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Toenjes: November update for Kyrene community


November is upon us, and brings with it cooler weather and an opportunity for reflection and gratitude.

I look forward to the countless moments of learning, collaboration, and celebration that will define this academic year. Our journey together is a continuous adventure, and I am eager to see the achievements and milestones that await our students as we turn the corner toward the second half of the school year!

On behalf of Kyrene School District and the Kyrene Governing Board, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our community for passing Kyrene’s bond and District Additional Assistance Override. 

Your commitment to Kyrene allows us to maintain and enhance our educational facilities, enrich our programs and ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

Thank you for your trust, engagement and belief in the power of education.


Save the date! Enrollment begins Jan. 9

Enrollment for the 2024-25 school year, including preschool and before and after-school programs, begins Jan. 9! General enrollment, including integrated preschool, will be available on ParentVUE at 6:30 a.m.

Registration for Kids Club and After Hours, as well as Signature and Community Preschool for the 2024-25 school year will open for all students on Jan. 9 at 6:30 a.m. through the Community Ed registration portal.

Before/after school programs are competitive, so we strongly encourage interested families to be online promptly at 6:30 a.m. to begin registration.


Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day

On Nov. 14, I joined the staff, students and community of Kyrene de las Brisas and Kyrene Aprende Middle School to celebrate Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.

This special day honors the courage and resilience of Ruby Bridges, who, at just six years old, became a symbol of the civil rights movement when she integrated William Frantz Elementary School in 1960.

Step by step, our communities joined together in a collective walk to school, commemorating the importance of unity, equality and the pursuit of education for all. 

In the words of Kyrene Aprende 8th grade student, Alexander Powell, “While Ruby Bridges walked alone and achieved so much, we can work together to achieve so much more.”


Native American Heritage Month

More than 13,500 years ago, indigenous cultures lived in what we now call Arizona. Through hardships and painful injustices, the native tribes of Arizona have persevered to protect their identity, cultures, and ways of life for generations to come.

During Native American Heritage Month and beyond, Kyrene honors the contributions and influence of the unique tribes in our District, state and country. We are so grateful for our community's diverse population, as it allows us to celebrate and recognize unique perspectives each day.


Kyrene Super Students

Kyrene Super Students is back for the 2023-24 school year, and I'm excited to share our next round of incredible kids. These students have been identified by their schools for exemplifying the Portrait of a Kyrene Kid. Please join me in congratulating our first group of Super Students who were recognized at the Nov. 14 Governing Board meeting. 

  • Luna Rotter, Kyrene de la Estrella
  • Luke Ivany, Kyrene de la Estrella
  • Kali Barlow, Kyrene de las Lomas
  • Olivia Marksberry, Kyrene de las Lomas
  • Wesley Dougherty, Kyrene de la Sierra
  • Laili Bowler, Kyrene de la Sierra


Kyrene Mandarin Teacher receives special recognition

I am excited to share that Zhe Kang, Mandarin language teacher at Kyrene Altadeña Middle School, was recognized by the United Chinese Association of Arizona and the cities of Chandler and Gilbert. Zhe was celebrated for her 10-year tenure teaching Mandarin.

A total of nine teachers from five districts in Arizona received the award. Kyrene Altadeña was the only middle-grade world language program recognized, among high schools and Chinese immersion programs. Please join me in congratulating Zhe!