Pima Butte Elementary opens its doors Monday

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Monday Maricopa schools will welcome students back for the first day of the new school year. The newest elementary school, Pima Butte, will be opening its doors for the very first time.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 8, 2004, for Pima Butte. The school was built at the cost of $4.136 million, including furnishings. The State Facilities Board funded most of the project.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday evening served as the official opening of the facility. On hand to share in the festivities were Maricopa schools’ superintendent Alma Farrell, school board president Tim White, architect David Brubaker of Gilleland and Brubaker, D. L. Withers project manager David Bradley, Mayor Kelly Anderson, district Business Manager Paul Kasparian and Pima Butte principal Janelle Lowey, among others.

Chief Bill Kelleher, Fire Prevention Chief Eddie Rodriguez and Fire District Board president Don Pearce presented a large flag to be flown at the school on behalf of the Maricopa Fire Department.

Following the ceremonies, Meet the Teacher Night was held from 6 to 7 p.m. to enable new students and their parents to meet with teachers and find their classrooms.

Larry Peterson, who teaches fourth grade, offered a self-portrait so students could recognize him.

Pima Butte is the historical name for “M” Mountain, a significant landmark in this area. The school will be known as the home of the Pima Butte Mustangs.

According to Lowey, Monday will see an enrollment of approximately 440 students at Pima Butte. Four kindergarten classes, three first grade classes and two classes each for second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders will be available. One first and second grade combination class and a third and fourth grade combination are also being taught.

Speaking for herself and her staff, Lowey explained, “Our expectations are high, and we are prepared to offer every student a well-rounded, excellent education.” The school’s guidelines for success encourage students to respect themselves, others and their school while also being responsible and taking pride in themselves, others and Pima Butte Elementary.

This year’s school activities at Pima Butte will be held on Tuesday evenings. Plans are under way for a family movie night, an ice cream social, winter and spring music programs and a Cinco de Mayo Festival. All activities will be scheduled on the school calendar, which is available on the district’s web site.

Lowey would like to see student government at Pima Butte as well as the establishment of a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). “We want to invite parents and community to be involved as much as possible,” she said. “If you feel that you would like to take part in this exciting learning community, let me know.”

Pima Butte’s office can be reached by phone at (520) 568-7152 or (520) 568-7154. Lowey can also be reached by email.