Winter 2017


Navigating through uncertain times always provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the many gifts that have been given to Tempe Elementary School District. We live in the most generous community in Arizona. Time and time again, when the legislature has failed to support public education, our Tempe voters have approved overrides and bond elections to allow us to renovate and rebuild aging schools, to provide technology rich classrooms, update textbooks, buses, and to support full-day kindergarten, PE, music, and art in our schools.

Our generous community members and business partners are actively engaged in feeding, clothing, mentoring, tutoring, and reading with our students. Our partnerships with the TIE Foundation, City of Tempe, Landings Credit Union, ASU, KPMG, State Farm, Kiwanis Clubs throughout Tempe, Kid Zone, Desert Choice Schools, Next Horizons Preschool, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Town of Guadalupe, the City of Phoenix, the Assistance League of the East Valley, and so many other generous partners that support us unconditionally and believe that together we are a stronger community.

Six years ago, in challenging budget times, we made the financial decision to close four schools, causing pain and anguish in our community. During that time, we were able to continue providing high quality programming for our students and still managed to find positions for all our amazing staff. Through many hours of meeting with and listening to our community, parents, and staff, and with support of our TD3 Governing Board, we began a journey of re-imagining programming in our schools that provides choice for our students in a variety of learning environments. We created a ten-year strategic plan, student achievement plan, and business plan, all which incorporate our long range facilities plan.

We opened ASPIRE Academy at Connolly for our most gifted and talented middle school students, reopened McKemy as Tempe Academy of International Studies - McKemy Campus, an International Baccalaureate School for middle school students, increased the number of preschools, and began a one-to-one technology initiative for every middle school student, allowing them to purchase their computers at the end of eighth grade.

We integrated a STEM focus at Fees College Prep, and partnered with East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) and Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) to infuse a CTE focus at Gililland Middle School. We added additional elective choices at Ward Traditional Academy and expanded afterschool sports for TAIS, WTA and Laird. Through a partnership with Concord Construction and DLR Architects, we began an engineering class for Laird K-8 students. We partnered with Next Horizons Preschool, IEEE's Arizona Science Lab, Desert Choice Schools, and Autism Spectrum Therapies to create Evans Learning Center. Our TD3 staff now has a Professional Learning Center at Bustoz where they are able to receive professional development in an instructional setting preparing them for project-based learning, educational technology, STEM integration, and a myriad of in-depth professional development.

And finally, six years later, through the tireless work of our TD3 staff and because of the deep generosity of our community, we are preparing to reopen our last closed school. In August of 2017, Meyer School will become Meyer Montessori, serving preschool through sixth grade.

So as we face uncertain times, we have so much to be thankful for, and we can be assured that with the unwavering support from our community partners, parents, students, and staff, Tempe Elementary School District is stronger and more determined than ever to find solutions to every challenge we face in preparing every TD3 student for success in college, career, and life.

With deep gratitude,

Christine Busch

Thanks to Tempe voters, Tempe Elementary's $165 million bond was approved on November 8, 2016. Our schools were built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Since November 2005, the District has been systematically renovating school sites to become more operationally efficient to meet students' educational needs in the 21st century. How will the funds be spent? $151 million will be used for major school renovations and critical maintenance projects $10 million will be used to replace school buses $4 million will be used for critical maintenance projects for District support facilities

How will the funds be spent?
$151 million will be used for major school renovations and critical maintenance projects
- $10 million will be used to replace school buses
- $4 million will be used for critical maintenance projects for District support facilities

For more information, visit our website.


In honor of celebrating the start of 2017, we compiled a video of events and milestones that were made in 2016. We look forward to another fantastic year with you all!





Tempe School Gardening Program Improves Behavior in Students

Practice Makes Perfect - 2017 District Spelling Bee

Arredondo Gets Electric!

Connolly Serves TD3 Native Population Through Navajo Language Classes

A Day in The Life: An Inside Look at TD3's Middle Schools

A Passion for Music at Fees College Preparatory Middle School

View District and School Calendars for Upcoming Events


Montessori Education is coming to Tempe Elementary School District in the 2017-2018 school year! Official registration starts on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 8 a.m. at the Sanchez Administration Building, 3205 S. Rural Rd., Tempe. This educational model founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in Rome has continued to grow in the United States and will now be another outstanding offer for students in our community and surrounding areas. Meyer Montessori will open in August of 2017 with three classrooms of early childhood years (ages 3-5). The school will have the core components of a Montessori Educational Program: child directed work, properly trained teachers, use of Montessori materials, uninterrupted work periods, and multi-age classrooms.

