Preparing Every Student for Success in College, Career and Life.
PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
For Immediate Release August 1, 2012
Contact: Craig Pletenik (602) 764-1530
Phoenix Union—Franklin Police and Fire English teacher Tina Smith, Human Resources Director Juvenal Lopez and Central High Lead Custodian Fernando Guillen were presented with Phoenix Union High School District 2012 Employee of the Year awards by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner at the District’s Opening of Schools Convocation, Tuesday.
Smith, the Classroom Teacher of the Year, has been with the District since 1990, beginning as a part-time evening school teacher at South Mountain. She helped open Franklin Police and Fire High School in 2008, and is involved in everything there--English department chair, National Honor Society sponsor, School Improvement Team, testing preparation, academic tutoring, Saturday School, facilitating leadership workshops, Professional Learning Committees and implementing and training in instructional technology. It is easy to quantify her contributions by looking at the school’s performance. As the English Instructional Leader, Reading and Writing is her focus. In 2011, Franklin turned in 10th grade AIMS Reading and Writing scores of 89 percent and 82 percent, and earned the District’s first “A” Accountability Grade from the State. This year, 90 percent of students passed Writing, and 97 percent passed Reading. Says a colleague, “she is a hidden treasure within Phoenix Union with her enduring dedication, intriguing educational experiences, boundless inspiration, and altruistic personal qualities. She has a long-term commitment to the District, its mission and its students-first policy.” It took some coaxing to get Smith to this year’s Convocation. Two years ago, she took a fall at the event, and injured a leg. This year she climbed to the stage thanks to a knee replacement done this summer to receive her trophy.
Lopez, the Administrator of the Year, is responsible for certificated (teachers) employee matters as the Human Resources Director, a position he has held since 2008. This includes recruiting, hiring, and allocation of teachers, and adhering to the state and federal requirements of certified and highly qualified teachers. This year, he assembled and led a committee of teachers and administrators that collaboratively developed a rigorous teacher performance evaluation system that adheres to state legislative statute and aligns to the InTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) teaching standards.
Lopez is also the Title IX Coordinator for the District, and annually serves on the Interest-Based Negotiating team that reviews the District’s professional agreements. Now in his 27th year in education, he is in his 10th year as an administrator with Phoenix Union. He has been an assistant principal and principal at Metro Tech High School, and has worked in the curriculum division, as well as human resources. Said a colleague of Lopez: “His work-ethic is commendable and centered on what is best for our students. He is a genuine leader with a humble background—the epitome of a compassionate leader.”
Guillen, the Support Staff Employee of the Year began working at Central while still a student there in 1998, and his school pride still shows today, whether making sure students are safe in an environment that is clean and inviting or working with the public. He became the lead custodian in 2004. Organizations that have rented the facilities have gone out of their way to make the school administration aware of the outstanding customer service Guillen has provided. His maintenance skills are put to the test every day with a 54-year old campus, and he has the ability to problem-solve in a quick fashion. His colleagues say he is a significant asset to students, staff and community and is one of the most appreciated staff members at Central. He has the talent to promote a good work ethic among his staff through modeling his personal and professional work principles, and staff has demonstrated that through its morale.
Phoenix Union Certified and Support Staff Employees of the Year were selected by a committee of peers, based on nominations made up of school and site Employees of the Year. Phoenix Union employs over 2800 people, including approximately 1650 teachers. The following is a list of Certified and Support Staff Employees of the Year, by school and site.
Alhambra: Frances Campos-Outcalt, Social Worker; Sijia Na, Instructional Assistant
Bioscience: Quintin Boyce, Science Teacher; Chester Cheatham, Security/Grounds
Bostrom: Veronica Leroux, Instructional Leader; Dawn Arnold, Administrative Specialist
Trevor Browne: Elisabeth Mattingly, Language Arts Teacher; Yvonne Serna, Community Liaison
Camelback: Arabella White, ESO Math Teacher; Daniel Pulgarin, Groundskeeper
Central: Judith Mariahazy, Visual Arts Instructional Leader ; Fernando Guillen, Building Maintenance
Cesar Chavez: William Kibler, History Teacher/Academic Decathlon Instructor; Bright Awumah, Classroom Aide
Desiderata: Lori Bohr, Social Worker; Michelle Wilke, Office Assistant
Betty Fairfax: Keoni Dang, Math Teacher; Chris Arnold, Campus Facility Supervisor
Franklin: Tina Smith, English Teacher/ Instructional Leader; Melinda Raygoza, Building Maintenance Worker
Carl Hayden: Fredi Lajvardi, Science Teacher; Aida Velez, Office Assistant
Maryvale: Sally Claypool, ESL Instructional Leader; Melinda Horton, Registrar
Metro Tech: Lori Armatage, English Teacher/ Instructional Leader; Rhonda Vanderveer, Computer Lab Assistant
North: Estaban Flemons, Science Teacher; Laura Hernandez, Office Assistant/Registration
South Mountain: Julio Rubio, World Language Teacher; Mark Kimber, Security Assistant
Suns-Diamondbacks: Richard Levine, Social Studies Teacher; Margarita Valdez, Office Assistant
District Office (CES): John Kally, SPED Technology Educator; Alvina Turman, Personnel Specialist
District Facility Services (DSF): Lynn Whittaker, Transportation Coordinator