Lilly Mather is congratulated by Board Member Joshua Judd. Photo by Kyle Norby

Maricopa Unified School District shone its September spotlight on students, staff and community members during the governing board’s Wednesday meeting.

Each month, one student from every school is chosen by their principal “based on their outstanding commitment to their education, their school and their community.” This month’s honorees: Butterfield Elementary – Analisa Barillas, fifth grade; Desert Wind Middle School – Alison Chapman, sixth grade; Maricopa Elementary – Pate Justin, fifth grade; Maricopa High – Ariana Vaida, 11th grade; Maricopa Wells Middle School – Abigayil Gindiri, eighth grade; Pima Butte Elementary – Lilly Mather, fifth grade; Saddleback Elementary – Calvin Woodward, second grade; Santa Cruz Elementary – Josalyn Morgan, third grade; Santa Rosa Elementary – Natalia Fores-Vidal, fifth grade.

One employee from each school was also selected by principals and department leaders: “These staff members are phenomenal individuals who give from their hearts and go above and beyond expectations to meet the needs of the students and families we serve.” This month’s honorees: Butterfield Elementary – Juanita Morton, paraprofessional; Desert Wind Middle School – Mike Pinkstaff, lead custodian; Maricopa Elementary – Paul Krigbaum, physical education teacher; Maricopa High – Cheryl Mount, English teacher; Maricopa Wells Middle School – Keith Gibson, sixth-grade ELA teacher; Pima Butte Elementary – Kelly Gomez, second-grade teacher; Saddleback Elementary – Tara Owens, administrative assistance; Santa Cruz Elementary – Megan Strom, first-grade teacher; Santa Rosa Elementary – Roberta Roberge, kindergarten teacher; Teaching and Learning Department – Krista Holder, administrative assistant.

Each school and the district office also select community members “who selflessly give time and resources to ensure our students’ success.” This month’s honorees: Butterfield Elementary – Murray Siegel, volunteer; Maricopa Elementary – Nathan Ullyot, City of Maricopa; Desert Wind Middle School/Maricopa High – Karen Fortunado, volunteer; Maricopa Wells Middle School – Christopher Leon, community leader; Pima Butte Elementary – Jeffi Pavlich, volunteer and PTO president; Saddleback Elementary – Brittany Smith, volunteer; Santa Cruz Elementary – Tammy Ash, volunteer; Santa Rosa Elementary – Pastor Luke Panter, Grace Fellowship; Superintendent’s office – Jim Irving, volunteer coordinator.

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