Three Peoria Unified School District employees were awarded top honors in Support Services, Teaching and Administration during the 30th Annual Pride of Peoria Employee Recognition Celebration on April 27 at the Arizona Broadway Theatre.Sunrise Mountain High School principal’s secretary, Jackie Mutchler (Support Services), Apache Elementary third-grade Gifted teacher, Carol Michael (Teaching), and K-12 Administrator for Academic Services, Linda Palles Thompson (Administration), were awarded the 2015 Raymond S. Kellis Leadership Awards – the highest honor a Peoria Unified School District employee can receive. These three honorees were surprised with their award during the event.
As part of the event, 38 Peoria Unified employees were publicly honored as Pride of Peoria award recipients for their contributions to their schools and the district. These teachers and support staff were nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service. All of the Pride of Peoria winners come from different sites, represent different career lengths and work in a variety of positions, yet share one common attribute: They were selected because letters written on their behalf revealed countless examples of how their dedication to the Peoria Unified School District consistently went above and beyond.
The Pride of Peoria winners are: Nancy Bieniek, Paseo Verde; Aleane Bocconcelli, Frontier; Patty Bristol, Oasis; Mary Carlson, Country Meadows; James Clow, Sahuaro Ranch; Skye Cosey, Apache; Steve Cushing, Vistancia; Christie Davis, District Benefits & Compensation; Cathy Erickson, Frontier; Dianna Esh, Parkridge; Jennifer Fagan, Country Meadows; Becky Ferguson, Apache; Becky Hiner, Pioneer; Jenifer Hogg, District K-12 Administrative Secretary; Lynn Jensen, Liberty High; Barbara Kane, Sundance; Reginna Keagle, Copperwood; Monica Kinnaman, Centennial High; Debra Lee,Centennial High; Gary Mangin, Ironwood; Tim Ormsbee, Ironwood; Kerry Pennington, Oasis; Amy Potter, Zuni Hills; Jose Ramos, Apache; Todd Riffle, Pioneer; Mona Rodriguez, District Payroll Manager; Myrna Ruiz, Ironwood High; William Silva, Cholla IMT; Heather Suess, Copperwood; Katie Tudor, Country Meadows; Jose Valdez, Paseo Verde; Matt Visintainer, Centennial High; John Wallander, Cotton Boll; Carrie Wetzel, Cheyenne; Todd Wolff, Centennial High; Jennifer Wood, Coyote Hills; Lyle Wright, Peoria High; and Julie Yacknin, Peoria Elementary.
The event will air this month on Cox Cable Channel 99 and can be found on YouTube now at www.youtube.com/pusdofficialchannel. More than 350 individuals attended the event, including Peoria Unified School District’s Superintendent Dr. Denton Santarelli, governing board members, principals, co-workers and relatives of the award recipients. The event was made possible by financial support from Hunt and Caraway Architects, 1GPA, Peoria Education Foundation, TSA Consulting Group and Brockhurst & Associates.
Peoria Unified, located in the Northwest Valley, serves more than 37,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 95 percent high school graduation rate. It is one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona and prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.