‘We are a Kyrene family’

News of awards catches teachers off guard

Similarly, they don’t often receive accolades for the hard work and long hours they put in to ensure students are able to meet and exceed grade level proficiency.

A new program dubbed Kyrene Values Teachers aims to change all that.

The program, a collaborative effort between the district and local business leaders, got underway when Superintendent Dr. Jan Vesely paid a surprise visit to several schools.

Teachers had no idea they were going to be in the spotlight. It’s not something they seek.

“Recent polling suggests that the majority of Arizonans recognize the importance of education, and ensuring fair compensation for the work our teachers do day in and day out to educate our kids must be a high priority for our state,” Vesely told Wrangler News.

“Kyrene will continue our commitment to addressing teacher compensation within the limits of the funding we receive from the state, but a program like this acknowledges in some small way, that we appreciate all that they do.”

Kyrene Values Teachers celebrates the top teachers in the district each quarter, honoring those who are remarkable in their efforts.

District officials say the new program is in recognition of the critical role that teachers and school personnel play in student achievement and the vital influence they have on the future of the community.

Bashas grocery stores, along with John Kloc, corporate real estate benefits director for HomeBenefitIQ, are sponsoring Kyrene Values Teachers. Kloc said his children attended a Kyrene school so the program hit home for him.

“Teachers are very special to me,” Kloc said. “We are a Kyrene family, and I know how hard our Kyrene teachers work to educate students.

“As a business leader who depends on having a quality, educated workforce, I value the role they play in keeping our economy strong. Without their dedication, it would be hard for businesses like mine to continue to be successful.”

Kloc accompanied Vesely to schools throughout the district to present them with a certificate of appreciation along with a gift card to a local department store.

Teachers recognized include three from Brisas: Patricia Foster, Amanda Herting, and Catherine Koshick. Two from Cielo who were honored were Natalie Richardson and Jasmine Yap.

Susan Juetten of Mirada, Susan Li Norte, and Heather Staudohar were recognized along with three from Aprende Middle School: Sarah Coombs, Tonia Deer and Amy Furman.

Billie Lamkin of Kyrene Middle School and Beth Honeyman of Pueblo also received the recognition.