Dr. Marianne Lescher, Principal
Hello and Welcome to the Kyrene Traditional Academy!
We are excited for another fantastic school year! We are thrilled to welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year, and a return to so many of the activities, events and special programs that make KTA extraordinary. It’s been a difficult and challenging few years and we are so happy that we have everyone back on campus and that we can continue to grow our school and community in new ways this year.
I am truly honored to be the first principal of Kyrene’s first Traditional Academy, with this as my 11th year at KTA and my 40th year overall as an educator. Our Parent Survey results indicate that our families and community are very pleased and we aspire to continue to grow and improve each and every year! Students in grades 6-7-8 can take both regular grade level and advanced/honors level classes in all core content areas (Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies) and are able to test into higher level math classes that could be one or two years above their current grade level. Middle grade students have elective choices that include three levels of Spanish, Beginner and Advanced Band, Chorus, Art, Physical Education, STEM, Multimedia, Web Design, Coding, Student Assistant, Math and Reading Intervention. Each year we add more and more! We offer Competitive Athletics Programs and Intramural opportunities.
Kyrene Traditional Academy is a school of choice, and we embrace high standards for all students in academics and behavior. We also embrace parent involvement and in fact, have a requirement for all families to make a minimum commitment of five hours of volunteer support to our school and classrooms. During COVID, this was challenging to complete but we are now returning to that important and meaningful requirement for all families. KTA has consistent and predictable behavior and discipline plans across all grades and consistent and predictable homework policies. At KTA, there is a uniform dress code for students and faculty and the curriculum and instructional materials used in the classroom are enhanced and enriched to provide an accelerated academic experience for all students. Added components for students at KTA are Spalding Reading/Language, Saxon Mathematics and Jr. Great Books.
At KTA, each and every staff member is committed to do all that they can to support student success in academic, social and emotional development. We provide a wide range of enrichment and support programs for students and provide exceptional programs in music, art, PE, and media/technology. The technology available in each classroom is high-end and always improving and this year, our entire school has been outfitted with brand new sets of Chromebooks in every class. Each classroom has a proxima presentation system and document camera and a full class set of wireless laptops to enhance and support all areas of the curriculum. We have Smart Boards in every classroom to further enhance student engagement and learning. We are the only Kyrene school offering SPANISH instruction for ALL STUDENTS weekly in grades K-5 with a certified Spanish teacher and a BAND for 4th and 5th graders during their school day. K-5 students can test into Gifted Programming that focuses on STEM and STEAM activities and project-based work. Students in grades 4 and 5 participate in departmentalized instruction that supports more rigor and a higher degree of focused instruction.
We are an AVID SCHOOL (Advancement Via Individual Determination) where we are focused on student self-advocacy and readiness for college and career goals and challenges, even in elementary and middle school! Students learn many organizational and scholarly habits to ensure they will be set up for success in the years ahead. This year, we are embracing a grant for a STEM School of the Future and we already have a robust STEM Discovery Lab where all students are exposed to and can engage in fun and challenging STEM activities.
We are an Arizona A+ School of Excellence (Arizona Educational Association) and one of only TWO Kyrene schools to achieve the NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON Excellence Award.
As a transplant to Arizona, I will share just a little about my background: I was born in Long Island, New York and then traveled to Boston to attend Boston College. I received my undergraduate degree from Boston College in both elementary and special education and taught special education students in the Boston area for 12 years. During my time in Boston, I received my Master's Degree in Administration from the University of Massachusetts and my Ph. D. from Boston College in Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation. I have lived in the Phoenix area for over 26 years and spent my first four years in the Kyrene District as the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Services.
For 12 years, I was the principal of Kyrene de la Mariposa Elementary School, where we received the A+ School of Excellence Recognition Award in 2004 and 2009 as one of Arizona’s top schools. We were recognized in the Phoenix Magazine as a ‘Phoenix Best School’ in 2009 and received many other recognitions and awards over my years there. We were identified as an “Excelling” school by the Arizona Department of Education throughout my tenure there and in 2010, I was recognized by the Arizona Department of Education as a ‘Circle of Honor’ Principal for Excellence in Student Achievement and I was the 2009 Kyrene District Administrator of the Year. I was so honored once again (2013) when I received the Kyrene Administrator of the Year for the second time! In 2018, I received an incredible honor, to be named Maricopa County Exemplary Principal. I look forward to continuing my career at KTA and building on the wonderful tradition of our community for many years of excellence ahead!
In my spare time, I follow both college and professional sports. My favorite teams are the Boston College Eagles, the New England Patriots, the Denver Broncos and of course, the 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018 World Series Champs...The Boston Red Sox! My husband Fred and I also love to attend concerts and movies, spend time with family and friends, and travel.
I encourage you visit our KTA website often…we will be updating on a regular basis and I hope you consider enrolling your child at KTA! It's an honor to serve this amazing community!