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  • Superintendent's Message

    November 14, 2022 


    Dear Kyrene Community,

    While we strive to practice gratitude each and every day, this time of year is always a welcome reminder to be thankful for who and what we have in our lives. I am especially thankful for our Kyrene community. That includes our dedicated staff, our families who entrust us with their children’s education, and the network of support we receive from the businesses and organizations throughout our community.

    I would also like to take a moment to thank our Kyrene veterans for their selfless service to our country. Last week, we shared brief stories submitted by members of Team Kyrene who served in the military. You can read those stories at #KyreneValuesVets on our Facebook page.  

    Kyrene de la Sierra students and staff invited veteran family members to a special celebration in their honor.


    Enrollment Begins January 17

    Enrollment for the 2023-24 school year begins January 17. A Kyrene education ensures students are Ready for the Future in high school, college, career and beyond. Kyrene has a long-standing reputation for high academic achievement, with our schools consistently outperforming peer districts and charters. No matter which Kyrene school you choose, your child will have access to experienced educators and innovative classroom experiences. Learn more about our choice opportunities in this month’s Spotlight on Kyrene video, at the end of this message.

  • Portrait of a Kyrene Kid: Self-Advocate 

    This month, we are highlighting a student who exemplifies the Self-Advocate trait outlined in the Portrait of a Kyrene Kid. To be a Self-Advocate, a student should demonstrate personal agency, possess confidence in their abilities to reflect, overcome adversity, appropriately express their needs, and act with a purpose.  

    Olga Begus is an eighth-grade student at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School, a proud Leader in Me™ school. Students are encouraged to demonstrate leadership skills as they pursue Pride Projects benefiting their school and community. Last year, Olga and her Advisory classmates decided it would be beneficial for all the Pueblo students to wear lanyards displaying their IDs and Mission Statements. Olga presented the idea to the Pueblo Parent Teacher Organization and asked for their support to purchase the supplies for the Pride Project.

    This year, thanks to Olga and her classmates, all the Pueblo students are wearing their IDs, and our staff can easily scan student badges to reward them for their leadership skills and positive behaviors.



    Kyrene Super Students

    Since my last message, we had the opportunity to recognize 4 outstanding students from across Kyrene. These Super Students were selected by their principals for exemplifying one or more of the core competencies outlined in the Portrait of a Kyrene Kid. Please join me in congratulating the following Kyrene kids

    October Students

    Eliana Kaka, Kyrene de la Mirada
    Aria Shaw, Kyrene de la Esperanza
    Keedi Anaba, Kyrene Traditional Academy
    Hassan Khashan, Kyrene de los Niños

  • Kyrene Educators Receive Tempe Arts Grants

    I am proud to announce that 15 Kyrene teachers have been selected to receive the Tempe Arts Grant from the City of Tempe this year! Whether students express themselves through a paint brush or piano, these funds will help ensure the arts continue to blossom in our schools. I can’t wait to see the masterpieces our students create, thanks to these grants secured by their dedicated teachers. 

    A full list of Kyrene teachers awarded the Tempe Arts Grant can be found on our website.



    Key to Kyrene

    This year, we are celebrating teachers and support staff from across Kyrene every month for the work they do in support of our students and colleagues. There is truly no shortage of outstanding individuals on Team Kyrene, and I am so fortunate to honor them. You can find a complete list of our October recipients on our website

  • Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day

    Today is a very special day in the history of public education. Sixty-two years ago today, six-year old Ruby Bridges bravely walked into William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana, where she became the first Black student to integrate into an elementary school in the South. During her walk to school, and throughout the school year, Ruby endured racial slurs and threats of violence.

    Though the world has seen significant changes since the 1960s, Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day reminds us that creating equitable access to education requires a concerted effort among students, staff and our community.

    Kyrene officially recognizes November 14 as Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.  As a District, we strive to create an environment that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion for all of our students. This day provides an important opportunity for our community to engage in meaningful dialogue about our continued efforts to create an inclusive society.



    Native American Heritage Month

    November is Native American Heritage Month, and while we honor our Native American students, staff and communities all year round, this month provides an opportunity for additional reflection and celebration. Kyrene School District is proud to serve more than 1,200 students and staff, representing 53 tribes from across the nation. We are so fortunate to live in a diverse community, as it allows us to celebrate and honor unique perspectives every day. If you haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to watch our Spotlight on Native American Programming in Kyrene.



    The 988 Lifeline

    At the end of July, a national 3-digit number (988) was established to replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That month in particular can be a busy one for our staff and families, and I wanted to take a moment to reiterate this vital information.

    The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. For more information, please visit 988lifeline.org.

  • Spotlight on Choice Opportunities

    This month we are shining the spotlight on Choice Opportunities throughout Kyrene! Our academic offerings are as unique as the students we serve. From computer science immersion to arts integration and from dual language to leadership, a wide variety of programs ensure there is an opportunity for every child to thrive in Kyrene.


    All of the monthly Spotlight videos can be found in the Superintendent section of the Kyrene website. 


    Laura Toenjes

Last Modified on November 15, 2022