September 13, 2021
Dear Kyrene Community,
This month marks 20 years since nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans lost their lives in the September 11th attacks. To honor those lives, September 11 is recognized as a National Day of Remembrance and Service. As a mother of a firefighter and a Marine, I have great respect and deep appreciation for those who choose a life of service. Several of our schools hosted Patriot Day ceremonies to show their appreciation for first responders. During these ceremonies flags were raised, bands played, and student speeches reminded us to be hopeful, grateful and kind.
I have been thinking a lot about kindness: how we encourage it among our students and how we model it as adults. You never know how the small act of kindness might make a difference in someone else’s day. I encourage all of Team Kyrene to practice acts of kindness and continue to be servant leaders on campus and in the community. As we continue to face the challenges of a global pandemic, I want to personally thank any student, parent/guardian or staff member who has taken a moment to be kind to someone.
Did you know that the Ahwatukee Foothills Newspaper named Kyrene the Best Place to Work in 2019 and 2020? When you work for Team Kyrene, you become part of a family! There are so many amazing benefits to working for Kyrene, including the opportunity to be placed at your own child’s school. Positions like crossing guard and lunch duty can be bundled to get you to 30 hours, so you can qualify for benefits.
Additionally, Kyrene employees qualify for the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), one of the nation’s premiere retirement programs. Many of the available jobs are ideal for retirees or high school and college students looking for part-time work.
Employee shortages are not unique to Kyrene. School districts across the country are experiencing vacancies. What is unique to Kyrene is our culture of inclusivity and our strong sense of community! I am honored to serve such an outstanding team of education professionals, and I hope that you will consider becoming a part of Team Kyrene!
In Kyrene, students are at the center of every action and decision. We know you have a choice when it comes to schools, and we are honored so many families choose Kyrene for their child’s education. We value the trust you place in us, and we never take for granted our responsibility to your children, to our staff and to our Kyrene community. We are building on more than a century of excellence and leading Arizona schools into the future with the development of innovative academic options, recruitment and retention of the very best educators, and a commitment to creating a welcoming environment where every student has access to an exceptional Kyrene education.
Browse opportunities at Kyrene
Working in education is extremely rewarding, and in Kyrene, we have so many incredible team members. In fact, the work of one of our exceptional Cielo educators was recently recognized in a national contest. Kindergarten teacher Megan Dunkelberger was awarded the Staples #ThankATeacher recognition, making her one of just 20 recipients nationwide. This past July, Staples encouraged parents and students to nominate their teachers by sharing personal stories of appreciation. The nomination for Mrs. Dunkelberger came from one of her former parents and highlighted her ability to create an engaging virtual learning environment for all her students last year. As part of this recognition, Mrs. Dunkelberger received a check for $2,000, and Kyrene del Cielo received $5,000 in Staples gift cards to support classrooms.
M&O Override Information
Mark your calendars. The Kyrene Governing Board has called for a special election asking voters to continue the current Kyrene School District Maintenance and Operations (M&O) budget override. M&O funding supports special area instruction, student support services, competitive pay to attract and retain high quality educators, and staffing to maintain current reduced class sizes. Visit our election web page for more information about the 2021 M&O Override. Election Day is November 2, 2021.
Amazing Kyrene Athletics
Fall sports are in full swing in Kyrene. Cross Country student athletes lace up their shoes to run the distance bright and early before school starts. Boys soccer teams stay after school to practice their kicks and tricks, and girls volleyball teams serve up success across the district. A special shoutout to the Kyrene Traditional Academy Girls Volleyball team for achieving their first ever win!
Free Meals for Families
For some students in our community, school is where they receive the most nutritious meal or meals of the day. As a reminder, school meals are free to all students this school year. Whether attending school in person or engaging in online learning at home, free meals are available.
Thank you Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE) for not only keeping our students fed at school, but also for the free curbside meal distribution service. Every Monday and Thursday evening outside the Kyrene School District office (8700 S. Kyrene Rd. in Tempe) food service staff distribute free meals to families in our community. In addition to evening meal service, morning curbside meal service will begin next Monday, September 20. Morning hours will be from 7-8 a.m. All children 18 years and younger are eligible to receive FREE meals. Students do not have to be present to pick up meals.
Spotlight on the Kyrene Print Shop
In this month’s Spotlight on Kyrene, I am taking you inside the Kyrene Print Shop to see how this service makes a difference both in Kyrene and around the State.
All monthly Spotlight videos can be found in the Superintendent section of Kyrene.org.