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Dr. Hugo Tapia

School Psychologist

Tempe Union HSD


Doctorate in Counseling Psychology

Arizona State University

  • Chair of the Tempe Human Relations Commission

  • Tardeada Board Member

  • Hacienda del Rio Homeowners Association Board Member

  • Trellis Community Development Board Member (2016-2022)

Meet Hugo Tapia

Hugo Tapia was born in Mexico and came to the United States at the age of 13, he went through English language acquisition and acculturation to this country.  Growing up, Hugo was one of twelve children. When he wasn’t at school, he worked in the fields, at his brother’s wood cabinet shop, and learned from his parents the importance of standing up for the people around him. At the age of 17, Hugo’s brother, Hector, encouraged him to explore life beyond their small town and to move north to pursue a college education. Hugo Tapia joined the fabric of Tempe when he left his hometown of Somerton, Arizona to attend college at Arizona State University.

At ASU, he earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and both a master’s degree in Counseling, and a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology.  Throughout each of these degree programs, Hugo prioritized caring for his family and managed to work full-time. As a three-degree graduate from Arizona State University, Dr. Tapia is a true and passionate Sun Devil. 

Hugo’s professional career started when he joined the City of Tempe staff as a Youth and Family Therapist. He stayed with the City of Tempe for 6 years. During this time, he became one of the founding leaders of what is now Care 7 - a human services department that supports Tempe residents who have experienced trauma. Hugo also was part of the team that provided support to our police officers after a critical incident.  After many great years with the city, Hugo became a school psychologist during his doctoral internship at the Kyrene School District and then joined the Tempe Union High School District as a School Psychologist. This career change allowed him to both do the work that he loved and share the same schedule as his kids.

Hugo is currently back as a school psychologist for the Tempe Union High School District, where he continues to work to improve the lives of his students and their families.  Additionally, he is the chair of the City of Tempe Human Relations Commission, where he leads fellow citizens in exploring ways to improve the lives of all living and working in Tempe.

He has been married to Dr. Robbie Adler-Tapia for the last 34 years. They were married at the church across the street from City Hall.  Hugo and Robbie are the proud parents of Michael, Max and Maura – and they all are graduates of Corona del Sol High School.  While the children have all grown and moved on to successful careers, the Tapias aren’t quite empty nesters - they are also the proud dog parents to Moose (Sheepadoodle) and Buddy (Bernadoodle).  Both the Tapia children and pets are all excited to support Tapia for Tempe campaign!

The experiences of growing up in desert farming towns, pursuing higher education, supporting people through human services, community involvement, and being a loving husband and father have shaped Hugo’s character and empathy for the challenges in life that people face.

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