Employee newsletter, February 18, 2020

Upcoming events

Superintendent search update

The application for Mesa Public Schools superintendent is now posted at macnjake.com. Applications close March 12.

If you haven't already completed the superintendent characteristics survey, the deadline has been extended to Feb. 19.

Join colleagues at a community stakeholder meeting next week. Search firm representatives will ask your thoughts on the positive qualities of our community and district, current issues the district is facing, and characteristics you believe the next superintendent requires to be successful.

  • Parents and community members — Feb. 25, 10 a.m., at Westwood High auditorium, 945 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa, AZ 85201
  • Students — Feb. 25, 4 p.m., at the Board Room, Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85203
  • Teachers, certified staff and substitutes — Feb. 26, 4:30 p.m., at Shepherd Junior High auditorium, 1407 N. Alta Mesa Dr., Mesa, AZ 85205
  • Parents and community members — Feb. 26, 6 p.m., at Shepherd Junior High auditorium, 1407 N. Alta Mesa Dr., Mesa, AZ 85205
  • Administrators and supervisors — Feb. 27, 3 p.m., at the Board Room, Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85203
  • Classified and support staff — Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m., at the Board Room, Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85203
  • Parents and community members — Feb. 27, 6 p.m., at the Board Room, Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Dr., Mesa, AZ 85203

Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes. RSVP at mpsaz.org/rsvp. Attendees are given the opportunity to express interest in participating in finalist interview focus groups. Learn more about the superintendent search.

Calling all Mountain Lions

Did you graduate from or work at Red Mountain High in 1989-93? You're invited to celebrate 120 years of high schools in Mesa at the Feb. 25 Governing Board meeting. We're inviting alumni to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and be recognized at the meeting. RSVP and learn more at mpsaz.org/120

Speaking of Red Mountain, the 10th annual Mountain Lion Carnival is Feb. 27-March 1 on the Fremont Junior High fields. The event is open to all area community members. Special themes include Elementary School Day Feb. 27, and sensory friendly time noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 29. Buy your tickets online and save. Proceeds go to the Red Mountain High football program.

Save the date for the annual harp fundraiser

Did you know Mesa Public Schools has the largest harp program in the nation? It's true! Come out and support harp students at the annual Harps in the Courtyard fundraiser March 2 at Historic Irving. Check in begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m., provided by Milano's Wood Fired Kitchen & Pizzeria. Buy your tickets online and save. RSVP before Feb. 24 to secure your spot.

Best of Mesa voting is now open

Each year, the East Valley Tribune hosts the Best of Mesa contest, which is now open for 2020.

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 school leader/principal
  • Best mascot

The voting deadline is Feb. 28, and final results will be announced in the March 29 issue of East Valley Tribune.

Nominations are open for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Nominate a district music educator for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award by March 31.

Each year, the GRAMMY Museum recognizes educators who have made a lasting and significant contribution to the field of music education. In addition, the museum distributes over $50,000 annually in honorariums and grants to chosen educators and their schools.

Anyone can nominate a music teacher for the award. Learn more at grammyintheschools.com.

Census Student Video Contest deadline is March 6

Mesa Public Schools and the City of Mesa 2020 Census Task Force have partnered to present a video contest for Mesa Public Schools students. The top three videos will earn cash prizes for their school, ranging from $1,500 to $4,000. Additionally, the top videos will be shown on the City of Mesa's TV channel, and shared via district and City of Mesa social media.

The contest is open to ALL students, and videos will be judged on creativity, originality and clarity of messaging. Each video should clearly convey the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. The video submission deadline is Friday, March 6. Learn more at mpsaz.org/census.

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. Governing Board policy GBKC contains references to dangerous instruments and deadly weapons prohibited on district property.

Cue the applause

John Trezise and Arlene Ray at Feb 11 board meeting

On Feb. 19, Jeanne Vandemark, director of transportation, will accept the Green Leadership Fleet award, presented by U.S. Department of Energy - Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition, in partnership with the Propane Education & Research Council. The district is one of three in the state to be recognized for reducing costs and pollution through clean, cost-efficient propane school buses.

Skyline High's Talia Scheletsky has been named 2020 School Social Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of Arizona. Scheletsky will receive her award March 6 in Tucson.

Staff from Red Mountain Center for Early Education, and Sirrine and Wilson elementary schools were honored during the spotlight recognitions program at the Feb. 11 Governing Board meeting. Red Mountain Center early childhood special education teacher Sharon Starr-Atkinson, Sirrine Elementary fifth-grade teacher Melissa Branch and Wilson Elementary second-grade teacher Pam Klassen were named Educators Who Make a Difference. Customer Service Champions were Red Mountain Center secretary Vania Flores, Sirrine Elementary crossing guard and playground aide Arlene Ray (pictured with Principal John Trezise), and Wilson Elementary secretary Peggy Rodemeyer. See all honorees and view spotlight videos on the communications & engagement webpage.

View some of the district's recent accomplishments in the Feb. 11 celebrations video.


Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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