed to continuing the rich traditions of DVES and maintaining the family feel that has been central to the community for many years. I believe that parents, teachers, and administrators are all part of a team that supports each child to achieve excellence. 

    My conversations with members of the Apache Junction School District community have been warm and welcoming, making me feel like I am already part of the Mustang family.  I want to know each of you personally and I encourage you to make time to say hello as you see me around the campus as we start the 2022-2023 school year.  I look forward to working with the DVES community to help students shape their future as they reach for the stars! 


    Heather Preston


    Desert Vista Elementary School