Mesa United Way presented the Spirit of Mesa Award to Mesa Public Schools for contributions to the community.
“The success of any community is impacted by the organizations that serve it. Mesa Public Schools is honored to be recognized for its contributions to the community with the Spirit of Mesa award from Mesa United Way, a valued partner in our efforts.”
— Superintendent Michael Cowan
Beth Farnsworth Coons, Farnsworth Companies chair, presented the Ross Farnsworth Spirit of Mesa Award to Mesa Public Schools. Coons invited several people to accept the award on behalf of all district employees:
- Jill Benza, strategic initiative specialist
- Rich Berumen, sheet metal worker
- Michael Cowan, superintendent
- Michael Hughes, school board president
- Frank Hunter, maintenance worker
- Steven Peterson, school board member
- Michelle Udall, school board clerk
Mesa United Way tribute to Mesa Public Schools employees
There is probably not a person here today who cannot reflect on his or her own young, formative years and the influence that one or more teachers had on his or her maturity and academic growth.
Ironically, while we commonly think of such “teachers” as operating within the conventional classroom setting, each of us can probably also recall that special coach, school secretary, principal, custodian or bus driver who also had a profound impact on our development.
In honoring the faculty, staff and administration of Mesa Public Schools with one of this year’s Spirit of Mesa awards, we acknowledge not only the dedication, creativity and patience with which they have served this community, but also the inspiration, vision and moral fortitude that undergirds the years they spend with our children.
A Chinese proverb says, “If you are planning for a year, sow rice. If you are planning for a decade, plant trees. If you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”
Against that standard, Mesa Public Schools surely measures up. Although the district represents less than 7 percent of the students in the state, 27 percent of the All-State Choir and 17 percent of the All-State Band consist of MPS students. Two-thirds of Mesa Public Schools graduates are in college within two years of leaving high school. And the 2014 graduating class of 3,900 students was offered more than $83 million in scholarships and awards.
For these reasons and so many more, Mesa United Way is proud to present one of our two 2013-14 Ross N. Farnsworth Spirit of Mesa Awards to Mesa Public Schools.
“For well over 100 years, Mesa Public Schools — and specifically it’s teachers and staff — have done an outstanding job,” said Dan Wollam, president and CEO of Mesa United Way. “Their selection for the Spirit of Mesa award was not a difficult choice.”