Volume 44, No. 10, Mar. 11, 2016

Happy spring break Have a safe and fun spring break

Whether you have the entire week off or only a few days, have a safe, happy and relaxing spring break. As a reminder, schools are closed March 14-18. District offices are closed March 17-18, with limited services March 14-16. Schools and offices will also be closed Friday, March 25, for spring holiday.

Register for Summer Institute

Certified staff, mark your calendars! Registration for the 2016 Summer Institute opens at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 21. Log in to ERO to view available sessions. A variety of courses are offered, including sessions focused on mathematics and blended learning. If you have questions, contact Suzy Harrelson in Professional Development, slharrelson@mpsaz.org or 472-0385.

Benedictine University scholarships available for staff, dependents and students

Benedictine University has partnered with Mesa Public Schools to offer a $3,000 scholarship to eligible district graduates, employees and dependents of employees. The Mesa Partnership Scholarship is for full-time traditional undergraduate students enrolled beginning fall 2016 at Benedictine's Mesa campus. The scholarship may be annually renewed if students maintain good academic standing. Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming informational sessions. Contact Admissions at 602-888-5500 or mesa@ben.edu for more information.

New principal appointments

The school board and superintendency announced five elementary administrative appointments at the March 8 board meeting. More administrative appointments will be announced shortly. Principals will assume their new roles in July. Please welcome:

  • Christy Cuddy, Highland Arts Elementary. Cuddy is an assistant principal in the Balsz district.
  • Gregory Reid, Johnson Elementary. Reid is currently principal at Entz Elementary.
  • Denise Sandy-Sanchez, Kerr Elementary. Sandy-Sanchez is a principal with Albuquerque Public Schools.
  • Thomas Heminger, Lindbergh Elementary. Heminger is the Title I specialist at Emerson Elementary. 
  • Nonie Sundve, Patterson Elementary. Sundve is the Title I specialist at Longfellow Elementary.

Learn more about Prop. 123

Voters will decide May 17 whether or not to approve Proposition 123, which directly affects public school funding. The Governing Board and superintendency, with input from our employee group representatives, are thoroughly analyzing appropriate uses of Prop. 123 funds if it is approved. These budget discussions will be an important part of board study sessions from now until the election. This infographic shares with you six fast facts about Prop. 123. Download a print-quality PDF. All MPS employees are reminded to review district policy on election and campaign activities communicated in the March 4 issue of Mesa Agenda.

Prop 123 infographc

Field Elementary remembers a lost colleague

In October, Field Elementary lost school psychologist Christina Porpora in a tragic motorcycle accident. To honor her dedication to students, the school planted a tree in her memory and raised funds to install a buddy bench on the primary playground. The bench is a place for students to go when they feel lonely. Field staff is working with students to help them understand that if they see anyone on the bench, they should include them and make a new friend. What a wonderful way to honor Porpora's memory! 

KinderU Fun in the Sun Festival

This year's Fun in the Sun Festival will be 9 a.m. to noon, Wed. April 13, at Countryside Park. This is a phenomenal opportunity for families with young children to participate in activities coordinated by district KinderU teachers. Parents will learn how to recreate learning opportunities at home and how these playful activities meet state curriculum standards.

Cue the applause

Dobson Forestry 2016Congratulations to Dobson High School's Forestry CDE (Career Development Event) team for taking first place in the state competition March 4. Team members are (pictured left to right) Katelin Smith, Ellie Rollins, Sydney Drop and Josh Kinslow. Ashley Masters is adviser. In October, the team will represent Arizona at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

This year's Voices winners have been announced. Voices is an annual writing contest sponsored by Curriculum and Instruction, open to all students and staff. This year, nearly 800 entries were submitted in the categories of class books, narratives, essays and poetry. First-place winners' writing will be published in the Voices 2016 anthology. A list of first-place and honorable mention winners can be found on the English Language Arts elementary or secondary sites. The recipients will be honored at the District Writing Awards Ceremony May 5 at Franklin at Brimhall.

Bush Elementary fifth-grader Jackson Springer will represent Mesa at the state spelling bee Saturday, March 19, in Phoenix. Good luck, Jackson!

Three district schools were honored by Beat the Odds, an initiative of the Center for the Future of Arizona. Beat the Odds is a multi-year school improvement program that provides principal mentoring and training. The program focuses on K-12 schools where at least 50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch and at least 50 percent are minority students. This year's Beat the Odds schools are Redbird Elementary, which received the silver award, and Rhodes Junior High and Stevenson Elementary, which received bronze awards.

Send news to:

Heidi Hurst, district communications supervisor

Submit an award or recognition or tell us about a special event via our good news form.


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