The goal of Montessori education is to foster a child's natural disposition to learn. Montessori education recognizes that each child learns in different ways and accommodates those learning styles. Children learn at their own pace, advancing through the curriculum as they are ready. Beginning at an early age, Montessori students develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence. Self-regulation emerges through the classroom design, the Montessori materials, and daily routines.

While supported by their guides to be active "seekers of knowledge," students look critically at their work and learn from their errors. Guides are in the classroom serving as a facilitator, observer, and character builder. Students have freedom and choices for learning within parameters set by the guide. The guide may give a lesson to a child or small group of children, another child may give a lesson, a child may learn from watching others, or a child may explore certain types of materials freely.

The Montessori classroom looks different than a standard classroom with assigned student desks or tables. The room has large open areas which allows for small group activity or independent work space on the floor or small tables. Open shelving at the child's hand and eye level house the inviting, specially designed materials. There are specific areas for each part of the curriculum such as Language Arts, Math, and Culture. Students are provided daily with at least one three-hour uninterrupted work time.

Classrooms are comprised of multi-age students usually composed of a range of two to three year span. Ideally, students stay with the class and guide for the entire cycle creating a community of learners. Learning to live in a community, working independently, and thinking constructively and creatively are the hallmarks of a Montessori classroom.

Find more information on Montessori education from the American Montessori Society https://amshq.org/ For information regarding Meyer Montessori school registration and frequently asked questions, visit www.tempeschools.org/montessori.


We are proud to announce that on behalf of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Awards Committee and the National Leadership Team of the Corporate Counsel Conference, Tri-District Legal Counsel Jessica Sanchez has been selected as one of the recipients of the HNBA 2017 Top Lawyers Under 40 Award. After a rigorous review process, the committee selected Sanchez from a large pool of highly qualified candidates from across the country. Her outstanding professional achievements, combined with an exceptional commitment to service, set her apart as someone who is worthy of this esteemed recognition.

The HNBA will present the awards on Friday, March 31, 2017, at the HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference in Miami, Florida. "I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected for this award. I will forever endeavor to be deserving of this honor and will continue to be an advocate for public education and for my community," said Sanchez. Sanchez has served as legal counsel for the Tempe Elementary, Kyrene, and Tempe Union since June 2014. Congratulations to Jessica for a well-deserved award. We at Tempe Elementary are very proud of your hard work and dedication!






Each summer, Tempe Elementary School District is proud to offer a variety of challenging enrichment and academic reinforcement classes in our Summer Enrichment Program! Students experience ways to solve a CSI crime; learn how to connect cultures through art; receive extra support in reading, writing, and math; enjoy playing team sports; and learn ways to prepare healthy snacks and meals! All students both in-district and out-of-district entering kindergarten through ninth grade in the 2017-2018 school year are welcome to attend!

TD3 brings together our finest innovative and creative instructors to teach reading, writing, science, math, social students, technology, engineering, theater, music, art, physical education, gifted, and special education. The tuition-based Summer Enrichment Program runs Monday through Thursday during the month of June.

We currently serve over 900 students in our summer program and are always looking for additional private funding to provide tuition scholarships for our students. If you are interested in sponsoring a child for summer school, please contact Jama Nacke at jnacke@tempeschools.org. The cost of sponsoring each child including transportation, is $355.00. Please visit www.tempeschools.org/summerschool for additional information.




Beginning in 2016, credit eligible fees paid and contributions made to a public school from January 1 through April 15 of a calendar year may be used as a tax credit on the prior year's tax return. Qualifying contributions made to a public school January 1, 2017 through April 18, 2017 may be used as a tax credit on either your 2016 or 2017 Arizona income tax return.

Tempe Elementary is currently accepting tax credit donations to enhance our students educational opportunities. Every Arizona Educational Tax Credit dollar designated to one of our Tempe Elementary schools will be used for extracurricular activities such as field trips to support classroom curriculum, athletic programs, music programs, after-school clubs and student leadership training.


Provided you have a tax liability to the state, a tax credit will allow you to reduce the amount of your tax liability to the state (your state tax bill) or increase your refund from the state. The amount you donate will be the amount you may claim as a state tax credit.

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the actual tax owed and in some cases, can even increase your refund from the state. For example, if you donated $50, paid $300 in taxes and are receiving a $250 refund, your refund will increase to $300. Either way, you are sending your tax dollars directly to the school(s) of your choice.

Check with your tax consultant to see if you could also be eligible for a deduction on your federal taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.


Submit your donation one of these ways:
1. Donate securely online using a credit card.
2. Mail completed tax credit donation form included in the Tax Credit Brochure along with your check made out to "Tempe School District No. 3" to the District Office at 3205 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282.
Drop off the form and your check at the District Office (open 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon. - Fri.) or at the school of your choice. See Tax Credit Brochure (below) for list of schools and their addresses.

