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East Mesa school news for Dec. 4
Kennedy McMann, a senior at Skyline High School, was named a student of the month (Photo courtesy of Mesa Public Schools, special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA).

Skyline High senior named among students of the month

Mesa Public Schools named its first students of the month in the history of the district Nov. 12 at a governing board meeting.

Traditionally, Mesa Public Schools has only recognized employees and volunteers of the month.

Kennedy McMann is a senior at Skyline High School, 845 S. Crismon Road. She was one of the five students of the month and the only one from an east Mesa school.

The new program was the idea of Superintendant Michael Cowan.

“These awards speak to what MPS is all about — helping the youth of our community achieve their personal best and celebrating their success,” Superintendent Cowan said in a press release.

Kennedy serves as president of the Skyline Performing Arts Club on stage both at school and at Valley Youth Theatre.

She also recently won an ariZoni Award for her performance in VYT’s “Macbeth.”

Each student of the month received a certificate. Their photos will be displayed in the governing-board room.

For more information or for a complete list of winners, visit the Mesa Public Schools website.

Governing board member Miranda dead at 64

Ben Miranda, member of the Maricopa County Community College District governing board, died Nov. 15. He was 64.

Mr. Miranda was a Vietnam War veteran, former legislator and advocate for the Latino community.

He was married to state Rep. Catherine Miranda. The cause of his death was unknown as of press time.

Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Rufus Glasper said in a press release that although Mr. Miranda had only been a board member since January, he had proven he was committed to education.

“His service here was just the most recent example of his dedication to the community. Both personally and on behalf of the governing board and the Maricopa Community Colleges, I want to offer our condolences to his wife, Catherine, and to his family. He will be missed throughout the community,” Mr. Glasper said in the press release.

Mesa Community College to host holiday concert

The music program at Mesa Community College will host a holiday concert Dec. 6-7 at the Red Mountain Campus, 7110 E. McKellips Road.

The Songs of the Season concert is an annual event that includes performances from multiple choirs.

In addition to various choral performances, the event will include strolling carolers, holiday decorations, telescopes for stargazing and desserts.

Choral director Glenn Bennett said in a press release that Songs of the Season is a diverse program format that allows for a large amount of musical freedom.

“The result has been a very successful annual event that gives us the opportunity to do works from the vast repertoire of music that has been written for the Christmas and holiday season, rather than getting locked into just one type or style of music,” Mr. Bennett said.

Two Songs of the Season performances are scheduled in the Rehearsal and Performance Center of the Saguaro building at the MCC Red Mountain Campus.

Dec. 6 is an evening performance, with stargazing at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. and desserts at 8:30. Cost is $10.

Dec. 7 is a matinee performance from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with no refreshments. Cost is $5.

Purchase tickets online or by phone at 480-654-7766.

Masonic Oriental Lodge honors Mesa teachers

Masonic Oriental Lodge No. 20 recently honored six east Mesa teachers for their excellence in education.

The lodge recognized the teachers with a welcome reception, dinner party and awards ceremony.

The teachers honored were Joe Urban and Joy Penaskovic of Taylor Junior High, 705 S. 32nd St.; Kenneth Sorensen and Travia Steward of Skyline High School, 845 S. Crismon Road; Cynthia Nagel of Madison Elementary, 849 S. Sunnyvale; and Kelvin Einspahr of Red Mountain High School, 7301 E. Brown Road.

To view a complete gallery of the teachers honored, visit the Mesa Public Schools Facebook page.

Governing board meetings scheduled for local districts

The governing boards for Mesa and Gilbert public school districts meet periodically to discuss various education issues. The boards will meet on the following dates:

- Mesa Public Schools: regular meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Curriculum Services Center, 549 N. Stapley Drive in Mesa.

- Gilbert Public Schools: regular meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the district office, 140 S. Gilbert Road.

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