Volume 42, No. 6, April 21, 2014

Teacher Device Initiative
Classified job openings in summer high school
2015-16 and 2016-17 school year calendars
School and department retirement receptions
Rodel Aspiring Principals
New administrators
Employees, Volunteer of the Month
Special events

John Jung
Mesa High's John Jung was named Teacher of the Year by Science Education for Students With Disabilities at the National Science Teachers Association convention.

Teacher Device Initiative

Last fall, voters approved a $230 million bond issue for Mesa Public Schools. These funds were approved to provide much-needed upgrades to our facilities, technology infrastructure and transportation services.

With the second sale of bonds, the district is using a portion of the incoming funds to address the aging population of dedicated teacher computers used for instruction and productivity.

Educational Technology and Information Systems created a website to provide information on the initiative, the chosen device and peripherals, project timelines and information surrounding companion initiatives that will make the Teacher Device Initiative possible in MPS. 

Summer high school classified jobs 

Applications are being accepted from MPS employees for security and office support positions for senior high summer school. Job descriptions and applications are available online. Submit your application to Community Education by April 24.

School year calendar adoptions

The school board will adopt calendars for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years this spring. See survey results and an invitation to comment at public hearings set for 7 p.m. April 22 and May 13 in the Board Room at 549 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa.

School and department retirement parties

Offer our retirees your congratulations and best wishes at their school and department receptions. The are listed alphabetically by location. Please email your plans to lkjordan@mpsaz.org. And check the Web page often for additional parties.

Rodel Aspiring Principals

Kelly Moreno

Mendoza Elementary's Kelly Moreno is a Rodel Aspiring Principal. Moreno and Stephanie Wilkins-Johnson of Salk Elementary are training to lead high-need schools.

The Rodel Foundation of Arizona selected two 2014 Aspiring Principals in MPS. Stephanie Wilkins-Johnson teaches third grade at Salk Elementary. Kelly Moreno teaches second grade at Mendoza Elementary. 

They were selected for their leadership ability, high expectations for student learning and collaboration skills.

The award includes $1,000, seven professional development seminars and Rodel Exemplary Principal mentors — perfect preparation to lead high-need schools.

New MPS administrators

The school board and superintendency announced 11 administrative appointments earlier this spring. Ten principals and one executive director will assume their new roles in July. Please congratulate:

  • Christel Arbogast, Emerson Elementary principal
  • Mark Norris, MacArthur Elementary principal
  • Vicki Hester, Salk Elementary principal
  • Sally Norton, Lindbergh Elementary principal
  • Colin Kelly, Hale Elementary principal
  • Lilia Gomez, Superstition Success principal
  • Jodie Dean, Kino Junior High principal
  • Jared Ryan, Red Mountain High principal
  • Lisa Creaser, Mesa High principal
  • Kirk Thomas, Rhodes Junior High principal
  • Shane McCord, executive director of innovation and strategic projects

Employees of the Month

Vicki Grant

Mike Nichols, school board member, honors Vicki Grant, Falcon Hill Elementary special education instructional assistant.

The school board and superintendent honored Employees of the Month in March and presented each one a certificate, a tribute and $400 for professional development. March winners:

  • Doug Aaron, facility assistant liaison, Custodial Department
  • Chris Coughlin, music teacher, Taylor Junior High
  • Vicki Grant, special education instructional assistant, Falcon Hill Elementary
  • Holly Platt, Title I school improvement specialist, Sirrine Elementary
Employees nominate school- and district-based teachers and support staff who contribute greatly to the quality of MPS and make a difference in the lives of students and staff. Nominate your colleagues.

Special events

'FIRST GENERATION' Come to a free screening of the award-winning "First Generation" documentary at 6 p.m. April 23 in the Virginia Piper Theater at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa. "First Generation" hosts are Mesa Counts on College and City Councilman David Luna, MPS educational TV director. Everyone's welcome.

YOUNG AT ART Join us at the Young at Art opening extravaganza from 5 to 10 p.m. April 25 at Creative and Performing Arts, 155 N. Center St., Mesa. Admission is free. Everyone's welcome. The gala features:

  • the best-of-the-best artwork by junior high and high school students throughout MPS
  • live performances by secondary dance, theater and music students
  • gourmet samples created by culinary arts students

The Young at Art show continues April 28 through May 1. 

VOICES 2014 — The Voices 2014 Anthology features the work of first-place winners in this year's district writing contest. Enjoy the unique, compelling and engaging voices of MPS students and staff. The awards ceremony's set for 6 p.m. May 1 in the Franklin at Brimhall Elementary auditorium, 4949 E. Southern Ave., Mesa.

EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT SERVICES AWARDS — Special education students will be honored for outstanding achievement. Students, staff and community members will be honored for exemplary service and contributions to our students with disabilities and our special education programs. Winners will be honored during our 45th annual celebration at 7 p.m. May 2 at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St., Mesa. Everyone's invited.

DINNER AND HARPS Dinner and Harps, on May 5, promises to be a memorable evening, featuring a gourmet meal and the most magnificent music! Admission to the concert is free. Dinner tickets are on sale now.

People, places, special days to celebrate!

Ruth MaxwellSchool Board President Mike Hughes honors MPS Volunteer of the Month Ruth Maxwell of O'Connor Elementary. Nominate a volunteer where you work.

VOLUNTEER WEEK The school board proclaimed April 21-25 as Public School Volunteer Week. The proclamation highlights the board's appreciation for parent and community involvement and urges others to join our volunteer team to support our students and staff. 

SPECIAL DAYS — Coming our way this spring are special days for administrative professionals, crossing guards, teachers, cafeteria workers and educational bosses.

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH — The school board and superintendent honored Students of the Month this year for the first time in the history of MPS. See all the photos and tributes online. Awards resume in September.

HOLMES ELEMENTARY 5OTH ANNIVERSARY — Celebrate 50 years of excellence in education at Holmes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 25 on the campus at 948 S. Horne St., Mesa. The party includes the presentation of the colors, comments by current and former principals, a '50s sock hop, a hula-hoop contest, a limbo contest and root-beer floats.

PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARDS — MPS, Boeing and Mesa Community College won five awards from the Arizona School Public Relations Association for our Boeing partnership, our school board recognition programs, our social media, the MPS-MCC Bilingual Education Guide and the district's "telenovela" video series on Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards.

PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR — The Mesa Professional Educators association presented Cara Steiner, Johnson Elementary principal, this year's Outstanding Educational Leadership Award.

KNIX TEACHER OF THE WEEK — Molly Thede, Bush Elementary second-grade teacher, won the Teacher of the Week Award from KNIX-Radio and Fulton Homes.

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