Superintendent's Monthly Vodcasts



MayVodcast 2017

Hello, I am Debbi Burdick, the very proud superintendent of the Cave Creek Unified School District. This month, I would like to share the beginnings of our CCUSD history with you.

According to various historical records, in 1886, the Cave Creek School District No. 23 was organized and William Bailey was the first teacher at a salary of $65 per month. The original schoolhouse was actually moved three times.

In 1896, Cave Creek's school was near the creek on the Howard Ranch.  Alfred C. Lockwood taught 8 students, including his two younger brothers and a sister, while studying law. Judge Alfred Lockwood later served on the Arizona Supreme Court.

In 1913, the school district was discontinued because of a lack of children but then in 1930, the District was reorganized as Cave Creek School District No. 93 and the school was moved to about where Cave Creek Road crosses New River Road today. With the boom in population during dam building days, the school was moved to a main road. Materials, labor, money and food were donated, and another room was added to the school house and another teacher hired.

In 1950, Cave Creek had "a little white (painted) school house run by Mrs. Charlotte L. Hawkins of Phoenix." The first Parent Teacher Association was formed during this time.  Ten years later, the little white school house closed and a new four-room school was completed and one room of the old school was designated to house the Cave Creek Branch Library at Schoolhouse and Cave Creek Roads.  A small corral was built behind the school for students' horses. In 1964, another four-room school building was added at which time the corral was removed.

In 1970, 200 students now attended the Cave Creek School and with the need for another school, Black Mountain Elementary School was completed at the corner of 60th St. and Dove Valley Road to educate older elementary students (grades 3-5).

In 1984, there were enough students to grow into a unified district and started construction of Cactus Shadows High School with a new grade added each year. This original Cactus Shadows High School was on 60th St. where the current BMES is now housed.  The first Cactus Shadows High School graduating class had 57 students in 1986.

Also that year, our voters approved a $16.9 million bond for construction of a new Transportation Center, expansion of Black Mountain Elementary School, construction of a new middle school (Desert Arroyo) and the Fine Arts Center.

Voters again approved a bond in 1995, this time for $26 million and a new high school was constructed on the District's main 185-acre campus. The new school (still Cactus Shadows High School), was located just south of the previous high school site.

In 1995, the original Cave Creek School closed its doors and was sold in 2014 with the dollars from the sale used to renovate the CSHS Cafeteria.

*Thank you to Evelyn Johnson, Executive Director of the Cave Creek Museum, for her assistance in recreating this timeline. And, as always, I will see you in our schools.