A 20-year partnership between Mesa Unified School District and Boeing received recognition Wednesday as one of the top educational alliances in the nation.
The pair placed among 17 finalists for the inaugural National School and Business Partnership Award, finishing ahead of 337 other applicants from 42 states.
"We’re really honored and proud that the partnership is recognized," said Mary Baldwin, Boeing’s community and education relations manager. "We value our wonderful relationship with the leaders in the school district."
Boeing has focused on supplementing math and science programs in the Mesa district, including a twoweek summer aviation camp that ends Friday at the Confederate Air Force Museum at Falcon Field.
"The flight school is a great way to learn broad concepts of aviation and have a lot of fun while you’re doing it," flight school instructor Diana LeSueur said.
Boeing donated computers to use with flight simulation software at the camp for Mesa seventh- and eighth-graders.
Boeing also has created aviation curriculum for fifthgraders districtwide and installed flight simulators at Lowell and Salk elementary schools.
"Boeing is vital for projects like flight school," district spokesman Joe O’Reilly said. "They’re a strong supporter of education and of the Mesa community."
Additionally, Boeing funds the Math Academy, an after-school tutoring program expanded last year to eight schools. The program is credited with boosting students’ scores on Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards and Stanford 9.
Baldwin said Boeing plans to create a teacher boot camp where teachers will learn techniques for integrating math, science and literacy into classroom projects.
Six of the 17 finalists won $10,000 prizes Wednesday from the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, including Intel and Sutton Elementary School in Phoenix. Mesa and Boeing did not make this list.