Volume 42, No. 3, Jan. 13, 2014

In this issue:

Holiday Bowl and Big Bay Balloon Parade marching band champions
Mesa's Martin Luther King Jr. weekend celebrations
Health Office Appreciation Day 
Summer teaching jobs
Voting for Bookmans Challenge semifinalists
Mesa Public Schools in the news
Student and staff honors and awards 

Mesa High Marching Band sweeps San Diego bowl, parade awards    

Snare Drum cam
See Mesa High's award-winning field show from the snare drum cam's unique perspective.

Mesa High Marching Band members returned from their trip to San Diego with their heads held high and their hearts full of great experiences.

They won the Holiday Bowl's field show championship, earning them the opportunity to perform not only during the halftime show but also during the pregame celebration. 

Students were awestruck by the bowl-game festivities, which included a stunning fireworks show, U.S. Navy paragliders landing on the 50-yard line, and a full crowd at Qualcomm Stadium, where more than 60,000 people gathered to see Arizona State University vs. Texas Tech University.

Mesa High also won its division championship in the Big Bay Balloon Parade, broadcast by the USA television network.

Directed by Robert Brooks and Jeff Quamo, the marching band is Arizona's two-time back-to-back Division II state champion. Brooks and Quamo share their successes with their entire team of students, show writers, parent boosters, school administrators and unpaid volunteer instructors. Full story

Celebrate MLK's life, legacy

Mesa's Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations commemorate the civil rights leader's ideals of peace and equality. The theme — Many Faces, One Community — brings Mesa residents together to celebrate our successes and to continue making a difference in our town. Celebrations includes:

  • Banquet: 6-8:45 p.m. Jan.18, Marriott Hotel, 200 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, $45 (reserve your place)
    Mistress of ceremonies: Susan Casper of ABC-TV's "Sonoran Living"
    Guest speaker: Art Hamilton, voted one of the 10 best legislators in Arizona history 
  • Parade: 11 a.m.-noon Jan. 20, route on Center from Third Place to First Avenue, Mesa
    Including: Red Mountain High and Skyline High marching bands; Mesa High Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students; Westwood High Student Council, Native American Club, cheerleaders, football team, AVID students, Interact Club, New Global Citizens Club and SPARK Club; Dobson High Home Economics Related Occupations Club; East Valley Academy students; Longfellow Elementary Student Council and cheerleaders; and students in the Mayor's Youth Committee, Mesa Sister Cities Program and Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Horizons Program; community members, business supporters and civic leaders
  • High School Basketball Classic: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Jan. 20, Grand Canyon University, 37th Avenue and Camelback Road, Phoenix, admission $7 for students and $10 for adults (see the schedule)
  • Festival: noon-4 p.m. Jan. 20, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa
    Featuring: food, live music, dance performances and family activities 
  • Interfaith Candlelight Prayer Service: 1-2 p.m. Jan. 20, Nesbitt Playhouse, Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa
  • Academic Award Presentations: 2:15 to 3 p.m. Jan. 20, Mesa Arts Center, Nesbitt Playhouse, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. (see the winners)

Say thanks on Health Office Appreciation Day

Celebrate Health Office Appreciation Day on Jan. 29. Being ready to learn includes being well enough to learn. School nurses and health assistants are important members of the education team.

Health Office duties range from overseeing immunizations, providing healthcare screenings and administering first aid, to monitoring and assisting students with serious medical conditions. Our health staff is a critically needed resource in every school community. Please offer them the recognition they deserve on Health Office Appreciation Day. 

— Nadine Miller, health services director

Teach high school this summer

Community Education high school summer school teaching applications are available now. Download an application, complete it and return it to Community Education by Feb. 7. 

Vote for Irving, Dobson in Bookmans School Challenge

Irving Elementary and Dobson High are among 10 semifinalists statewide vying for $21,000 in the Bookmans School Challenge! Let's all vote for them Feb. 17-23 on Bookmans' Facebook page.

Mesa Public Schools is in the news . . . 

assistive technologyThe Arizona Republic

Assistive technology benefits special education students by enhancing academic achievement, communication and social relationships.

Mountain View High has been the biggest supporter of the district's Adopt a Migrant Family Program since the holiday drive began. They donated about 1,500 wrapped gifts, boxes of canned goods and gift cards for groceries to 274 individuals and 57 families. 


Skyline High marketing students pitched their business plans in a "Shark Tank" setting to polish their presentation skills.

East Valley Tribune

Mesa Rotary members have donated dictionaries for more than 50,000 Mesa third-graders to take home over the past decade.

Engineering is Elementary News

In "Storytelling Brings EiE Books to Life," the Museum of Science in Boston commends Cheryl McCaw and Korin Forbes, science specialists, for innovative storytelling videos that feature exciting chemical engineering, civil engineering and materials engineering applications.

Students, staff are honored for excellence

Red Mountain Ranch Elementary
Gretchen Rodeffer, first-grade teacher, was named November Homeroom Hero of the Month by radio station KTAR. She won prizes worth $1,200 from Arrowhead Honda and Reeis Home. Guidelines for a variety of awards are available online.

Dobson High

Alex Dergal is among the 100 most elite band students nationwide. He will perform in the Honor Band of America at the Music for All National Festival this spring.

Pom and cheer squads, coached by Shannon Lang, won first-place and grand champion banners at the Desert Showdown.

Air Force Junior ROTC instructors and cadets earned an overall unit assessment score of Exceeds Standards, the highest rating possible. Lt. Col. Kirk Greensfelder and Chief Master Sgt. D.J. Staflin created a dynamic and supportive learning environment, a cadet-centered citizenship program and exemplary community-outreach experiences. 

Skyline High
Jennifer McQuade's Honor Band won the Noon Salute contest and $1,000 from Fulton Homes and radio station KOOL. 

Send news to 

Lynda Jordan, community relations specialist, lkjordan@mpsaz.org, for
Facebook, Twitter and Mesa Agenda

Communications and Marketing Department


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