Volume 45, No. 9, March 22, 2017

Spring Summer 2017 Achieve cover

Achieve is on its way

The spring/summer 2017 issue of Achieve is currently being sent to all mailboxes in Mesa Public Schools boundaries. This issue features a few of the countless teachers who make a difference throughout the district, along with spotlights on school nurses and Gifted and Talented. 

Copies will arrive soon at all district schools and departments. Interested in extra copies? Call Communications and Marketing at 480-472-0223. Read Achieve online on the district website.

This community-focused, cost-efficient district publication comes out twice a year. Did you know...

  • Positive local media coverage of education has been dwindling each year? Achieve is an opportunity to promote the district's programs and successes to households across district boundaries.
  • Outside advertisements keep the cost of Achieve low? It is only 18 cents per issue to produce and mail the magazine.
  • Almost 20 percent of Mesa residents are senior citizens? Even if residents don't have school-aged children, they are still stakeholders who vote in elections that pertain to public education. Achieve is a great way to share information about the district with everyone in the community.

New administrative appointments

The school board and superintendency announced six junior-high-school and elementary principal appointments at the Feb. 28 board meeting. More administrative appointments will be announced shortly. Principals will assume their new roles in July. Please welcome:

  • Stacey Ball, Webster Elementary. Ball is currently dean of students at Emerson and Webster elementary schools.
  • James Fisher, Stapley Junior High. Fisher is currently assistant principal at Mesquite High School.
  • Christina Larson, Lehi Elementary. Larson is currently Lehi's Title I specialist.
  • Michael Rapier, Poston Junior High. Rapier is currently assistant principal at Mesa High School. 
  • Dr. Jessica Seaman, Stevenson Elementary. Dr. Seaman is currently assistant principal at Pathfinder Academy. Kathy Ray, current Stevenson principal, was previously announced as incoming principal at Porter Elementary.
  • Nichole Wilfert, Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies. Wilfert is currently principal at Desert Mountain High School.

February's customer service rock stars

Congratulations to the top three schools that received the most customer service survey submissions from their communities in February:

  1. Lehi Elementary — 35 entries
  2. Lindbergh Elementary — 19 entries
  3. Keller Elementary — 8 entries
We received numerous compliments about several schools and departments, including this comment from Becky, a parent at Westwood High School: "Mr. Tim Miholich has been my son's counselor since he started at Westwood and is now my daughter's counselor. I cannot say enough good things about this man. He has helped me and my children in so many ways. We have met on several occasions regarding grades and class scheduling. He is prompt to return calls or emails and is always willing to take the time when you call. Counselors like him are what makes my job as a parent much easier."

Need more customer service cards at your location? They're free from the warehouse — code: 9135151ESW. An online form is available on the district home page. Consider placing a link on your school or department home page. 

Five district teachers invited to NASA

Members of Team M.E.S.A.: Mandy Heal, Kimberly Merlene, Matthew Berzins, Amber Amaya and Heather HaynieNext stop, NASA. Team M.E.S.A., comprising Hale Elementary's Mandy Heal, Mesa Academy's Kimberly Merlene, Kino Junior High's Matthew Berzins, Mendoza Elementary's Heather Haynie and Porter Elementary's Amber Amaya (pictured left to right), has been invited to perform orbital insertion experiments at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The team was selected after submitting a proposal on behalf of their students. Only 12 teams from across the country have been selected to participate. 

In April, the teachers will test a student-derived Satellite Launching Experimental Device on the Precision Air Bearing Floor of the Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility while videoconferencing with their students. NASA Ustream will provide a streaming link for public viewing. Learn more about NASA's Microgravity University for Educators.

East Valley Pops Orchestra gives back

The East Valley Pops Orchestra recently presented a concert at Kino Junior High. Fifth- and sixth-grade band and orchestra students from Edison, Kerr, Lindbergh, Robson and Webster elementary schools were also invited to the event, hosted by Kino's instrumental music department. Along with a great night of music, all six schools were awarded $1,000 donations to use for music needs at each school. Thank you to the East Valley Pops Orchestra, which is under the direction of former district teacher Julie Mahoney.

Young at Art

The 29th annual district Young at Art show will be 5 to 10 p.m. April 21 at the creative and performing arts building, 155 N. Center St., Mesa. The gala features artwork from junior-high and high-school students, along with live dance, music and theatre performances. District culinary arts students will create delectable treats for attendees. Find more information and additional gallery dates on the creative and performing arts department page.

KinderU Fun in the Sun Festival

This year's Fun in the Sun Festival will be 9 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 26, 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

Courtney Teatro, PE teacher at Stevenson ElementaryCourtney Teatro, Stevenson Elementary PE teacher (right), has been named the Southwest District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). She was honored at last week's convention in Boston, Mass. 

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. First-place winners' writing will be published in the Voices 2017 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 4 at Franklin at Brimhall.

Mesa Independent Professional Educators named Shawn Lynch Principal of the Year. The Westwood High principal was surprised by the honor at a school assembly March 3.

Congratulations to the February Educators and Employee of the Month, who were recognized at the Feb. 28 Governing Board meeting. Lisa Ehrenberg, Entz Elementary fifth-grade teacher, and Priscilla Yazzie, Mesa High family and consumer sciences teacher, were named Educators of the Month. Employees of the Month were Cindy Pavich, Madison Elementary family support specialist, and Irma Rodriguez, Poston Junior High secretary to the principal. Jefferson Elementary's Joyce Aliment was named Volunteer of the Month.

 

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