Ajo Unified School District

School Principal’s Office

Meet Ajo's principal, and learn more about her background.

A Message from the Principal

Dear Families:

Here at Ajo Elementary and High school, we’re very proud of our students and their accomplishments. Our dedicated staff members work hard every day to bring the best learning opportunities possible to our diverse student body. We encourage parent involvement in our school events, both academic and extracurricular.

My door is always open to you. Please stop by if you ever have any questions.


Dr. Lauren Carriere

Dr. Lauren Carriere    

Principal’s Profile

Dr. Carriere is a lifelong learner serving in her sixth year at the Ajo Unified School District in the midst of the stunning Sonoran Desert. Her first three years were spent as a student success coach pushing students to graduation, college, and career. Dr. Carriere became the appointed director of school during the 2014-2015 school year and the principal the 2015-2016 school year and beyond.

College was Lauren's game changer. She thoroughly enjoyed her undergraduate years at Arcadia University outside Philly, where she earned a B.A. in biology. She completed her M.A. in student development administration at Seattle University, followed by earning her doctorate in educational leadership. She learned about whiteness and social justice and was honored to spend time on the Lakota Nation completing her dissertation: "Students at Sinte Gleska University Reflect On What It Means To Be a Warrior." A pivotal moment came when Lauren's dissertation chair asked, "If you want to see students thrive in the college setting, doesn't it have to start a lot earlier?" That question led her to pursue service as a corps member with Teach for America.

A first-generation college student, Lauren finds fulfillment and great joy in seeing students admitted to college and thriving there. Every student should have doors opened to future opportunity. The 2014-2015 year was particularly rewarding as the director of schools where Ajo students are "proving the possible" by achieving on campus and preparing for college, even at an early age. Dr. Carriere is honored to serve AUSD and to be a Rural Principal Fellow with Teach for America. Rural is home.

Time away from work finds Lauren thinking about students and staff, getting out in the desert for a run, spending time with her husband, Denny Carriere and their dogs, and visiting her children, Rachel, Rob, and David. Dr. Carriere is delighted to have six kids now that her children have each married. Insanely proud of her kids, Dr. Carriere boasts about Rachel being a test flight engineer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Rob being a sales manager for Subaru in Philly, and David being a valued employee with Fred Meyer in Seattle.