Volume 42, No. 2, Dec. 17, 2013

Happy holidays!

Follow Mesa Public Schools on Facebook, Twitter 

All staff members now have access to social media on district computers. Follow Mesa Public Schools on Facebook and Twitter. Employees, parent teacher organizations and booster clubs are invited to submit news and photos.

Desert Holiday Sounds CD on sale now

Buy Desert Holiday Sounds now through Dec. 20. Get the season of sharing off on the right note! The collection features Dobson, Mesa, Mountain View, Red Mountain, Skyline and Westwood high school choirs. Proceeds benefit the choirs and Mesa Rotary charities.

Congratulations to our Arizona Teachers of the Year

Reta Yanik

Reta Yanik of Westwood High is the Arizona Agriculture Teacher of the Year.

Join Mesa Agenda in congratulating our statewide award winners this fall. Teachers, their awards and associations include:

  • Randy Jarvis, Carson industrial technology teacher, was named the Outstanding Junior High Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education of Arizona.
  • Tom Brennan, Westwood High biology teacher, received the Educator of the Year Award from the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.
  • Reta Yanik of Westwood High, won the Arizona Teacher of the Year award from the Arizona Agriculture Teachers Association.
  • Amanda Grimes, Biotechnology Academy director, received the Arizona Biosicence Educator of the Year Award from the Arizona Bioindustry Association.

Tiffany Thompson named Rodel Exemplary Teacher

Tiffany Thompson, a fifth-grade teacher at Whitman Elementary, is a 2014 Rodel Exemplary Teacher. The initiative is based on exceptional teaching skills, extraordinary student achievement at high-need schools, the ability to supervise and mentor promising student teachers, principal recommendations, and Rodel interviews and observations.

District honors Students of the Month

Student of the Month

Shelley Heath, Ishikawa principal, presents the Mesa Public Schools Student of the Month award to Ashlyn Allen, sixth-grader.

The school board kicked off our districtwide Student of the Month program this fall.

November winners were Brook Stalder, MacArthur Elementary; Ami Asodji, Rhodes Junior High; Bryan Skabelund, Irving Elementary; Kennedy McMann, Skyline High; and Laela Howell, Washington Elementary.

December winners are Shelsye Corral-Franco, Fremont Junior High; Ashlyn Allen, Ishikawa Elementary; Sergio Rosas Hernandez, Lowell Elementary; Annabella Hepler, Sirrine Elementary; and Kaylin Salam, Brinton Elementary.

Students are honored at the first board meeting of each month. They receive plaques, photos, tributes and $25 Barnes and Noble gift cards courtesy of the Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence. Their photos are featured in the Board Room and the lobby of the Administrative Services Center.

Title I schools earn top honors

The Arizona Department of Education commended nine Title I Reward Schools in Mesa for increasing student achievement. Bush, Entz, Highland, Johnson, Mendoza, O'Connor and Sousa elementaries; and Fremont and Shepherd Junior High were honored as High Performance and High Progress Reward Schools.

Board honors Employees of the Month

Renée Harvey

Co-workers and district officials surprised Renée Harvey, MacArthur Elementary kindergarten teacher, with an Employee of the Month Award in November.

The school board honors teachers and support staff who contribute greatly to the quality of Mesa Public Schools and make a difference in the lives of students and staff. Read the tributes to this fall's winners:

  • November: Debbie Arnett, Mountain View High; Elaine Cecil, Webster Elementary; Renée Harvey, MacArthur Elementary; and Mary Ruegge, Dobson High
  • October: Maria Corte, Mesa High; Greg Gardner, Hermosa Vista, Ishikawa and Robson elementary schools; Kris Landsiedel, Research and Evaluation Department; and Lianne Merrill, Taft Elementary
  • September: Noel Alvarez, Native American Education Program; Nick Carmichael, Skyline High; Cindy Fast, Entz Elementary; and Larissa Talamantes, Roosevelt Elementary

See the criteria and nominate someone where you work. Winners receive certificates, tributes and $400 for professional development.

Masons honor 20 top Mesa teachers

Mesa's Masonic Oriental Lodge No. 20 hosted a welcome reception, dinner party and awards presentation for 20 top-notch teacher and their families. Enjoy the video.

Downtown Mesa welcomes staff, students

Employees are invited to show staff ID for discounts at participating stores and restaurants. Visit the Downtown Mesa website for a wealth of resources, events, dining, activities and attractions. Subscribe to email newsletter updates in the "Stay Connected" section on the right.

Congratulations to our Volunteers of the Month

Nancy Cressy

The school board and superintendent honored Nancy Cressy of Longfellow Elementary as the district's Volunteer of the Month in November.

Employees nominate volunteers for outstanding service to students and staff. This fall's Volunteers of the Month are:

  • November: Nancy Cressy, Longfellow Elementary
  • October: Shirley Duclos, Las Sendas Elementary
  • September: James and Jolene Phelps, Johnson Elementary Montessori

Nominate your volunteerWinners receive certificates, tributes and candy bouquets from the district. They win $50 gift cards and books titled "Because of You: Celebrating the Difference You Make" from the Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence

Bookmark the new employee website

You'll find the handiest collection of the most requested links on the Employee Resources Web page. Bookmark the Employee Resources link for easy reference. Or access it from the lower right corner of the main page under "More Resources."

Send news to Lynda Jordan, community relations specialist, lkjordan@mpsaz.org

Mesa Agenda is published by the Communications and Marketing Department


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