Volume 45, No. 10, April 17, 2017

Red and blue movie ticket graphicMovie ticket news

The district now offers additional options to those who purchase movie tickets. Employees and retirees may now buy blue Harkins Ultimate tickets for $8 and AMC tickets for $8.50. Red Harkins Classic tickets are still available for $7. 

Movie tickets are sold 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, at the first-floor reception desk of the Administrative Services Center, 63 E. Main St., Mesa. 

Retirement parties

Retirement party season has kicked off. Be sure to check our retirement party page to see the latest planned receptions. Know of a retirement party in the works for a colleague? Contact Miguel Flores, 480-472-0223, so it can be added to the page. The 2017 district retirement reception will be 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at Mesa Convention Center.

It's not too late to learn your numbers

Missed your on-site biometrics screening? No worries. Vouchers are available for benefits-eligible employees to receive a free biometrics screening at a Sonora Quest laboratory before August 31. Learn more and register online. Don't forget to complete your Cigna health assessment to earn 50 points toward your wellness incentive (the screening also earns you 25 points).

Announcing MORE!

MORE logoThe district is excited to announce re-enrollment for the 2017-18 school year is moving online! Instead of updating and mailing the traditional yellow form, parents will complete the process on any internet-connected device. Re-enrollment will begin in July.

Parents will receive a mailing with detailed instructions to complete the re-enrollment process via Parent Portal. Learn more at mpsaz.org/more.

Four new A+ schools announced

Four Mesa schools have been named among the best K-12 public schools in the state. These outstanding schools are winners of 2017 A+ School of Excellence™ awards from the Arizona Educational Foundation:

  • Crismon Elementary School, Sandi Kuhn, principal
  • Jefferson Elementary School, Genessee Montes, principal
  • Pomeroy Elementary School, Dr. James Driscoll, principal
  • Stapley Junior High School, Ken Erickson, principal

To earn an A+ award, schools must show high achievement or significant improvement. Top schools identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their students. Awardees hold their title for three and a half years. Mesa currently has 27 A+ schools, more than any other district in the state. 

March customer service rockstars

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

  1. Lehi Elementary School — 21 entries
  2. Webster Elementary School — 17 entries
  3. Lindbergh Elementary School — 11 entries

Customers raved about wonderful service at many schools and departments, including Shepherd Junior High mom Tracy, who praised her daughter's social studies teacher, Dana Dixon. "Ms. Dixon has inspired our daughter not only to learn social studies but also to appreciate it. She recently sent home a note to my daughter stating she was aware she sat in the back of the classroom all year, and she appreciated her behavior and diligence to her classwork. I was impressed that she took the time to write a note to our daughter to acknowledge and encourage her. What Ms. Dixon doesn't know is that our daughter had been coming home quite often grumbling that she was always in the back in social studies. I am sure she won't be grumbling any more. What an amazing teacher!"

Need more customer service survey cards? They're free from the warehouse with code 9135151ESW. An online form is available on the district website. Consider posting a link on your school or department home page. 

Cue the applause

Brandon Short, March 2017 Educator of the Month, with Governing Board member Steven Peterson at the March 28 board meetingCongratulations to the 2017 Student Service Award winners, who were recognized at a ceremony April 7. Awards were presented to students, teachers, support personnel and community members who have demonstrated exemplary service to our students with disabilities.

March Employees and Educators of the Month were honored at the March 28 Governing Board meeting. Megan Kypke, fourth-grade teacher at Zaharis Elementary, and Brandon Short, sixth-grade teacher at Whittier Elementary (pictured, left, with board member Steven Peterson), were named Educators of the Month. C.J. Garland, general clerk at Skyline High School, and Dwight Popadince, computer repair technician at Information Systems, were named Employees of the Month. Red Mountain Ranch Elementary's Jan Stamey was named Volunteer of the Month.

The district's communications and marketing department took home 10 awards at the 2017 ASPRAtions Awards, hosted by the Arizona School Public Relations Association. The Points of Pride program, "Best Day of My Life" video, revamped careers page and videos, and the College Fair brochure earned Awards of Excellence. Awards of Distinction were given for Achieve magazine, the Xplore brochure, the employee communications survey, Proposition 123 communications and the overall employee recruitment initiative. Mayor John Giles also received an award for his contributions to education advocacy.

Joe Orrantia and Todd Poer with AASBO awardThe third and final round of We Care observations has been completed. Congratulations to the top-scoring schools for each round. The first-round winners were Brinton, Hale and Highland elementary schools. Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, Lehi and Kerr elementary schools topped the second round. Finally, Westwood High School, and Porter and Washington elementary schools were recognized at the March 28 Governing Board meeting. The We Care program recognizes schools with an inviting learning environment. Award-winning principals received a plaque for the school, while the school's facilities team members received a letter of recognition and $100 stipend.

Congratulations to Todd Poer, director of operations (pictured, right, with Joe Orrantia, maintenance and grounds director). Poer received a Best Practices Award from the Arizona Association of School Business Officials. The award recognized the district's operations department for its proactive approach to facility maintenance with the collaborative effort between daytime maintenance staff and the newly formed nighttime staff, Blue Crew. Together, "Team Blue" visits each district school for one week with a large workforce that works from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

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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