Volume 42, No. 4, Jan. 29, 2014

Rodel Exemplary Principal, Rodel Aspiring Principal application, events, Employees and Volunteer of the Month, achievements, news coverage, social media

Kent Ashton named 2014 Rodel Exemplary Principal

Dr. Kent AshtonThe Rodel Foundation named Mendoza Elementary's Kent Ashton one of Arizona's top educational leaders.

Each year's Exemplary Principals provide professional development and field experience to Rodel Aspiring Principals. 

Ashton's experience includes 23 years in education, including six years as a sixth-grade teacher, six years as an assistant principal and eight years as a principal in Illinois before taking the helm at Mendoza in 2010.

He serves on the district's Teacher Evaluation Task Force, Gifted and Talented Review Committee and Curriculum Advisory Team.

See Ashton's Rodel profile, which covers bragging rights, a tip for new principals, setting high expectations, a tip for parents and learning from a mentor.

Want to be a principal?

Teachers and coaches who'd like to become principals can learn from the top educational leaders in Arizona. Apply for the Rodel Aspiring Principal program by March 1.

Exceptional educators in high-need schools are chosen each year. Aspiring Principals receive $1,000 after completing professional development activities and internships with Rodel Exemplary Principals.

Come to events for students, staff, residents

Students invited to Elementary Fun Run
Children throughout the district are invited to register for a free Elementary One-Mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Red Mountain Soccer Complex, 905 N. Sunvalley Blvd., Mesa.

Dobson High sponsors Goodwill donation drive
The Mustang softball team welcomes your gently used clothes, shoes, accessories, books, housewares, furniture and electronics. The Goodwill donation drive is set for noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at 1501 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa. The team earns money for every pound of donated items. 

District SciTech Expo charges full STEAM ahead 
The Mesa Public Schools SciTech Expo is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at Red Mountain High, 7301 E. Brown Road, Mesa. Admission's free. People of all ages will love this exciting celebration of science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Red Mountain High memorial 5K funds scholarships 
The Red Mountain track and field team, coaches and Booster Club members are sponsoring the Steve Rushing 5K Memorial Run on March 15. Everyone is welcome. Proceeds fund scholarships.

Accept Mountain View High's dodgeball challenge 
Invite your high school class, club or team to take on its rivals at Mountain View's invitational Dodgeball Tournament on March 29. The event is sponsored by the Toro Marching Band. Register online.

Board honors Employees, Volunteer of the Month

Jan Jackson and Steven Peterson

Board Member Steven Peterson presents an Employee of the Month award to Highland Elementary's Jan Jackson, clerical assistant.

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. Click the names to read this month's tributes:

Employees of the Month

  • Nancy Berthold, Mesa High, math and Advancement Via Individual Determination teacher
  • Sabrina Dunn, Jefferson Elementary, reading interventionist
  • Jan Jackson, Highland Elementary, clerical assistant

Volunteer of the Month

Employees of the Month receive certificates, tributes and $400 for professional development.

Volunteers of the Month receive certificates, tributes, tumblers, candy bouquets and coasters from Mesa Public Schools.

Volunteers also receive $50 gift cards and books titled "Because of You: Celebrating the Difference You Make" from the Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Volunteer and Employee of the Month nomination forms are available online. Nominate someone where you work.

Achievements abound

Mayor, City Council honor Mesa High Marching Band
The Mesa City Council presented a plaque to Mesa High Marching Band students, directors, parents and boosters for their accomplishments, including back-to-back state championships, and San Diego's Holiday Bowl field competition and Big Bay Balloon Parade championships.

Smith student captures District Spelling Bee championship
Kalie Reynolds, Smith Junior High eighth-grader, won the District Spelling Bee. Kalie is in the top 12 Mesa spellers qualified to compete at regionals Feb. 22 in Tempe.

Haylee Mueller and

Monica Torres, Keller Elementary principal, presents Haylee Mueller's Student of the Month tribute and a congratulatory hug at the school board meeting.

District honors Students of the Month
Students of the Month are Haylee Mueller, Keller Elementary; Paige Arnett, Hermosa Vista Elementary; Dallen Taylor, Salk Elementary; Emily Hawbaker, Dobson High; Jocelyne Beltran Leyva, Guerrero Elementary; and Erica Shaul, School Home Adjustment Reinforcement Program.

Orchestra teacher nominated for Governor's Award
Chris Donlon, orchestra teacher at Bush, Whitman and Franklin at Brimhall elementaries, has been nominated for a Governor's Art Award. Winners will be announced at the Mesa Arts Center in March.

Dobson wrestlers win in Winslow
Steven Tannenbaum's Dobson High wrestlers won first place at the Doc Wright Invitational in Winslow. 

Skyline shines at Desert District DECA competition
Vicki Tolman's Skyline High DECA students won 21 medals, including five for first-place, at the Desert District competition at ASU Polytechnic.

Jefferson parents win essay contest
Parents in the Jefferson Family Literacy Program won first place in the 
Arizona Adult Literacy Week writing contest. Their book of personal essays focused on how lifelong learning is changing their lives.

Vote for Irving, Dobson in Bookmans School Challenge
Our Irving Iguanas and Dobson Mustangs are among 10 semifinalists statewide vying for $21,000 in the Bookmans School Challenge! Vote for them Feb. 17-23 on the Bookmans Facebook page.

School board elects 2014 officers
Mike Hughes was elected 2014 school board president; and Michelle Udall, clerk. Members are Michael Nichols, Steven Peterson and Dr. Ben Whiting.

Mesa Public Schools in the news

Jenn BockKaley O'Kelley of KTVK-TV surprised Poston Junior High's Jenn Bock, band teacher, with a Silver Apple Award and a check for $500. 

Ron Latko stars in national video
Ron Latko, transportation and fleet management director, is featured in the "Easy Transition" episode of "Straight Talk," a video series produced by the Propane Education and Research Council.

Testimonials explain how propane reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel and maintenance costs. 

Kids thrive in dual-language classes
In an article by Brian Hay, Keller Elementary's Title I school improvement specialist, The Arizona Republic reports increased student achievement in the Dual Language Program, enhanced community involvement and plans for expansion next school year. "The payoff is huge for students who are proficient in both languages," said Lourdes Mehia, fourth-grade teacher.

Everyone's a champion
See the action captured by ABC-TV when Westwood and Red Mountain high varsity baseball players hosted a game to champion inclusion and opportunity for moderately intellectually disabled schoolmates. Ending in a 25-25 tie, the postgame celebration rivaled the most exciting World Series!

Cheerleaders star on 'Arizona Morning'
Skyline High cheerleaders were featured five times on Fox-TV's morning show to promote PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Friday Dance Break. 

Porter, Jefferson raise $$ for H2O for Life
Jefferson and Porter netted more than $2,000 to bring clean water to families in Kenya, Africa. Congressman Matt Salmon, a member of the House Committee on Education in Washington, D.C., visited Porter students and staff to celebrate the global humanitarian efforts of the Hope Club, sponsored by Amber Mendoza. Ed-TV 99 covered the inspiring story.

Follow Mesa Public Schools on social media

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube

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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