Welcome to Saddle Mountain

Welcome to Saddle Mountain Unified School District. We are located in Tonopah, Arizona, west of the White Tank Mountains. We are a small but growing community, serving students in more than 500 square miles in Tonopah and Buckeye.

Our dedicated staff and faculty members serve about 1,400 students in two elementary schools and one high school. Thanks to our supportive community, all of our school facilities are less than eight years old, including the reconstructed and just reopened Ruth Fisher Elementary School, the Silver Leed Certified Tartesso Elementary School, and the design award-winning Tonopah Valley High School.

We are constantly pursuing the best in education and implementing strategies and curriculum that will provide the best learning environment for our students.

All schools in the Saddle Mountain Unified School District serve free breakfast to all students. Breakfast includes a variety of entrees, fruit, 100% fruit juice, low fat milk, and whole grain cereals. Fuel your day right with a complete breakfast at no charge in your school's cafeteria.

School Starting Times:

Ruth Fisher School:

  • K - 2nd: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • 3rd - 8th: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Tartesso Elementary School:

  • K - 8th: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Tonopah Valley High School:

  • 8:00 - 2:50 p.m.

Please take some time to visit our new website. Meet our Governing Board, keep up-to-date with district events on our news page or event calendar, find out about job postings, or get to know our schools. We also have some helpful Web resources.

A Message from our Superintendent

Welcome to the Saddle Mountain Unified School District. We believe that, “Everyone learns, every day.”

We are proud that:

  • Martha Daniels, 8th Grade math teacher at Ruth Fisher School, was named a 2014 Rodel Exemplary Teacher.
  • Two of our district administrators—Liz Burton, Tartesso Principal, and Rene Molina, Ruth Fisher Assistant Principal—have been named Rodel Aspiring Principals.
  • Two of our three schools are designated as A schools by the Arizona Department of Education.
  • Tonopah Valley High School has one of the highest graduation rates in the state of Arizona.
  • 98% of our teachers are “highly qualified” under federal government guidelines.
  • The district’s credit rating is A-.
  • TVHS 2014 graduates were awarded approximately $1.5 million in scholarships.

Come and join our collaborative, technologically equipped group of learners.


Mark Joraanstad

Mark H. Joraanstad, Ed. D.

AZ Merit

Teacher of the Year
Mission Statement & Goals