Volume 46, No. 5, Nov. 29, 2017

School Spirit Tastes Great Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support Mesa Public Schools Foundation. Come in to any Mesa Chipotle location on Wednesday, November 29th between 4:00pm and 9:00pm. Bring in this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Mesa Public Schools Foundation. Chipotle Mexican Grill If placing an order online during your fundraiser, please note you must choose the pay in-store option and inform our cashier of your participation before paying. Gift card purchases during fundraisers do not count towards total donated sales, but purchases made with an existing gift card will count.

Reminder: It's Mesa Public Schools Chipotle Day

Eat at any Mesa Chipotle, or the location at Stapley and Baseline in Gilbert, tonight from 4 to 9 p.m., and 50% of all proceeds will benefit the Mesa Public Schools Foundation. The foundation supports students and teachers through programs, grants and more. Find locations and the flyer on the foundation website.

Have mementos from Mesa Junior High?

City of Mesa's parks and recreation department is looking for high-quality images or mementos from Mesa Junior High to display in the upcoming Eagles Park community center on the former school site. If you have items or photos to share from your time as a staff member (or student), please reach out to Aimee Manis at aimee.manis@mesaaz.gov.

Buy your holiday plants

Dobson and Red Mountain high school FFA students are selling poinsettias again this year. Dobson High School has red, white, Monet pink and Autumn orange poinsettias available. Open greenhouse day is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 9. Small (single) plants are $6, medium (double) plants are $12 and large (triple) plants are $18. Contact Ashley Masters at 480-472-3266 for orders or alternate pickup times. Red Mountain High School is selling red and white poinsettias Dec. 5. Small (single) plants are $5 and medium (double) plants are $10. Contact Tonya St. John via email for orders or alternate pickup times.

Customer service rockstars

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

  1. Highland Arts Elementary School — 113 entries
  2. Crismon Elementary School — 68 entries
  3. Webster Elementary School — 27 entries

Customers raved about wonderful service at many schools and departments, including this comment from a parent at Superstition High School. "Always welcomed by the staff and given valuable and accurate info. They treat our girls with such kindness and dignity."

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. 

Plan ahead for winter break

First semester ends Dec. 22, kicking off winter break. Students return Jan. 8. School-based administrators and short-term employees will be off work Dec. 25 to Jan. 5. No absence requests are necessary. The short-term employee group includes:

  • all certificated employees, contract or hourly
  • full-time classified employees and supervisors not on 12-month contracts
  • most part-time, temporary and substitute classified employees
  • student workers
  • substitute teachers

All other 12-month staff are off work Dec. 25 to Jan. 2. If you're in this group and plan to take Jan. 3-5 off, you're required to submit an absence request in TimeClock Plus. This group includes:

  • Department administrators
  • All classified employees and supervisors on 12-month contracts
  • Part-time classified employees hired to work 12 months

District administrative offices will be closed Dec. 25 to Jan. 2. Human resources and employee benefits will close at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan 3-4, and 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Jan. 5.

Review jury duty policy

Have you been summoned for jury duty? Governing Board policy GBBD-R (7) contains guidelines for jury duty leave. Find more information on page 8 of the employee handbook.

Cue the applause

Eisenhower Center for Innovation was recently named an Apple Distinguished School for a second consecutive term. The designation is reserved for schools that meet criteria for innovation and leadership.

Zaharis Elementary PE teacher Mindy Przeor receives award from Dr. Cowan at Nov. 28 Governing Board meeting

Congratulations also goes out to Stevenson Elementary, which earned gold-level status from Beat the Odds Institute. The multi-year school improvement program provides mentoring and training for principals of schools with populations that are at least 50% minority, and with at least 50% of students on free or reduced lunch.

Congratulations to Zaharis Elementary PE teacher Mindy Przeor (pictured left) for being named 2017 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by Arizona Health and Physical Education. She was recognized for her outstanding teaching performance and the ability to motivate students to engage in a lifetime of physical activity.

Riverview High School's Dr. Tiffany Uhlik was named Teacher of the Year by Arizona Federation of Republican Women. She was honored for her mentoring abilities and accomplishments with at-risk students.

Robson, Taft and Hawthorne elementary schools earned the top three scores, respectively, in the first round of the district's We Care program. Congratulations to the school's teams, which include their facility assistants, and grounds and maintenance crews. 

Ruthee John, teacher at Johnson ElementaryMesa Oriental #20 Masonic Lodge honored 22 teachers at their annual excellence in teaching award ceremony Nov. 14. Teachers recognized were Adams Elementary's Priscilla Foss, Crismon Elementary's Darlene Moser, Holmes Elementary's Tim Bergen, Irving Elementary's Eileen Nichols, Jefferson Elementary's Leslie Hernandez, Johnson Elementary's Ruthee John (pictured right), Mendoza Elementary's Felice Davis, O'Connor Elementary's Melissa Munoz, Porter Elementary's Amber Amaya, Sirrine Elementary's Roy Brower, Whitman Elementary's Kayla Fitzgerald, Carson Junior High's Lori Carlson, Kino Junior High's Katie Shotwell, Mesa Academy's Tom Mitchell, Rhodes Junior High's Marissa Felix, Smith Junior High's Cyndi Galvan, Taylor Junior High's James Husbands, Red Mountain High's Rodney Cole, Skyline High's Sgt. First Class Tim Simmons and Westwood High's Tom Saxon. Retiring teachers Frank Garner, Keller Elementary, and Catherine Galas, Westwood High, received lifetime achievement awards.

Congratulations to the employees honored during the Spotlight Recognitions portions of the Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 Governing Board meetings. Teachers named Educator Who Makes a Difference were David Cervantez, Emerson Elementary; Jan Jones, Robson Elementary; Alexandra Allen, Red Mountain High; Gary Platt, Las Sendas Elementary; and Devon Rothlisberger, Lincoln Elementary. Justin Herrera, information systems, was named Employee Who Makes a Difference. Customer Service Champions were Tina Patton, Emerson Elementary; Ignacio Valdez, Robson Elementary; Coreen Wax, information systems; Amber Miller, Red Mountain High; Jill Bendon, Las Sendas Elementary; and Rosa Campos, Lincoln Elementary. Watch spotlight videos and learn more on the communications and marketing web page.


Send news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications and marketing supervisor

Submit an award or recognition or tell us about a special event via our good news form.


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