Our Leadership


Mr. David Appleman, Principal/Title IX Coordinator

David graduated from Long Island University with an M.S. in Secondary Education/English and received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He began his career in education over twenty years ago at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York. After moving to the valley, Mr. Appleman was an English teacher at North Canyon High School and at Pinnacle High School, as well as a football and lacrosse coach. He has been a school administrator for over 10 years in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. He has been Principal at Shadow Mountain High School (SMHS) since August 2012. David is married to Susanne Appleman and has two sons who are students in the Paradise Valley Unified School District.

Principal's Administrative Assistant:

Lori Dodson



Ms. Kathleen Alexander, Assistant Principal

Instructional Services: 10th and 12th Graders

Kathleen Alexander-Blue has been in education long enough to remember open classrooms and open campuses. She prizes her Maryland public school education, as well as her years at Towson University, University of Maryland, the Johns Hopkins University and Northern Arizona University. Kathleen serves as the Assistant Principal for Instructional Services at SMHS.

Ms. Alexander's Administrative Assistant:

Carolina Garcia 



Mrs. Onquanette Nowels-Pierce, Assistant Principal

Student Services: 9th and 12th Graders

Onquanette is a native of Chicago (The Windy City) who recently relocated to Arizona. She is beginning her 17th year as an administrator. She has taught elementary and middle school. Onquanette is married and has a beautiful blended family of 4 children. Onquanette holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree, in Education Administration and is currently striving to finish her Dissertation. She is super oriented in community service and an advocate for equitable education and opportunities for ALL students. She believes in coaching teachers to grow in their craft and reach their full potential all while having high expectations for students. Onquanette enjoys working with students around learning, school and community related activities. Onquanette is very excited to be a part of the Paradise Valley School District, and she looks forward to working with students, staff, and the community. 

Mrs. Nowels-Pierce's Administrative Assistant:

Catherine Hurt



Mr. Rick Ross, Dean of Students

Rick Ross, Ed.S., is excited to be starting a new professional chapter as Dean of Students at Shadow Mountain High School. Mr. Ross holds degrees from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Arizona State University, and Nova Southeastern University. He has been a professional educator in the Paradise Valley Unified School District for 27 years with extensive experience in the middle and high school levels. In addition to serving on numerous school and District-wide committees, Mr. Ross has completed the PVUSD Administrative Intern Management Program, served as an Instructional Division Leader, Auditorium Manager, PVEA Treasurer and Contract Negotiations Team member for the Paradise Valley Education Association. Mr. Ross served as Director of Choral Activities at Shadow Mountain HS from 2002 to 2017 and prior to that was the Choir Director at Greenway Middle School. Mr. Ross has been awarded the O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Music Teaching Award by the Arizona Music Educators Association, an Alumni Achievement Award from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a Golden Bell Award from the Arizona School Boards Association, Middle Level Educator of the Year Award and the PVEA Recognition of Professional Standards Award. Mr. Ross is very honored to have been named to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” on three different occasions. He has been selected “Most Spirited” and “Most Likely To Start A Flash Mob” in the Shadow Mountain Yearbook. In his time away from school, Mr. Ross enjoys his family with travel, hiking, mountain biking and reading. He is very proud to be a Matador!

Dean of Students Administrative Assistant:

Sherry Gill