Volume 43, Number 10, Feb. 19, 2015

Instruction support and summer high school job openings; Innovation in Teaching Award for Mesa Academy's Jingsheng Yang; Dobson's Robert Nichols named 2015 Music Educator of the Year; Music awards for Franklin East, Red Mountain High, Field, Wilson and Mesa High teachers; Employees of the Month; Whitman wins Governor's Award; AVID Elementary showcase at Porter; SciTech Expo; GCU and ASU educational opportunities.

Apply for instructional support jobs

Teachers on non-exclusionary contracts are eligible to apply beginning Feb. 25. To be considered for a position, you must complete an online application no later than March 22. Click here to access the online application.

Under the Internal Applicants section, click "View internal positions" for position information, complete job description and the online application.

• Title I school improvement (school-based position)
• Title I ESEA (district-based position) 
• Curriculum content in secondary English language arts
• Instructional intervention (pre-intervention, focus- and priority-designated schools)
Educational technology trainer
Harp specialist
vAcademy specialist (high-school algebra and geometry)
Dual Language Immersion (Kindergarten Spanish/English)
ELAD department specialist 

Please note: These are anticipated openings and they may change.

Classified job openings in summer high school

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 March 30.


Yang wins Innovation in Teaching award

Jingsheng Yang, Mandarin Chinese teacher at Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, was one of 14 teachers selected as winners in the Innovation in Teaching Competition, hosted by the ASU Confucius Institute.

The competition recognizes K-12 teachers in Arizona who use effective and innovative strategies to teach Mandarin. Along with receiving a monetary award and certificate, Yang will produce a demonstration video of her strategies, including unit plans and supplementary materials, to share with all Arizona educators who teach Chinese.

Dobson orchestra director named 2015 Music Educator of the Year

Director Robert Nichols was honored as the 2015 Music Educator of the Year at the Arizona Music Educators Association annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 6. Nichols has been with Mesa Public Schools for 33 years, mostly as director of orchestras at Mesa and Dobson high schools. He has also taught choir, marching band and concert band.

Director of Mesa High orchestras honored with service award

Karalee Hagen, director of orchestras at Mesa High School, was recognized Feb. 6 with the Arizona Music Educators Association's George C. Wilson Leadership/Service award. Recipients are AMEA members who have committed unyielding amounts of service and demonstrated strong leadership in the association. Hagan was nominated by the general state membership and affirmed by the AMEA nominating committee.

District music teachers receive Outstanding Mentor Teacher awards

ASU School of Music recognized Kelly Higgins, music and band teacher at Franklin East; Joseph Johnston, Red Mountain High choir director; and Dr. Jamie Johnson, Field and Wilson orchestra teacher, as 2015 Outstanding Mentor Teachers during the Arizona Music Educators Convention. Dr. Jill Sullivan honored the teachers for mentoring ASU student teachers and interns for 25 years.

Kelly Higgins remarked, "I have truly enjoyed helping these young teachers along in their journey and am honored that I have been allowed to mentor the next generation of music teachers. I hope I have been able to transfer my joy of teaching to them."

Employees of the Month

Diane Hobbs EOTMGoverning Board President Dr. Ben Whiting congratulates Diane Hobbs, January Employee of the Month. Hobbs is a special education instructional assistant at Johnson Elementary.

January Employees of the Month were recognized by the Governing Board. Read their tributes:

Dr. Rebecca Cryder, social studies teacher and AVID coach, Skyline High
Nick Delgudico, HVAC specialist, Operations
Josh Henderson, TAP master teacher, Whitman Elementary
Diane Hobbs, special education instructional assistant, Johnson Elementary

The employment recognition program honors school- and district-based staff members who contribute greatly to the quality of MPS. They make a remarkable difference in the lives of students and staff. Nominate someone where you work. Guidelines and nomination forms are available online.

Governor's Award given to Whitman Elementary

Whitman Elementary was recognized at the second annual Educational Excellence Impact awards. The awards are hosted by Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College School Partnership Grant Programs Advisory Council.

The school took home three awards, including the Governor's Award, which recognizes schools with outstanding teachers based on value-added performance and student growth.

Whitman was the runner-up for the Superintendent's Award and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College award. The Superintendent's Award recognizes schools that show significant growth based on the state board of education's A-F school letter grades. The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College award recognizes significant improvement in the functioning of a school as a result of the implementation of TAP, the System for Teacher and Student Advancement.

Porter AVID

Porter named AVID Elementary showcase

Porter Elementary was selected as the district's first AVID Elementary showcase by AVID's Western division, allowing educators and administrators to learn more about the program. AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) Elementary focuses on instruction, culture, leadership and systems. It incorporates student success skills, organizational skills, partnerships and WICOR lessons (writing to learn, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading to learn in all content areas).

"AVID teachers are trained in effective strategies to use with current curriculum," Principal Paula Warren explains. "We all share the same over-arching goals, but each grade level chooses how they will reach that goal. Teachers, students, administration and support staff share a common vocabulary and voice. In AVID schools, students take charge of their learning."

SciTech Expo

The "Full STEAM Ahead" SciTech Expo will be held Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Red Mountain High School. The Expo will celebrate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) with exciting hands-on activities, exhibits, simulations and demonstrations led by schools, colleges, City of Mesa departments, organizations and businesses.

GCU evening and online cohorts

Grand Canyon University will have the Master of Education: Educational Administration or Leadership program starting on campus in Mesa for Mesa Public Schools employees. This cohort starts March 19 and comes with a 31-percent tuition reduction.

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs are also available online with a 10-percent tuition reduction. Click here for more information. Employee spouses receive a five-percent tuition reduction. For more information regarding Grand Canyon University, contact Jessica Kelly, district liaison.

Receive up to $25,000 by enrolling in ASU's master's in secondary education program

Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College will award up to $25,000 to those candidates enrolled in the May 2015 TEAMS Mesa master's in secondary education with Arizona teacher certification program. This 15-month graduate degree is designed for those interested in teaching math or science subjects in grades six through 12. Students complete all coursework and student teaching in Mesa Public Schools. Click here for more information, and contact Kaitlyn Carr at Kaitlyn.m.carr@asu.edu or at 602-496-0126.


Current Issue | All Past Issues