Arcadia High School will encounter many new things in the coming school year, including a new parking lot, fresh paint and a brand-new principal, Dr. Cain Jagodzinski.

Dr. J (for short) was born in Denver, Colo., and lived there until he and his family moved to Phoenix in 1989.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a major in history and a minor in biology. He also earned a master’s degree from Arizona State University in school administration and a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Before coming to Arcadia High, Dr. J was the principal of Fountain Hills High School and a teacher and administrator in the Paradise Valley Unified School District.

He was the dean of students at Shadow Mountain High School and assistant principal at Sunrise Middle School and Shea Middle School. He also spent 11 years coaching high school basketball.

Dr. J said that the hiring process to become Arcadia High’s principal went well.

“It allowed me to meet the community, staff and the district leadership team. Although it was virtual, it was a great experience and made me very excited to get started,” Dr. J said. “The hardest part of the process was that it was virtual – I have never participated in an online method like that.”

Dr. J said he is most excited to continue to meet the students, staff and community of Arcadia.

“I want to listen and learn from each group of stakeholders while learning the traditions and history of Arcadia High School. Leading a neighborhood school with a rich history of excellence will be very rewarding,” Dr. J said.

“I believe that it is essential for leaders to listen, be visible and make themselves available. Additionally, the principal must be an instructional leader on campus,” he said.

Dr. J’s goal for the upcoming year will be to focus on building relationships and student achievement. He explained that he wants to continue the work happening at AHS while connecting with students, staff, parents and community members.

“I want to listen and look for new initiatives to further the growth of our students,” Dr. J said.

When he’s not at work, Dr. J enjoys playing basketball and taking road trips with his family. He also enjoys playing classic arcade games from the 80s. 

Dr. J’s name may look familiar to some. His wife, Tamara, is the principal at Hopi Elementary School.

“I am looking forward to working with Mrs. J and the entire Arcadia learning community,” Dr. J said. “The feeder schools have had great success academically and provide students wonderful opportunities to learn in a supportive and caring environment. A piece of advice I have taken from these great leaders is to enjoy the incredible support the community gives their schools.”