Volume 45, No. 13, May 24, 2017

Four smiling students in the Field Elementary libraryThanks for a great year!

Whether you're off for break or working hard all summer, thank you for helping to make 2016-17 a successful school year. Enjoy your time off, and we'll see you in August.

Summer movie ticket sales

From June 2 to July 7, AMC and Harkins movie ticket sales at the Administrative Services Center will be available Monday through Thursday. To purchase tickets, visit the ASC receptionist between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Blue Harkins Ultimate tickets are $8, red Harkins Classic tickets are $7, and AMC tickets are $8.50. Check and cash are accepted as payment. Please bring your employee ID or other proof of employment.  

Balance of contract checks

Certificated contract employees and classified supervisors working less than 12 months will receive balance of contract pay on the regular paycheck that follows their last day of work for 2016-17. Teachers with a last contract day of May 26 will be paid June 8. Already using direct deposit? You will receive your balance of contract pay this way, too.

Incentive update

Employees who are eligible for incentive goal pay will receive checks July 14 if goals have been met. Goal results will be finalized late June. As a reminder, employees must have been hired on or before March 10 and be employed through April 20.

Unsure if you're eligible? View information for schools, departments and incentive program guidelines on the Educational Services web page. Questions? Classified employees may contact Christi Chapman at 480-472-0420. Certificated employees may contact Deb Herman at 480-472-0404.

Summer password help

If you forget or need to reset your Active Directory password over the summer, Information Systems is here to help with their new self-service password reset portal. Simply register, providing verification/security information, and then you'll be able to change your own password on the portal. Learn more and register now.

Plan for retirement

2016-17 retiree holding sign that says Retirement WayPlanning to retire soon? Get a head start by attending a September Arizona State Retirement System meeting. All meetings will be held on the third floor of the Administrative Services Center, 63 E. Main St., Mesa.

Route 3 - Retiring within the next three years
Tuesday, Sept. 5, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m.

Route 4 - Retiring within the next year
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 3:30 p.m.

Register for a meeting on the Human Resources web page. Hurry, meetings fill up quickly!

Employees hired to work at least 20 weeks and at least 20 hours per week are required to enroll in ASRS. Contributions are set up automatically through payroll deduction for eligible employees.

It is important to establish an online ASRS account to ensure your contributions are correctly posted. Enrollees can review account statements, use benefit estimation tools and manage beneficiary information. Visit the ASRS resource page to learn more and build your retirement timeline.

April and May customer service rockstars

Congratulations to the top three schools that received the most customer service survey submissions from their communities in April and May (entries received through May 23):


  1. Whitman Elementary - 31 entries
  2. Lindbergh Elementary - 21 entries
  3. Webster Elementary - 20 entries


  1. Webster Elementary - 15 entries
  2. Wilson Elementary - 8 entries
  3. Lindbergh Elementary - 7 entries

Customers raved about wonderful service at many schools and departments, including this comment from Cindy Phillips about the staff at Hermosa Vista Elementary. "Thank you for making everyone who comes in to the office feel welcome and for being so great to me. You make Hermosa Vista the happiest place in the area!"

New administrative appointments

The school board and superintendency announced new administrative appointments at the May 9 and May 23 board meetings. Principals will assume their new roles in July. Please welcome:

  • Amy Breitenbucher, principal, Kerr Elementary. Breitenbucher is currently dean of students at Adams and Guerrero elementary schools.
  • Andrea Lang Sims, principal, Whittier Elementary. Lang Sims is currently Eagleridge Enrichment Program's coordinator.
  • Scott Thompson, assistant superintendent of business and support services. Thompson is currently general manager for Safeguard Security. He previously worked for Dysart Unified School District, Arizona Department of Education and Murphy Elementary School District. Thompson joins us May 30.
  • Daniel O'Brien, chief financial officer. O'Brien is currently chief business and operation officer at Scottsdale Unified School District. He starts June 5.

Summer programs and camps

Still looking for summer activities for your kids? Luckily, community education has you covered. There are a ton of excellent opportunities available, such as summer Xplore, and CTE, music and sports camps. Community education offers something for every child. Register now before space fills up.

Cue the applause

EVA and Rhodes PBIS awardIt's been a great year for Tillie Peralta, ELAD migrant family liaison. Not only did she receive the David Luna Public Service award from Valle Del Sol's East Valley Hispanic Institute, but she was also named the 2017 First Things First Southeast Maricopa Champion for Young Children. Peralta has worked with migrant families in Mesa for the last 38 years. Congratulations!

Several district schools were recently recognized at the PBISAz achievement conference for their successful implementation of schoolwide PBIS programs and for improving student results. SHARP School received a Gold Award. Kino Junior High School and Riverview received Silver Awards. Rhodes Junior High School and East Valley Academy earned Bronze Awards. Mesa High, Taylor Junior High, Superstition, and Adams and Stevenson elementary schools received Merit Awards.

Congratulations to Sarah Rae, KinderU Preschool Plus program manager at Jordan Center for Early Education. Rae received the Program Line Staff of the Year award from the Arizona Community Education Association for her work in supporting our children and families. In addition to her classroom work, she manages instructional assistants, plans student curriculum and engages with parents.

For the 30th year in a row, the district has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 2016 comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR. This is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. Congratulations to Chief Financial Officer Jami Hovet and her team.

Nancy Parra-Quinlan, industrial technology and STEM teacher at Kino Junior High School, was named 2017 State Teacher of the Year by the Air Force Association for her work in STEM education. Parra-Quinlan is the assistant Aerospace Squadron Officer for the 305th Civil Air Patrol Squadron at Falcon Field.

This spring, several district teachers were recognized at Arizona Diamondbacks games as Most Valuable Teachers (MVT) award winners. Each teacher received a $1,000 classroom grant. Congratulations to, Adams Elementary's Teja Alleyne, Hermosa Vista Elementary's Jim Clemens, Highland Arts Elementary's Brianne Gooch, Porter Elementary's Cynthia Lieb and Shepherd Junior High's Taryn Tidwell. Mesa High's Ryne Zahner received the award posthumously. You can nominate a teacher for the MVT award before July 31.

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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