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Articles from December 2024

Desert Meadows’ JP Ketcham Named Exemplary Principal by County Superintendent

award graphicCongratulations to Desert Meadows’ JP Ketcham who was named an Exemplary Principal by the Officer of the Maricopa County Superintendent.

The leadership award is presented to principals who intentionally and strategically nurture school cultures where teacher and student voices set and realize the school’s vision. Principals awarded the Exemplary Principal award intrinsically value the opinions, experiences, and preferences of those they lead and consistently leverage those perspectives in decision-making. As a result of these safe and supportive environments, the students achieve academically and emotionally, and the teachers remain in the profession.

Nominees go through a rigorous five-phase process which includes teacher surveys, candidate interviews, and a committee site visit before they are selected to be an Exemplary Principal.

Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson surprised Ketcham during a staff meeting where he presented the award.

Watch the video of the surprise announcement.

See the photos taken of this special award being presented.


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LEAP Into High School April 30

All middle school Laveen students are invited to attend our LEAP into High School event.

This year’s event will be held April 30 from 5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. at Rogers Ranch School, 6735 S. 47th Ave.

Participants will be able to meet with representatives from area high schools to learn more about their programs and offerings.

Visit for a list of participating high schools.

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Laveen’s Celebration of Art is April 25

Join us for the inaugural district art show on Thursday, April 25 from 4:30 -6:30 p.m. at the Laveen Education Center, 5001 W. Dobbins.

Laveen’s Celebration of Art will feature student art from across all Laveen schools and grade levels. Stop by throughout the evening to see the amazing work our students have created.

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Exceptional Service Award Winners Recognized

Congratulations to the 2023-24 Exceptional Service Award winners! The Exceptional Service Award is the district’s highest honor for classified staff members.

  • Gonzalo Sanchez – Bus Driver – Transportation
  • Gabriel Cabrera Solis – Groundskeeper – Support Services 
  • Veronica Soto– Receptionist – Laveen Education Center
  • Tehani SmithRegistrar – Estrella Foothills
  • Sarahi BalanzarComputer Technician – M.C. Cash
  • Cynthia BritoHealth Associate – Rogers Ranch 
  • Sandra BautistaSecretary – Laveen Elementary 
  • David GarciaPlant Manager – Paseo Pointe
  • Jerlyn DeesInstructional Associate – Cheatham 
  • Araceli JimenezCafeteria ManagerChild Nutrition (Desert Meadows)
  • Jesusita MartinezKids Club Specialist – Desert Meadows
  • Angel RichmondInstructional Associate – Trailside Point
  • Stephanie CarreonPlant Manager – Vista Del Sur

These individuals display the following attributes:

  • Strong attendance and dependability
  • High quality and quantity of work
  • Excel at working harmoniously with others
  • Expert in their job responsibilities
  • Regularly show initiative and creatively solve problems
  • Provide excellent customer service

Their commitment to our students, staff and community is greatly appreciated.

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Laveen’s Kids Club is Now Enrolling for 2024-2025 Before/After School Program

Laveen’s Kids Club is now enrolling students in before/ after school care. This licensed program offers carefully planned, well-supervised activities for children in grades kindergarten through sixth.

Kids Club staff guides participants through group games, team sports, hands-on science activities, arts and crafts, music, drama, plus many other activities from which your child may choose. Each day includes quiet time for homework assistance and encouragement, plus a nutritious snack.

Program hours vary by school site. Learn more at

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Preschool Registration Begins March 19

Laveen schools will begin accepting preschool registrations for the 2024-25 school year beginning on March 19 at 8:30 a.m.

The full-day academic preschool program is offered at four schools – Desert Meadows, Estrella Foothills, Paseo Pointe, and Vista del Sur.

Children must be four or five-years-old by August 5, 2024 to enroll.

Visit our preschool page to download the registration form. Please make an appointment with the Kids Club office to verify the necessary paperwork.


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Chef Kent Visits Cafeterias to Train Staff on Speed Scratch Cooking

The Life Time Foundation’s Chef Kent has been visiting Laveen schools to train child nutrition staff on preparing ramen bowls with chicken and oven-fried rice. They will conduct student taste tests and get feedback to determine if these items will make it onto our menu next school year.

Laveen’s Child Nutrition Department has partnered with the Life Time Foundation to support its mission to ensure all of our students receive nutritious meals to support academic excellence in a positive environment. Chef Kent periodically provides culinary training to staff to implement more speed-scratch cooking, work to reduce the amount of highly processed foods on our menus, and phase out foods that contain “ingredients of concern.”

Governing Board Clerk Michele Anderson joined in the lesson and was charged with preparing fresh ginger for the first culinary lesson.

Learn more:

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Join our Team! Teacher Job Fair is February 29, 2024

The Laveen School District is hosting a job fair for teachers interested in joining our team. The job fair will be held on February 29, 2024, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Laveen Education Center, 5001 W. Dobbins. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with Laveen administrators including school principals.

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Desert Meadows is an A+ School of Excellence

Desert Meadows School and Paseo Pointe Dual Language Academy have been named A+ Schools of Excellence® by the Arizona Educational Foundation! The prestigious A+ designation is awarded to schools that showcase excellence in all aspects of their school.

Both schools underwent a rigorous application process and two site visits where they had the opportunity to demonstrate the comprehensive school-wide programs that lead to their achievements.

The AEF awards the A+ School of Excellence® designation to schools that consistently share the following traits:

  • Model quality and equity
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to academic excellence
  • Respond successfully to the changing environment of education
  • Cultivate learning-centered, safe school environments
  • Encourage innovative instruction by supporting teachers
  • Actively address students’ social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs
  • Demonstrate superior ability to go above and beyond the norm in providing services to children, families, and the local community

The A+ designation is valid for 3.5 years. With the addition of Desert Meadows and Paseo Pointe Dual Language Academy, Laveen now has four current A+ Schools of Excellence®!  These schools join Laveen School (2022), and Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy (2020).

Trailside Point Performing Arts Academy (2014, 2018), Rogers Ranch STEM Academy (2019), and M.C. Cash School (2014, 2018) have all been recipients of this award previously.

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