HI, MY NAME IS… Stephanie Taueki.


A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… getting up early and making my way to Mercury Mine Elementary School (MMES). I am the interim principal at MMES and have the pleasure of serving over 500 students and families in the neighborhood where I grew up. I am a Paradise Valley Unified School District graduate who went to Larkspur Elementary School, Shea Middle School, and Shadow Mountain High School. It is an absolute dream to be giving back to the community that supported me through my academic career. And, of course, it is wonderful to be in the famous “Sheaborhood.”

MY FAMILY IS… the most important thing to me.

ONE THING I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS… my husband, Mr. Taueki. He loves and supports me in everything I do.

MY FAVORITE MOVIE I COULD NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING AND WHY IS… “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I grew up reading the books and think it is a wonderful story of courage and perseverance.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… a teacher. I used to set up my coffee table with sticky notes and notepads and play “teacher.”

THE SONG I WOULD SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT IS… anything rock and roll.

THE ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES ME IS… my father. I gained much of my work ethic from him, and I strive to be as hardworking and willful.

THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… seeing my dog watch me out the window as I drove away from the house. He was wearing the cone of shame.
THE PERFECT DAY IS… hanging out at home with family.

MY FAVORITE LOCAL NONPROFIT IS… the MMES Parent Teacher Group (PTG), of course! Our PTG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is the heart and soul of our special school. Our Parent Teacher Group raises an average of $75,000 per year and gives that money right back to teachers and students. For example, teachers get $500 to spend for their students. Students get unforgettable experiences when they have their bounce-house fun day, the opportunity to slime their teachers, and the chance to have a limo lunch with the principal.

MY LIFE IS… busy! Being a school administrator keeps me on my toes, but it is a dream job. At MMES, we have so many wonderful events for the community, from our annual Spring Fling and Winter Marketplace to our bi-annual Artist in Residence program. Our most recent event was where families could have some fun in our Desert Education Area, which is a one-of-a-kind trail system we have on our campus. This desert area includes an amphitheater, ruins, a pollinator garden, and more. Being at these events, talking to families, and seeing them having fun at their neighborhood school is one of my favorite things to do as an administrator.

MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE… New Zealand. Mr. Taueki’s family is from there, and it is a dream to visit –– minus the airplane ride!

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… I’ve gotten so many good pieces of advice, but I like this one from the poem called Desiderata. I found this poem in my current office. The previous principal had it taped to her cabinet: “Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.”