Volume 45, No. 3, Sept. 27, 2016

Gov. Ducey meets Jingsheng Yang at Mesa Academy. Dr. Michael Cowan and Bob Crispin look on.

Gov. Ducey visits Mesa Academy

Gov. Doug Ducey visited Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies Sept. 19. He toured the school, met students and staff, and donated $500 of his personal funds to the school.

As part of his tour, Ducey chatted with students in Jingsheng Yang's eighth-grade Chinese class (pictured), Kimberly Merlene's fifth-grade science class, Barbara Vance's fourth-grade English language arts class and Douglas Akey's music class. He ended his tour with a private Q&A with student council members. 

Thanks for your United Way contributions!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's United Way campaign. Counting is currently underway. If you haven't returned your form to Communications & Marketing yet, please do so before Wednesday, Sept. 28. Contact Miguel Flores, 480-472-0223, with any questions. 

Easy PD tips for teachers and school leaders

Teachers and leaders, wish you had more time for professional learning? Now you can get it on the go with Maricopa County Education Service Agency's TXTS 4 Teachers and TXTS 4 Leaders. This initiative sends encouragement and professional development pieces via text message. Teachers will get messages twice a week, and leaders will get one message per week. Register now to start receiving these valuable tidbits wherever you are.

Fall performance schedule

Fall 2016 high school theater performance scheduleIt's that time! District staff and students have been hard at work preparing fall high school plays. Come on out and support the phenomenal talent in Mesa Public Schools.

Dobson HighOne Man, Two Guvnors, Oct. 26-29
Mesa High: One Acts, Dec. 14-16
Mountain View HighPlay On!, Nov. 2-5
Red Mountain HighLittle Shop of Horrors, Nov. 2-5
Skyline HighBig Love, Nov. 2-3
Westwood HighThe Crucible, Oct. 27-29 

Junior-high students will also enjoy the spotlight this fall. Rhodes Junior High will present Robin Hood: A Misdirected Theatre Adaptation Nov. 3-5, and Smith Junior High presents The 8 Ways Pokemon Go is Destroying Your Life Nov. 16.

Visit the Creative and Performing Arts theater page for showtimes and more information.

Don't forget to check the district music calendar for other upcoming events.

Did you know S. Earl Phillips?

If you know family members of S. Earl Phillips, former assistant principal at Mesa Junior High from 1972 to 1976, we'd like to hear from you.

Phillips was honored with a memorial stone on campus in 1976. The stone was taken to Operations when Mesa Junior was demolished in June. Operations would like to give the stone to his loved ones.

If you have a tip that could help us find his family, please contact Miguel Flores, 480-472-0223.

TBI Family Night

Traumatic Brain Injury Family Night is back. Staff are invited to attend one of four events to learn how to better help their students with brain injuries.The district OI/TBI department hosts the events with support from Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAz) and Susan Marie Wolf, Ph.D. 

  • 5:30 p.m., Oct. 19, 2016 
  • 5:30 p.m., Dec. 7, 2016
  • 5:30 p.m., Feb. 22, 2017
  • 5:30 p.m., April 26, 2017

Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., with the program starting at 6 p.m. Social activities are provided for attending teens. Questions? Contact Carolyn Darst in Special Education, 480-472-0659.

Ready to Run with the Bulls?

Running with the Bulls race photoRegister early for Mountain View's 4th annual Running with the Bulls 5K or 10K and save. Participants will receive a shirt and swag bag. All proceeds go to AzBrainfood, Ronald McDonald House and the Mountain View Scholarship Fund.

Running with the Bulls takes place Saturday, Jan. 7, at Toro Stadium, 2700 E. Brown Road, Mesa. The 10K kicks off at 8:45 a.m. and the 5K begins at 9 a.m. A free 1/4 mile fun run is available for children with advanced registration.

Save an additional 15% before Oct. 31 when you use the code MPSFAMILY.

Cue the applause

On Sept. 21, Dr. Cowan and Holly Williams, assistant superintendent, visited the White House to celebrate the district's achievement in closing the gap. The district was honored for its diverse, representative student populations in advanced college preparatory coursework. Mesa Public Schools was one of 12 districts recognized by White House Cabinet Secretary and My Brother's Keeper taskforce chair Broderick Johnson at a dinner, hosted by Equal Opportunity Schools and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The district has committed, with support from the Lead Higher group, to ensure low-income students and students of color are matched with challenging learning opportunities to prepare them for college and future careers.

Gina Nunez, first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, with her studentsCongratulations to Jefferson Elementary first-grade teacher Gina Nunez (pictured), who won the Esperanza award Sept. 26. She was nominated by Christine Quick, Title 1 specialist, and Genessee Montes, principal, for 30 years of dedication to her students. Nunez won $5,000 cash and a $2,500 stipend for her school. Chicanos Por La Causa presents Esperanza Latino teacher awards to educators who make an impact within the Latino community. Nunez will be honored at a reception Oct. 20 in Phoenix.

For the second year in a row, Mesa Academy has been named the top middle school in Arizona by SchoolDigger. This year, the school also took the top honors in the elementary category. SchoolDigger ranks schools based on AzMERIT math and English language arts scores. Franklin Junior High took sixth place in the middle school category, while Franklin at Brimhall took seventh place in the elementary school ranking.

Mountain View High School claimed the 28th spot on Phoenix Business Journal's list of the top 50 public high schools in Arizona. School rankings were determined by 2015 average SAT scores. Way to go, Toros!

Crismon Elementary has been named a 2016-18 National PTA School of Excellence! The school was honored for its excellence in building strong family-school partnerships. Congratulations to Principal Sandi Kuhn, and the Crismon staff and community.


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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