The Dysart Unified School District annually names staff members as heroes to recognize outstanding service to the district and the community.
This year, 55 staff members received the honor of being named a Dysart Hero, after being selected through a peer nomination process. The number of nominations received doubled this year, demonstrating the hard work and dedication of Dysart’s staff. Heroes were surprised with the awards by the Dysart Hero Prize Patrol, made up of district administrators and governing board members, over the course of several days in March and April.
In lieu of the usual ceremony and dinner this year, Dysart Heroes were honored during a private ceremony on April 21 at The Vista Center for the Arts. Jim Dean, assistant superintendent of support services, was the master of ceremonies and read excerpts from the nomination letters.
A commemorative hero plaque, sponsored by the Dysart Education Foundation, was presented by Superintendent Quinn Kellis and members of the Dysart governing board.
The Shadow Ridge High School drumline provided a brief performance onstage and led the hero procession to a line of district leadership and administrators cheering their recipients on as they exited the ceremony.
A take-home meal was provided for each hero from Sharkos Catering, so they could enjoy it with their families while they watched the ceremony later that evening.
The 2021 Dysart Heroes include:
• Asante Preparatory Academy — Tracy Anderson, Ruby Sotelo
• Ashton Ranch Elementary School — Carla Gutierrez, Arthur Frazier
• Canyon Ridge School — Lacey Merritt, Matthew Davis
• Cimarron Springs Elementary School — Heide Cline, David Montano
• Countryside Elementary School — Jacqueline Banks, Diane Varming
• Dysart Elementary School — Michele Gillespie, Angela Schreifels
• Dysart High School — Samantha Jones, Michelle Dabney
• El Mirage Elementary School — Brandi Tshivhase, Mayra Garcia
• Freedom Traditional Academy — Yesenia Fierro, Jaime Stanley
• Kingswood Elementary School — Jessica Novalesi, Barbara Louis Nieto
• Luke Elementary School — Marissa Mulvey, Tom Piniewski
• Marley Park Elementary School — Kathryn Voss, Jeri Metcalf
• Mountain View School — Christina Brown, Chawna Anderson
• Rancho Gabriela Elementary School — Sheri Morey, Marteen Maffai
• Riverview School — Delbertta Smolinski, Randolph Pinner
• Shadow Ridge High School — Michelle Bohon, Michele Falandys
• Sonoran Heights Elementary School — Brian Koch, Jeffrey Salamone
• Sundown Mountain Alternative Education Program — Dawn Gorosics, Joshua Reish
• Sunset Hills Elementary School — Lisa Moberg, Michelle Paxman
• Surprise Elementary School — Christine Kenneme, Antonieta Trevino
• Thompson Ranch Elementary School — Ramona Arizmendez, Chris Johansen
• Valley Vista High School — Nicole Bauer, Mary Gonzales
• West Point Elementary School — Sarah Sartor, Jane Smith
• Western Peaks Elementary School — Kristen Roemer, Melissa Tanquary
• Willow Canyon High School — Alicia Vitacco, Frederick Parra
• District Department — Michelle Castro, human relations
• James Gillespie, Dysart Elementary School
• Stacie Brown, Western Peaks Elementary School
• Brad Larremore, Valley Vista High School
• Marydel Speidell, Finance Director
The Dysart Hero Awards were sponsored this year by the Dysart Education Foundation, as well as generous community partners including:
Centennial Diamond Sponsor: Valley Schools
Platinum Sponsors: 1GPA, CHASSE Building Team, and CORE Construction
Gold Sponsors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, and Wholesale Floors
Silver Sponsors: Bel-Aire Mechanical, Magellan, Roadrunner Paving, and Trox & ViewSonic
Bronze Sponsors: Biddle and Brown Fence Co., Sun Life and Symetra Life
General Sponsors: Turboscape
To view the recorded ceremony visit vimeo.com/536470158.
To view a video of the Hero Squad surprises, visit youtu.be/-M7LAzXw9Qk.