Ashley Worrell, director of Peoria Unified School District’s KidZone before and after school care program, was recently named to the First Things First (FTF) Northwest Maricopa Regional Partnership Council. Worrell will serve in the Educator category and will help support the healthy development and learning of the young children in the region. She stepped in for Peoria Unified’s director of preschool, Dr. Debbie Pischke, who just completed her term.

“I am honored to join and represent Peoria Unified as a member of the Northwest Maricopa Regional Partnership Council and look forward to using my experience in early childhood education at the state level,” says Worrell.

Each member of the regional partnership council is an integral part of the leadership team providing direction and vision toward the achievement of the FTF goals within their region. Council members are responsible for conducting the duties as defined under the law and oversee efforts for their region in partnership and with oversight of the FTF state board. Worrell began her four-year term in July and looks forward to helping children throughout Northwest Maricopa.

First Things First is Arizona’s early childhood agency that funds early education and health programs to prepare young children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Peoria Unified serves more than 37,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools, and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94% high school graduation rate. It is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high test scores, specialized signature programs, and championship sports programs. The Vision of the Peoria Unified School District is “Every student, every day, prepared to shape tomorrow.”

For more information, visit the district’s website at