Employee newsletter, May 5, 2021

Upcoming events

Opportunities from the wellness department

Work of Art is a program about the art of living an emotionally healthy life. Participants learn skills to foster resilience and boost happiness. Choose the activities that matter most to you — to enhance mindfulness, share gratitude, increase optimism and make stronger connections. The eight-week program is free for all employees and household members over 18. Register before May 10. Step-by-step registration instructions are available.

Do you feel overwhelmed or have trouble bouncing back when things are tough? Building resilience can help us improve our ability to cope with the unexpected, find purpose, feel productive at work and connect with our loved ones. Learn more about the Resilience Rescue course. Space is limited, so register soon.

2021-22 new administrative appointments

At Governing Board meetings throughout spring, several new administrator appointments were announced. Administrators assume their roles July 1.

  • Ken Alexander is the incoming chief financial officer. He is currently the director of audit services.
  • Catherine Beaudoin is the incoming team leader for Mesa Virtual Campus. She is currently the Title I specialist at Rhodes Junior High.
  • Mia Damiani is the incoming principal at Hermosa Vista Elementary. She currently serves as principal at Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark.
  • Tommy Eubanks is the incoming director of athletics and K12 physical education. He is currently an athletic director in the Tempe Union High School District.
  • Brent Gardner is the incoming principal at Mendoza Elementary. He is currently an AP at Red Mountain High.
  • Shelley Heath is the incoming principal at Ishikawa Elementary. She currently serves as principal at Hermosa Vista Elementary.
  • Jen Kunz is the incoming principal at Zaharis Elementary. She is currently a fifth-grade teacher at Zaharis.
  • Greg Milbrandt is the incoming district hearing officer. He currently serves as principal at Mountain View High.
  • Mike Oliver is the incoming principal at Mountain View High. He currently serves as principal at Zaharis Elementary.
  • Chris Rossini is the incoming director of classified personnel. He previously served at Paradise Valley Unified School District.
  • David Shill is the incoming principal at Hale Elementary. He currently serves as principal at Ishikawa Elementary.
  • Sean Smith is an incoming assistant principal at Red Mountain High. He is currently the assistant principal at Fremont Junior High.
  • Janea Waite is the incoming dean at Emerson and Webster elementary schools. She is currently the Title I specialist at Webster Elementary.
  • Stephanie Wilkins-Johnson is the incoming principal at Robson Elementary. She is currently the dean at Emerson and Webster elementary schools.
  • Justin Wing is the incoming assistant superintendent of human resources. He is currently the director of human resources at Washington Elementary School District.
  • Genisha Wright is the incoming principal at Lowell Elementary. She is currently an assistant principal in Chandler Unified School District.

Grant news

Roosevelt Elementary has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.

Five schools were awarded a 2021 Barbara Park Memorial Grant for $500 worth of books: Crismon, Webster and Wilson elementary schools, and Poston and Rhodes junior high schools.

Cue the applause

Four district schools have been named 2020-21 Civic Engagement Schools by the Arizona Department of Education. Congratulations to Carson Junior High, Shepherd Junior High, Red Mountain High and Skyline High for your achievement. The Arizona Department of Education's Civic Education and Community Engagement Program recognizes schools for preparing students to be active and responsible citizens while increasing civic knowledge, skills and dispositions.

Dobson and Mountain View high schools, along with Field Elementary, have been designated as 2020-21 ADL No Place for Hate Schools. Schools are recognized for their efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive climate.

Dobson High's counseling department has been recognized for its continuation of the RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program) Award. The American School Counselor Association award is given to departments that demonstrate effective data-driven improvements on a campus. According to Principal Gabbi Buckley, Dobson's team was celebrated for their tireless work and intentional meetings with freshman and junior families, along with responding to day-to-day issues.

In partnership with Title I, the operations department won a Best Practice Award from the Arizona Association of School Business Officials. The teams were honored for the consolidation of the K-7 summer school programs during summer 2019.

Falcon Hill and Stevenson KinderU have earned a coveted 5-star rating from First Things First. A 5-star rating is the "Highest Quality" rating and reflects staff educational levels, administrative practices, curriculum and child assessment practices. KinderU programs at Franklin at Brimhall, Longfellow Elementary, Mesa Education Center and Summit Academy earned 4-star ratings, which are considered "Quality Plus" ratings.


Send your news to:

Heidi Hurst, communications & engagement director

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