Tempe Schools received $237,545.70 last year. Money was used for after school enrichment clubs, afterschool tutoring, field trips to support classroom curriculum, science excursions, student leadership training, after school intramurals and athletics. The Tempe schools appreciate the support of parents and the community. The students in Tempe have increased educational opportunities because of your donation. For more information or to make a donation, please visit www.tempeschools.org/taxcredit.


TD3 Excellence Awards is Tempe Elementary's annual employee and community recognition program. The awards honor individuals/groups in the following areas: administrator, certified employee, classified employee, community or organization, and group. Selections of the 2016-2017 Excellence Awards have been made!

The Governing Board will present awards to this year's winners on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Karen Arredondo Board Room of the Sanchez Administration Building, 3205 S. Rural Rd. Tempe. The winners are:

Gail Hales, Principal, Getz
Lori McClellan, Coordinator, Gifted Education and Social Studies



Melissa Revel, 7th/8th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Ward Traditional Academy
Barbara Weber, School Nurse, Broadmor

CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL Valerie Greenfield, Office Clerk, Arredondo
Iris Sanchez, Parent Liaison, Holdeman

TD3 School Psychologists: Dr. Michael Buchsbaum, Linda Campbell, Dr. Marya Cota, Amanda Cowley, Dr. Asheeki Elmore, Katie Goodwin, Dr. Tawnya Kumarakulasingam, Daniel Lamoreaux, Donald Miller, Elizabeth Moriarty, Jennifer Marko, Nicole Nash, Karissa Rulison, Vaishali Shah, Paige Spackman, Dr. Traci Williams, Lauren Woodard, Nakita Westrich, Savannah Wright

LifeLock, Inc.


Excellence Begins with Me is a video series that highlights the people, programs, and services that positively impact the Tempe Elementary School District.

"It is our mission to recognize the excellence that is on display each and every day in the Tempe Elementary community," said Superintendent Christine Busch. "I am proud to showcase these extraordinary people who commit themselves to the highest levels of excellence."

A new video is produced for the second Governing Board Meeting each month. To view all videos, visit www.tempeschools.org/videos.


Rotary Awards recognize an exceptional teacher, an exceptional school based classified staff member, and an exceptional principal. These awards honor TD3 staff for creating a positive learning environment for students, being a positive role model, and showing high regard for fellow staff members, parents, and students each day.

Congratulations to the following TD3 educators who have been chosen for the Tempe South Rotary Awards!

Exceptional Principal - Kathy Mullery, Connolly Middle School
Exceptional Teacher - Melissa Revel, Ward Traditional Academy
Exceptional Classified Staff - Lori Silva, Aguilar Elementary

These employees will be recognized at an Educator Application Breakfast on February 24, where they will be awarded $500 from the Rotary Club! Thank you to Kathy, Melissa, and Lori for your dedication and service toward improving the lives of your students and families.






Former Tempe Elementary students are constantly going on to do amazing things. Greg Vanney and Sam Dorman are two excellent examples of this. This past month, Fuller Elementary and Fees College Prep Middle School alumni Greg Vanney coached the Toronto FC (Futbol Club) in the Major League Soccer finals.

Although Vanney's squad ended up losing to the Seattle Sounders in a shootout, his strong soccer career remains impressive. Vanney played 13 years professionally including representing the United States three times in the FIFA World Cup.

Before his world-renowned playing and coaching career, Vanney remembers a simpler time. "I'd always meet with a group of friends before school to play pick-up soccer in the 'pit' at Fuller," said Vanney, adding, "Actually, my first soccer coaching experience was at the Tempe YMCA when I was around 12, coaching a group of younger kids."

Congratulations to Vanney, and better luck next year. Thanks for making TD3 proud!


Tempe Elementary teacher Matt Tully made a promise to Tempe Elementary alum and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sam Dorman ten years ago in McKemy Middle School's gym. Tully, Dorman's middle school physical education teacher, promised Dorman that if Dorman ever made it to the Olympics, Tully would be there. This summer, Dorman graced the Olympic stage in Rio de Janeiro in synchronized diving while Tully cheered him on from the sidelines. See a feature about Tully's journey with Sam Dorman here.

Are you a Tempe Elementary alum or do you have an amazing TD3 teacher that you will always remember? We always love to hear how our former students are doing. Feel free to send us an update of where you went to school and what you are doing now on our Share Your Story webpage: https://www.tempeschools.org/for-parents/share-your-story


Tempe Elementary School District
3205 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282