Mrs. Knaeble     



Leah Knaeble,

Dean of Students, Desert Shadows MS

As Dean of Students, I look forward to working closely with students, parents, and staff at both Desert Shadows Middle School and Explorer Middle School this year. I strongly support the collaborative culture in PV and know that we will work together to make this a successful experience for our students.

I moved to PVUSD as a 4th-grade student and graduated from Shadow Mountain High School.  Knowing the culture of this district, I enrolled both of my children in PVSchools.  My youngest is a current elementary student.  My oldest daughter has graduated from Shadow Mountain, and recently married a Paradise Valley High School alumnus.  They are raising my first granddaughter in PVUSD. 

I continued with my education at PVCC, then earned a bachelor’s degree in Global Business at Arizona State University.  Knowing that my heart was in teaching, I completed an Elementary Education Post-Bach degree at Rio Salado. While teaching, I completed two Master’s Degrees from Northern Arizona University in Multicultural and Bilingual Education, followed by a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

I was hired in Paradise Valley as a 5th-grade teacher in 2003.  I then worked as a Title 1 Math Specialist, and a Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Math Teacher at Shea MS. I was most recently the Certified Ombudsman in Human Resources.  

Middle school is a time for students to continue to rely on the support of their families while learning more about their unique interests and abilities.  As a Disneyland enthusiast, I hope to inspire students in the words of Walt Disney to “First, think.  Second, dream.  Third, believe.  And finally, dare.” 

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Due to my alternating schedule, it is best to contact me via email at