School Notes: Beating the odds, winning video, national honor - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

School Notes: Beating the odds, winning video, national honor

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Michelle Reese covers education for the Tribune and blogs about motherhood and family issues at Contact her at

Michelle Reese covered education for the Tribune, also blogging about motherhood and family issues at

Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:00 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Tue Aug 20, 2013.

Four Mesa schools striving to improve academic achievement will get a better chance thanks to The Boeing Foundation. The group has awarded $20,000 to sponsor the Edison, Emerson, Hawthorne and Webster elementary schools in the 2012-2013 Beat the Odds program.

The Beat the Odds Institute started as a research study to “get great results in schools” in lower socio-economic areas. The study came up with six keys to success: “clear bottom line, ongoing assessment, strong and steady principal, collaborative solutions, stick with the program and built to suit.”

With the grant, the principals at the four Mesa schools will be able to participate in training and mentoring.

Queen Creek school claims honors

A little creativity, and a little rap, helped a Queen Creek teacher win big for her class.

Fifth-grade teacher Janna Newman’s students created a video, “Tiles Bring Smiles Rap,” to demonstrate how a product — VersaTiles — is used at Circle Cross Ranch School. The K-8 campus is part of the Florence Unified School District.

The video netted second place in the national contest sponsored by ETA Hand2Mind, which developed VersaTiles. For the win, the class will receive products to help next year’s students.

Way to go!

Gilbert principal joins national board

Summer will be busy for Gilbert’s Robyn Conrad, principal at Playa del Rey Elementary School.

The 30-year veteran educator has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, a three-year commitment.

In July, Conrad travels to Washington, D.C., for the state leaders convention. While there, she and principals from across the country will advocate for children, as well as talk about changes coming to education.

Congratulations, Robyn.

• School Notes are compiled by education reporter Michelle Reese. Read more school news at, and follow us on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@EVEdnews).

More about

More about

  • Discuss


East Valley Education on Facebook


East Valley Education on Twitter


Subscribe to East Valley Education via RSS

RSS Feeds

Your Az Jobs