January 6, 2020
Dear Kyrene Community,
Welcome back and Happy New Year! The second semester of 2019-20 gets underway today, and even as students are returning to their classrooms to continue this year’s lessons, we are already looking ahead to the 2020-21 school year. Enrollment for 2020-21 begins one week from today, on January 13, at www.kyrene.org/enrollment. We look forward to welcoming new and returning students next fall.
An Outstanding Achievement
I would like to kick off this new calendar year with a special celebration. Kyrene is proud to have nearly two dozen National Board Certified (NBC) Teachers among our talented educators. Last month, I was pleased to be able to celebrate with one newly-named NBC Teacher and one educator renewing the honor.
Congratulations to Alichia Russ of Kyrene de los Niños, for earning her certificate for the first time, and Julie Cleveland of Kyrene de la Estrella, for earning her renewal. National Board Certification is the highest certificate an educator can achieve in the United States. The process to earn or renew the certification is rigorous, and the achievement is highly celebrated.
Also before the break, it was my honor to take part in the annual Winter Wonderland event, organized by the Kyrene Foundation. Each year, the Foundation partners with Kyrene schools to collect clothing and toys for families in need. School and District staff identify families needing support this time of year and invite them to attend the “Winter Wonderland” event in December. There, parents and guardians can “shop” for gifts for their children, while volunteers wrap presents and student musicians provide entertainment. This year, volunteers distributed 3,200 gifts to more than 700 children. Those gifts included books, toys, bikes and stuffed animals, as well as clothing.
Winter Wonderland is one of my favorite events of the year, and I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Kyrene Foundation for making this commitment, year after year. I also want to thank our Kyrene schools and community members for the overwhelming donations. Your spirit of giving is inspiring and left me awestruck, once again.
A Busy New Year
The first month of 2020 will be a busy one across the Kyrene School District. Here are just a few of the upcoming events to mark on your January calendars:
- Monday, January 13: SPARK School Information & Enrollment Night. Learn more about Kyrene’s newest educational model, with wide open spaces and project-based learning. Spots in this innovative pilot program are extremely limited. Kyrene de las Manitas campus, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 15: Positive Parenting Series (Video Games: What Parents Need to Know). Families will learn to make video games a tool rather than a challenge. Kyrene School District main office, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, January 23: Kyrene District Spelling Bee. Top spellers from every Kyrene school come together to see who will advance to the regional bee. Kyrene School District main office, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
- Saturday, January 25: Play Day. Kyrene Community Education will host the annual Play Day event for children to learn and explore outdoors. Kyrene Aprende Middle School campus, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, January 25: All-District Job Fair. Kyrene is hiring for all positions! The January job fair is open to potential teachers, bus drivers, groundskeepers, classroom assistants and more. Kyrene de la Colina campus, 8:00 a.m.–Noon.
Kyrene School District will hold a second job fair, exclusively for certified staff, on Saturday, February 22, on the Kyrene Traditional Academy campus. Kyrene will be interviewing teachers, psychologists, speech language pathologists and occupational therapists. Due to high demand for these interview spots, educators are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of the event. Visit www.kyrene.org/jobfairs for more information.
Making a Difference
I want to close this month by acknowledging some of the most devoted individuals in Kyrene School District. They dedicate many hours to ensuring responsible governance of our District; they make crucial decisions that impact the education of our children; and they do it all without pay. I am speaking, of course, about our Kyrene Governing Board.
January is national School Board Recognition Month. Kyrene has five Board members, elected by the public, who generously volunteer their time to make a difference for students and schools. The important work of our Governing Board includes management of a multi-million dollar budget, curriculum review, approval of personnel decisions, and policy review and oversight.
Their commitment to our schools extends beyond the boardroom as well. You will often see Kyrene Board members attending school and District events or perhaps judging a spelling bee. For all this time and energy, the only payment they receive is the satisfaction of seeing Kyrene succeed, and I could not be more grateful for their service.
Jan Vesely, Ed.D.
Watch the Superintendent’s January video message.