Hello and welcome to Innovation Academy! My name is Michael P. McConnell and I am so excited and honored to be your Principal. I was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, two blocks from Arizona State University. In 1991 I made the brilliant decision to move to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Elementary Education with a focus on Early Childhood. I spent 11 years teaching Kindergarten at E.C. Nash Elementary School. In 2004 I decided I wanted something different, so I went back to school and earned a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. My beautiful wife Marisa is a Reading Intervention Teacher at Mesa Verde Elementary School. We have two fabulous dogs, Max and Maizey. We also have two wonderful boys. Cadden completed a five year enlistment in the U.S. Army and is attending school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Colby works for Wells Fargo as a home loan specialist.
Defining Moment in Education
As a child I struggled to read and I did not find school enjoyable. It wasn't until 6th grade that I started to enjoy school. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Hobson was the first teacher who understood me and made it her mission to make sure I learned to read. She took the time to tutor me before school, after school, and sometimes even at lunch. One morning she told me that it really bothered her that I did not like school and that I did not like to read. That morning she told me that it was her duty to make sure that I learned to read and begin to love school. She did! I do! Mrs. Hobson is the reason that I am where I am today!
Core Educational Beliefs
I believe that all children are brilliant and that as adults it is our responsibility to help them find and share their brilliance with the world.
- Kindergarten Teacher 11 years E.C. Nash Elementary School
- Instructional Support Assistant 2 years L.M. Prince Elementary School
- Assistant Principal 3 years Coronado K-8 School
- Principal 5 years Lulu Walker Elementary School
Degrees & Certifications
BA in Elementary Education-University of Arizona
Master of Education in Educational Leadership-Northern Arizona University
STEM Leadership Certificate-Teachers College of Columbia University