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Kyrene School District Honors Staff & Students

Posted December 2021


Many school districts around Arizona honor staff and students with recognition and reward programs. These initiatives celebrate talent and success. Kyrene School District is continuing the tradition of honoring employees through the Kyrene Values Teachers and Staff program, and this year, the District introduced a brand-new celebration for students.


The Kyrene Super Student award program kicked off in October with students from four schools recognized at a Governing Board meeting. In previous years, students were recognized at school sites with a Kyrene Values Students award. Now, the celebration has expanded to include families, the Governing Board and the entire Kyrene community. Kyrene Super Students are chosen based on the Kyrene Core Values (Kid, Integrity, Dedication, Strength). A Kyrene Super Student exemplifies the core values in all that they do in the classroom and on campus. By the end of this school year, 52 students will be recognized.


Students recognized at the October 26 Board meeting

  • Andrew Pinkston of Kyrene Altadeña
  • Penelope Williams of Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School
  • Sarah Nation of Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School
  • Abaigeal Montiel of Kyrene de los Niños


Students recognized at the November 10 Board meeting

  • Ahtziri Gamboa of Kyrene Centennial
  • Josiah Powell of Kyrene de la Estrella
  • Kristen Schuler of Kyrene Digital Academy
  • Malachi Snider of Kyrene Middle School


Students recognized at the November 24 Board meeting

  • Dylan Oxenhandler of Kyrene Traditional Academy
  • Persephone Bodner of Kyrene de la Esperanza
  • Mark Stout of Kyrene de los Lagos
  • Mikayla Horvat of Kyrene Monte Vista


The next Kyrene Super Student recognition will take place at the December 14 Governing Board meeting.


Award recognition programs are just one way the District invests in the individuals who make Kyrene a top-performing school district.


“We are incredibly proud of our students and staff,” said Kyrene Superintendent Laura Toenjes. “Kyrene Super Students is an excellent addition to our recognition programs, and it has been a thrill for me to return to campuses for in-person staff celebrations.”


The Kyrene Values Teachers and Staff award was established a few years ago and became a virtual celebration at the onset of the pandemic. However, this school year, the District brought back the practice of recognizing staff in person at their school or work sites.


Superintendent Toenjes just completed Kyrene Values celebrations for quarter two. Each quarter, the Superintendent visits all 26 schools and the district office to hand-deliver the awards. Similar to Kyrene Super Students, this year, principals and department leaders are nominating Kyrene Values honorees based on the Kyrene Core Values.


In quarter one, individuals who have shown tremendous dedication to Kyrene were recognized. In quarter two, principals nominated staff members who always put kids first. The quarter three award will recognize those who show integrity and strength, and quarter four will honor staff members who are in their first years of the profession. During the 2021-22 school year, more than 200 staff members will be recognized.


Student and staff recognition programs are sponsored. Kyrene Values Staff is sponsored by CORE. The Kyrene Super Student award is sponsored by Urban Air.