Employee newsletter, September 22, 2022
Sept. 23 deadline for the Mesa United Way Workplace Giving Campaign
It's the final countdown...
As a reminder, our 2022-23 Mesa United Way Workplace Giving Campaign runs until Sept. 23. All completed donation forms are to be returned to the Communications & Engagement department located in the Administrative Service Center, 3rd floor, 63 East Main Street.
The deadline for campaign Community Connectors to return their worksite envelopes with completed employee donation forms is 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.
There's still time to contribute online! If employees prefer to complete the donation process online by Sept. 23, they can visit our digital campaign resources page to Submit a Payroll Deduction Pledge.
Working together, our Mesa Public Schools family has contributed nearly $1 million to the campaign during the past seven years to make an impact for our community in critical areas of need. Your donations help to advance childhood literacy; combat food insecurity; support children in foster and kinship care; and aid our Veteran communities to tackle homelessness.
On behalf of our campaign partners at the Mesa United Way and Mesa Public Schools Foundation, thank you to all employees at our 82 school sites and district offices for your commitment and generous support.
Questions or need additional support? Contact Lise Turner in Communications & Engagement at 480-472-0223.
MPS to host Sept. 29 Governing Board Candidate Forum
Mesa voters will elect two Governing Board members in the Nov. 8 general election.
Ray Deer, Christ Hamlet, Marcie Hutchinson, Jacob Martinez, Ed Steele, Rachel Walden and J.R. Wright are running for two openings on the MPS Governing Board. Current board president Jenny Richardson’s term expires at the end of December 2022. She has served since 2015. President Richardson is not seeking another term. Incumbent member Marcie Hutchinson's term expires at the end of December 2022. She has served since 2019. Member Hutchinson is seeking another term.
Mesa Public Schools will host a forum for Governing Board candidates to participate in a moderated Q&A session at 6 p.m.,Thursday, Sept. 29. The free public event will take place at the Board Room of the Curriculum Services Center, Building 2, 549 North Stapley Drive and will be live-streamed in English at mpsaz.org/live and in Spanish at Facebook en Español.
Check out the Sept. 9 special issue of Mesa Agenda that features responses from the entire field to our recent candidate survey.
School Board Overview
The five board members are elected by voters of the City of Mesa. School Governing Board members serve staggered four-year terms without pay. The board sets district policies for the administration of the district and oversees the superintendent of schools, who is responsible for day-to-day operations.
Voter registration deadline is Oct. 11. Early ballots will be mailed Oct. 12. For more information, visit the Maricopa County Elections Department website, or call 602-506-1511.
Mesa Public Schools Foundation Innovation Grant Applications Due Oct. 10
Need funding for an innovative project that supports student success? Apply for an Innovation Grant from the Mesa Public Schools Foundation.
The MPS Foundation supports district teachers, counselors, and other staff by awarding innovative projects through its Innovation Grant Program. Each innovation grant project aligns directly with the MPS Foundation’s mission and vision, as well as the Mesa Public Schools strategic goals and the Portrait of a Graduate. Each grant recipient is awarded up to $2,000 to use toward an innovative project that supports MPS student success in and out of the classroom.
Any MPS employee or MPS student group (with a MPS teacher-sponsor) is eligible to apply. All applications are due no later than Monday, Oct. 10 , 2022. All grant recipients will be notified by Nov. 15, 2022. Visit the MPS Foundation website for more information.
Questions? Contact Executive Director Janita Pickett Gordon.
Prepare for fall break
School is not in session Oct 3-7. Certified and classified employees whose contract or regular work term is less than 12 months will not work during the entire break. Administrators, supervisors and 12-month contract classified employees will work Oct. 3-7, unless an absence request is approved in advance. If requests are approved, employees must use accruals to cover their absences.
Short-term classified employees have two paid holidays during fall break, Oct. 3-5 and Oct. 6-7 are unpaid. Learn more on the Employee Group Calendars page.
Governing Board meeting highlights
To help our employees stay informed, Meeting Highlights of each Governing Board meeting are posted after adjournment. Highlights from our latest meeting are located in the Documents section on BoardDocs. As always, you can access the full agenda and video too.
Mesa Public Schools in the news
FOX10 and ABC15 covered a special assembly at Adams Elementary, where Arizona Cardinals and Big Red helped distribute backpacks to all students. (September 12, 2022)
Telemundo AZ interviewed principal Genessee Montes and long-time teacher Gina Núñez on the district’s goal to attract and retain teachers via teaming and the Path2Teach program. (September 4, 2022)
The New York Times & yahoo!news wrote a national story about recruiting and retaining teachers into the profession and highlighted Westwood High and the partnership between ASU and Mesa Public Schools, which aims to make the teaching environment more attractive and supportive for teachers. (August 29, 2022)
ABC15 spotlighted ASU’s mascot Sparky surprising teachers and students at Irving Elementary with deliveries of Sun Devil Back to School Packs with ASU-themed items and materials to decorate the classroom. (August 24, 2022)
Cue the applause for our rockstars
Congratulations to Kristine Kovacs, school nurse serving the Emerson Elementary and Guerrero Elementary school communities, for receiving a national school nurse certification from the National Board for Certification of School Nurses through the Arizona School Nurse Access Program (ASAP).
Congratulations to Kristi Torbenson, school nurse serving the Las Sendas Elementary and Red Mountain Ranch Elementary school communities, for receiving a national school nurse certification from the National Board for Certification of School Nurses through the Arizona School Nurse Access Program (ASAP).