Volume 45, No. 6, Dec. 5, 2016

Thank you graphicThank you for supporting Chipotle Day

Just by eating dinner at Chipotle Nov. 30, our community raised $7,840.43 for the Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence.

We'd like to thank our employees for participating and helping to spread the word about Mesa Public Schools Chipotle Day. We'd also like to thank Chipotle for being an incredible partner. 

The Mesa Foundation for Educational Excellence will use the money raised to help students and staff via their various programs. Learn more about the Foundation.

Lenovo troubleshooting advice

Have you been having district-issued Lenovo troubles lately? Keep your computer running smoothly with these tips:

  • Restart or shut down your device at least three times a week. Do this daily for even better results. It usually solves most device issues.
  • Regularly update your device using the Windows and Lenovo computer updates outlined on the information systems webpage
  • WiDi frustrations? Regular updates or a simple restart will usually solve the problem. If not, the WiDi may need a firmware update. Submit a work order to the online help desk.

If you've been experiencing a delay while opening a folder window, the internet browser or accessing a file from the network, help is on the way. The IS staff and network storage vendor have identified the solution and are in the process of installing new and additional hardware to ease the strain on the system. Thank you for your patience.

Peachjar launches in January

On Jan. 10, Mesa Public Schools will launch Peachjar for employees. Peachjar is a flier management system that allows us to share district information, opportunities and local business offerings with you through your email. You will also be able to view these fliers by clicking the Peachjar button that will be on the Employee Resources webpage.

In January, you will receive a welcome email from Peachjar that includes a username and password. This account gives you the opportunity to manage your flier delivery preferences. You do not need to log in to receive or view fliers.

Using Peachjar will help ensure employees are well informed about district programs, activities and events.

Kids Corner is now Xplore

Xplore logoXplore has replaced Kids Corner. The district's new before- and after-school program features innovative academic and recreational opportunities for students. Students start the after-school program in the multi-purpose room with an organized, energy-burning physical activity, such as yoga, dance, yo-yoing or a group game. They then enjoy a snack and a learning activity. Time is built into the schedule for homework, and help if needed.

Community education and educational technology are working together to provide students with additional learning opportunities. Students have access to computers and can log on to their learning dashboard. They can also explore curriculum-based games, participate in robotics or learn computer coding, cartooning, keyboarding or piano. 

Employees may receive a discount for their children. Pay the part-time rate for full-time care.

Discounted ice-skating tickets in downtown Mesa

Until Dec. 20, the City of Mesa is offering all district employees a discounted ticket price of $7 to ice skate for one hour (including skate rental) at the Merry Main Street ice rink, located at City Plaza, 20 E. Main St., Mesa. Employees may purchase up to four tickets to skate Monday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. Just show your MPS ID badge to get the discount. This offer does not apply to Fridays or Saturdays.

Writing contest open for seventh- to 12th-graders

The Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest is now open for students in grades seven through 12. This creative writing contest asks students to answer the question, "If you were President of the United States, what would be your top issue and how would you address it?" Entries are being accepted online until Dec. 23. The top three contest winners will receive an Amazon gift card and recognition at a state Board of Education meeting (along with bragging rights for their teacher). Encourage your students to enter and share their talents!

Buy your holiday plants

Dobson and Red Mountain high school FFA students are selling poinsettias again this year. Dobson High School has red, white and pink poinsettias available. Open greenhouse day is Dec. 10. Contact Ashley Masters at 480-472-3266. Red Mountain High School is selling freedom red and polar bear white poinsettias. Contact Kevin Hicks via email. At both schools, small (single) plants are $6, medium (double) plants are $12 and large (triple) plants are $18. Westwood High School has houseplants, and banana and blackberry plants available for $3-4. Contact Sue Larson at 480-472-4590.

Cue the applause

Ginger McCarty and Ben Whiting Employee of the Month recognition at the Nov. 22 board meetingRenee Parker, Sirrine Elementary principal, has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2017 Rodel Exemplary Principal award. Parker was selected from 1,861 candidates due to her accomplishments in improving student learning in a high-needs school and cultivating a culture of high expectations. Later this month, she will learn if she moves on to the next round. Good luck!

At the Nov. 22 Governing Board meeting, Emerson Elementary first-grade teacher Charlene Bahr Leatham and Lowell Elementary PE teacher Daniel Velazquez were named Educators of the Month. Ginger McCarty, secretary to the director in Human Resources (pictured), and George Williams, lead custodian at Falcon Hill/Operations, were recognized as Employees of the Month. Hawthorne Elementary's Krista Nielson was named Volunteer of the Month.

Three schools won We Care awards at the Nov. 22 board meeting. The We Care program recognizes schools with an inviting learning environment. Beginning in September, a trained team of retired administrators visited 26 schools, observing the aesthetics and cleanliness of the exterior and interior of the campuses. Schools were scored using a well-defined three-point scale. The schools with the highest points were Brinton, Hale and Highland Arts elementary schools. We Care award-winning principals receive a plaque for the school, while the school's facilities team members receive a letter of recognition and $100 stipend. Congratulations!

It was time to celebrate perfect attendance at the Nov. 22 board meeting. Crismon, Franklin at Alma, Franklin at Brimhall, Franklin East and Franklin West elementary schools had the least amount of absences per job position. The schools' principals accepted a plaque on behalf of their staff. Five employees were honored for individual perfect attendance. Field Elementary's Jennifer Ramirez, O'Connor Elementary's John LeSueur and special education's Judy Shanker have five years of perfect attendance. Franklin West's Marcene Cook celebrates 10 years, while Shelley Richardson from creative and performing arts has a whopping 30 years of perfect attendance. Each employee received a certificate and plaque. Well done, everyone! 

At the Nov. 15 general administrators meeting, four directors and principals were named Rulers of the Month for 2016-17. Tracy Yslas, director of professional development; Greg Milbrandt, Mountain View High School principal; Jami Hovet, chief financial officer; and Todd Roberts, Fremont Junior High principal, were recognized as the August-November Rulers of the Month, respectively. Ruler of the Month is sponsored by Mesa Association of School Administrators (MASA) and Horace Mann. All principals and directors are eligible to be nominated by their peers.

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.


Follow Mesa Public Schools on social media

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram


Current Issue | All Past Issues