Volume 44, No. 12, Apr. 19, 2016

Come to the Financial Wellness Fair

The district's free Financial Wellness Fair is 3:15 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in the Student Services Center. All employees and family members are invited to attend. Prizes and giveaways are available. Register today to hold your spot in one of the workshops.

2016-17 budget and the impact of Prop 123

As we await the outcome of the Prop 123 election on May 17, the district is busy preparing for next year. Dual budgets are being developed to reflect the two possible scenarios — with and without the Prop 123 funds. This infographic shows the impact of Prop 123 on the additional monies available in the 2016-17 budget.

Prop 123 4.19

Without Prop 123 funds, the district will have $6.4 million in new funding to allocate for the next school year.

If Prop 123 passes, the district will receive an additional $14.1 million in funding next year, bringing the total funds to be allocated by the Governing Board to $20.5 million. Recommendations for use of these funds include:

  • Additional compensation for current employees
  • Increasing the starting salary for new teachers
  • New positions to support growth/needs in Special Education, Educational Technology and Information Systems

If you want to learn more about Prop 123, informational materials can be found at www.mpsaz.org/info. Check back regularly for updates.

Did you know that if Prop 123 passes, funding also becomes available this year? Mesa's allocation would be $12.9 million. Learn about the recommended allocation of these funds in the next issue of Mesa Agenda.

New administrators announced

At the April 12 board meeting, two new administrator appointments were announced. More announcements are expected shortly. Administrators will begin their positions July 1. Congratulations to:

  • Patricia Christie, prinicipal, Rhodes Junior High. Christie is currently the district's director of professional development.
  • Tracy Yslas, director, professional development and curriculum. Yslas is currently principal at Eisenhower Center for Innovation. She was previously announced as an incoming director of curriculum.

Cumberledge mustache

Field students rise to the challenge

Field Elementary Principal Scott Cumberledge challenged his students to attend the school's "I mustache you to read a book with your child" event March 31. He promised that if at least 100 students attended the event with their families, he'd shave his mustache and keep his beard at a school assembly the next day. As you can see, the students met the challenge and he kept his promise!

Three district schools honored for STEM excellence

Mendoza Elementary, Red Mountain High School and Sirrine Elementary are three of the 57 Arizona schools accepted into the new AZ STEM School Community of Practice. AZ STEM School Community of Practice is a community made up of school-based teams who share a passion for STEM education. The community interacts throughout the school year to learn from each other about how to do their work better.

Arizona SciTech along with Intel, Arizona Science Center and the Maricopa Education Service Agency are leading the initiative as part of a STEM ecosystem within the STEM Funders Network.

Celebrate at the 47th annual Student Service Awards

Student Service Award winners will be honored during our 47th annual celebration at 7 p.m. April 29 at Mountain View High School.

Each year, Mesa Public Schools honors students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement either as special education students or in support of special education students. Awards are also presented to teachers, support personnel and community members who have demonstrated exemplary service to our students with disabilities.

Everyone's invited to join us in celebrating the remarkable accomplishments and contributions in special education programs and services by this year's winners.

Rhodes hosts its first Career Night

Rhodes Junior High held its first Career Night March 30. Guest speakers from more than 20 professions talked to students and families about their jobs, career paths and college preparation. A variety of fields were represented during the event, including health and medicine, education, STEM, business and finance, government, law, public safety, communication and the arts. Rhodes AVID-trained teachers who organized the successful event are Marissa Felix, Emily Carrasco, Gloria Chavez and Jeannine Kuropatkin.

Carson FMSC

Carson staff feeds hungry children

Ten Carson Junior High staff members volunteered March 9 at Feed My Starving Children in Mesa. At FMSC, volunteers hand-pack meals specially formulated for malnourished children in more than 70 countries.

Carson staffers Angelica Aguayo, Cathy Ball, Kandy Buck, Patricia Cadena, Susan Fierros, Stephenie Garcia, Mary Lucero, Christina Muros, Edgar Muros and Melinda Ruiz packaged approximately 24 boxes of food to be shipped to the Philippines. This will provide more than 5,000 meals. Way to go, team!

Apply for instructional support jobs

Teachers on non-exclusionary contracts are eligible to apply. To be considered for a position, you must complete an online application. Under the Internal Applicants section, click "View internal positions" for position information, complete job description and the online application.


  • Reading (elementary)
  • Professional development
  • Title I School Improvement (school-based positions: elementary and junior high)

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

Free personal safety class for district employees

Victory Martial Arts is offering a free empowerment/safety class for district employees and their friends or family at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 23. The school that has the most employees participating will win a trophy. 

Cue the applause


Loretta Zullo, director of food and nutrition, was named the 2016 Director of the Year by the School Nutrition Association of Arizona. Zullo will be honored at the national convention in San Antonio in July, as well as the state conference in September.

Dobson High School varsity boys basketball coach Rick McConnell (pictured) won the Spirit of Cotton award from the Phoenix Suns. McConnell has won a commemorative ring, plaque and $10,000 to go toward the school's athletics program. He was honored at the April 13 Suns game, exactly 10 years after his father, Dick McConnell, earned the very first Spirit of Cotton award.

Congratulations to Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies for winning the 2016 city and state National Academic League championships. The Knights, coached by Joseph Reilly and Michael Spencer, also made it to the final four in the national tournament. NAL is a highly competitive academic sport for students whose knowledge spans 22 subjects in math, language, science, social studies and current events. Smith Junior High, coached by Wiley Popovich and Matt Ishikawa, was named city and state runner-up. 

Red Mountain High School's Plasma Robotics team won the Chairman's Award at the Arizona West Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. This award is the highest honor given at the competition and recognizes the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. The team will represent the state at the national event in St. Louis, Missouri, April 27-30. Congrats to the team and coaches Adam Middleton, Cheryl Dunham, Russ Harris, Daja Harris and Alisa Ardavin.

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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