By Stephanie Ingersoll, PR & Marketing Specialist

QUEEN CREEK, AZ— Dr. Perry Berry, Superintendent of Queen Creek Unified School District (QCUSD), and the QCUSD Governing Board have named Mr. Luke Pugh as the new principal of Newell Barney Middle School (NBMS), a National AVID Demonstration School. The hiring of Mr. Pugh was approved at the March 5, 2019, QCUSD Governing Board meeting. Luke will take on the role of NBMS principal starting in the 2019-2020 school year. He is taking over for Mrs. Denise Johnson who is retiring at the end of the current school year. 

“Luke is a student-focused principal who brings valuable experience to the District,” Dr. Berry said. “He will make a great addition to the QCUSD family.”

Mr. Pugh has worked in education for 12 years. He has taught 7th and 8th grade social studies and writing for second language learners. For the past six years, he has served as an assistant principal in the Cartwright School District and Scottsdale Unified School District. All 12 years have been spent at the middle school level. Mr. Pugh has his undergraduate degree in secondary education with a focus in social studies and he has a master’s in educational leadership. He received both degrees from Northern Arizona University. 

“I am honored to join an excelling school in an A-rated District,” Mr. Pugh said. “I understand the big shoes I have to fill and the legacy that Mrs. Johnson is leaving behind and I am excited to do my best to fill those.” 

Mr. Pugh’s wife Kathleen teaches high school history in Tempe and they have two daughters Eleanor (3) and Cora (17 months). Mr. Pugh is excited to join the QCUSD family and continue the excellence that is Newell Barney Middle School.85201


Queen Creek Unified School District supports the development of the whole child by modeling positive academic, social and emotional learning through an innovative and challenging curriculum. Learning is maximized by empowering the community, and its members, to partner with us to create safe and secure learning environments for all students. Queen Creek Unified School District expects their students to be successful, compassionate and productive in their learning so that the next generation of ethical citizens can lead our community both locally and globally.