Volume 47, No. 8, Feb. 19, 2019

Complete your Trip Reduction survey before March 4

Staff at all sites with more than 50 employees must complete the mandatory Trip Reduction survey before March 4. The brief online survey from Valley Metro asks how employees commute to work. All answers are confidential. If you have not received the link to your survey and your site has more than 50 employees, please see your site secretary.

Best of Mesa voting is now open

Each year, the East Valley Tribune hosts the Best of Mesa survey, which is now open for 2019.

Categories applicable to the district and schools include:

  • Best customer service
  • Best place to work
  • Best preschool
  • Best public school/district
  • Best elementary teacher
  • Best high school teacher
  • Best mascot

The voting deadline is Feb. 28, and final results will be announced in the March 31 issue of East Valley Tribune.

Attend the Zaharis literacy conference

beyond borders, literacy without limits logoZaharis Elementary hosts Beyond Borders: Literacy Without Limits, its third annual literacy conference, March 2. Hear from authors and educators Linda Hoyt, Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.

Several diverse breakout sessions are also available to attendees. Learn more and register.

Submit Student Service Award nominations

The 50th annual Student Service Awards will honor:

  • special education students for outstanding achievement
  • teachers, students, support staff, family and community members, schools and district departments for exemplary service and contributions to students with disabilities

We count on you to nominate people who make a difference. Award winners will be honored in a ceremony April 5 at Mesa High School. Find the nomination form and guidelines. Nominations are due Feb. 22.

For more information, contact Mindy Herbert, special education secretary, 480-472-0702.

Plan for retirement

Is retirement in the horizon? Plan to attend a 90-minute Arizona State Retirement System meeting. All meetings are held on the third floor of the Administrative Services Center, 63 E. Main St., Mesa.

Route 4 - Retiring within one year - Wednesday, April 3, 3:30 p.m.

Register for a class on the human resources webpage. Employees who do not have internet access may use the computers in the human resources lobby or seek assistance at their work site. 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.

Questions? Contact Deb Herman in human resources at 480-472-0404.

Apply to teach elementary summer school

Applications are being accepted to teach community education elementary summer school. Teachers are needed June 3-28 for 8 a.m. to noon weekday sessions. Submit your application before March 8. Please remember to download the form before filling it out.

Review board policies on staff safety and health

All employees are encouraged to promote a safe environment in the workplace. Governing Board policies GBE and GBE-R describe guidelines for schools, departments and employees regarding the district's safety and health program. Find more information on P. 13 of the employee handbook.

Customer service rockstars

Satisfied customers continue to take time to recognize staff for stellar customer service in the district's customer service survey. The schools and departments that received the most responses in January were:

  • Lindbergh Elementary, 23 responses
  • Lehi Elementary, 8 responses
  • Stevenson Elementary, 7 responses

Customers praised fantastic service, including this comment from a parent at Sirrine Elementary: "My son is high-functioning autistic, and we wanted to keep him mainstream and as close to home as possible to avoid long bus rides. Sirrine makes us feel right at home, from the crossing guards to the teachers and staff who go out of their way to keep school safe and happy. Principal Parker has always been visible and prompt in her assistance. We could not ask for a better school for my son."

The online survey is available on the district website. Consider placing a link on your school or department home page.

Cue the applause

Melanie Edwards with TASH awardMelanie Edwards, specific learning disabilities specialist at Irving Elementary (pictured), received the Arizona TASH Legacy Award. The award recognizes her work in advocating for inclusive practices in Arizona schools.

Lindsay Decoste, Red Mountain High choir teacher, received the Arizona Choral Educators Association New Choral Teacher of the Year Award.

The Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association presented the William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award to Mountain View High orchestra teacher Dr. Walt Temme, and Mesa High band directors Robert Brooks and Dr. Jeff Quamo.

The Arizona Music Educators Association awarded the O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Teaching Music Award to Jennifer Randle, orchestra specialist and Kino Junior High orchestra teacher, and John Snyder, choral specialist and choir teacher at Franklin and Kino junior high schools, and Summit Academy. Highland Arts Elementary Principal Christy Cuddy received the AMEA Outstanding Administrator Award.

Congratulations to our seven new and renewed National Board Certified teachers: Samantha Calise, kindergarten teacher at Brinton Elementary; Claire Chu, special education teacher at Hermosa Vista and Highland Arts elementary schools; Megan Dover, social studies teacher at Red Mountain High; Jennifer Goode, gifted and talented teacher at Hermosa Vista Elementary; Nancy Parra-Quinlan, industrial technology and STEM teacher at Kino Junior High; Jessica Pio, third-grade teacher at Hughes Elementary; and Michael Spencer, humanities teacher at Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies.

Congratulations to the staff recognized during Spotlight Recognitions at the Jan. 22 and Feb. 12 Governing Board meetings. Educators Who Make a Difference were Brinton Elementary kindergarten teacher Samantha Calise, Crismon Elementary GUS teacher Mandi Radakovich, Shepherd Junior High music teacher Taryn Tidwell, Patterson Elementary fifth-grade teacher Janet Bleeker and Washington Elementary PE teacher Scott Eggen. The Employee Who Makes a Difference was accounting supervisor Lori McGee.

Customer Service Champions were Brinton Elementary secretary to the principal Barbara Wheaton, Crismon Elementary secretary to the principal Norma Lohide, Shepherd Junior High office specialist Audrey McIntosh, Patterson Elementary health assistant Ann Kopicki, Washington Elementary instructional assistant Dora Medina and federal & state grants supervisor Lara Weidinger. See all honorees and view spotlight videos on the communications & marketing webpage.


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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