Volume 40, Number 1, Aug. 8, 2011

Shuttle Commander
Diana LeSueur is the shuttle commander on the Atlantis Mission at Space Camp.

Space Camp

Diana LeSueur, MPS Flight Center instructor, represented MPS at Boeing Educators to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., in July. She participated in astronaut training, mock space missions, scientific experiments and visits with experts on rocketry and space exploration.

LeSueur brought back lots of ideas to share with teachers, lesson plans, classroom materials and access to additional online training and resources to boost student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math. Read more in:

Arizona Public Schools Making a Difference Every Day  
Boeing news release

New mission statement

Our new vision, mission and core values statement was published over the summer. Our vision is unprecedented excellence in education. Our mission? To develop a highly educated and productive community, one student at a time.

Our core values? Each child is important. Learning is our focus. Collaboration and innovation are indispensable. Sound fiscal stewardship is essential. Diversity increases our opportunities. Success is expected and celebrated.

$1,000 grants from Mesa Foundation

Apply, by Sept. 23, for up to $1,000 to fund your special project to complement the curriculum and enhance student achievement. The Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence would like to consider your proposal. Download the guidelines and cover sheets.

Drowning Impact Awareness Month

August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month. The Mesa Fire Department offers schools and families a wealth of activities, information and free resources: Safest Pool in Mesa Contest, a proclamation, classroom presentations, lifesaver classes, water-safety tips, and purple ribbons to promote awareness and action.

Employee of the Month nominations

Nominate colleagues who contribute to the quality of MPS and make a difference in the lives of students and staff. The school board honors school- and district-based certified and classified employees September through April. Winners receive $400 for professional development workshops, college tuition, supplies or capital items. Nomination forms, previous winners, tributes and videos are available online.

Volunteer of the Month nominations

Employees may nominate outstanding parent and community volunteers. The school board awards certificates, tributes, key chains and mugs from MPS. Winners receive $50 gift cards and books titled "The Heart of a Volunteer" from the Mesa Foundation.

Foldables Across the Curriculum and Notebook Foldables

More than 200 K-12 teachers attended Dinah Zike's professional development sessions on designing hands-on manipulatives. The classes were sponsored by MacMillan McGraw-Hill. MPS staff noted: "It was an honor to meet Dinah and glean from her extensive experience with foldables." "She's such an inspiration." "She really got our staff motivated with new ideas." "Thank you for having her at MPS!"

MCC library certification

Last spring, some of our library resource center specialists received full School Library Media Center Certificates from Mesa Community College. Congratulations to Regina Blalack, Hawthorne; Holli Christensen, Keller; Deb Faysak, Sousa; Debbie Freeborn-Blazich, Stevenson; Jo Hallstrom, Franklin Northeast; Denise Mika, Hale; Karen Mountford, Edison; Heather Piercy, Kerr; Sookie Shangraw, Rhodes; and Nancy Simmons, MacArthur.

Others earned Basic or Advanced Certificates in Library Information Technology. Congratulations to Cathy Ball, Carson; Karin Clapper, Adams; Helen Darcy, Lowell; Samantha Johnson, Hermosa Vista; Denise Lee, Franklin East; Barb Nelson, Porter; Michele Roberts, Westwood; Lori Simmons, Las Sendas; and Stephanie Stork, Washington.

"The certification program has empowered our specialists with a tremendous amount of knowledge about all aspects of school library administration. As a result, they have completely elevated the district's library program. Their hard work and dedication are to be commended," said Lisa Bowen, library services specialist.

Mesa Agenda is published by the MPS Community Relations Department


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