Knox Gifted Academy

Knights' Newsletter: SPECIAL EDITION - - - May 15, 2023

A Note from Mrs. Braaksma & Mr. Rogers:

KGA Family,

Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we put the final touches on another successful school year. There are several things we would like to share with you as we wrap-up this year and make plans for the 2023-2024 school year.

Just a reminder that KGA pre-ordered yearbooks will be distributed today! We have a limited quantity of extra yearbooks that will be sold for $25 (cash or check made payable to KGA PTO only) in the front office beginning tomorrow, May 16th until sold out.

First, saying goodbye is always hard at KGA because we care so much about each other and build such a strong community together. There are a few staff members we will send off at the end of this school year:

  • Alison Hermsen will join Weinberg Gifted Academy as a first-grade teacher.
  • Bella (O'Hara) Johnson will join Andersen Elementary school as a second-grade teacher.
  • Brittany Parker is pursuing other endeavors with her family and career.
  • Haley Vradenburg is pursuing other endeavors in the business world.
  • Denise Canfield is relocating to be closer to family.
  • Aaron Miller will join CTA Freedom as the Dean of Students.
  • Jon Byers is relocating to be closer to family.
  • Liz Speciale will join Weinberg Gifted Academy as a Site Substitute.
  • Dr. Samara Humbert-Hughes will remain in CUSD, but is assigned different schools next year.

A special goodbye to our sixth-grade students is also in order. As we launch you into junior high, we know that you will continue to do amazing things in your life. We hope that as you reflect on your time at KGA that it will be filled with lasting friendships, special teachers, and inspiring memories. Remember that you will always be a KGA alumni and we hope that you come back to share in our annual traditions so that we can stay connected to your journey.

Second, it is with great pleasure that we introduce you to a few new staff members that we are fortunate to have joining the KGA team for the 2023-2024 school year.

  • Mattie Larkin is currently an ASU Student Resident at KGA and we are excited to have her join the third-grade team.
  • Heather Williamson is currently teaching in Virginia and will join the third-grade team.
  • Rebecca Tonea is currently teaching fourth grade at Weinberg Gifted Academy and will join the fourth-grade team.
  • Jill McCurdy is currently teaching sixth grade at Andersen Junior High and will join the fifth-grade team.
  • Devin Chen is currently teaching fifth grade in Mesa Public Schools and will join the fifth-grade team.
  • Keegan Grimes is moving from Iowa and will join the Specials team as our PE Teacher.
  • Alvin Valentin is joining KGA as the Orchestra Teacher.
  • We recently recommended an outstanding candidate for our second-grade teacher position and will share more about her after she is officially a KGA Knight.

Monday, May 22nd, all students will participate in "roll-up" as they will be able to meet their next year's teacher team and spend some time in their new classroom space. At this time, our 2023-2024 teaching teams are as follows:

  • Prekindergarten: Ann Cisneros and Ashley Behnke
  • Kindergarten: Allison Davis, Bree Schuhrke, and Kelly VanBuskirk
  • 1st Grade: Malynda Gibson, Leah Kamper, Jason Kilmer, and Jill Lewkowski
  • 2nd Grade: Maria Kantzos, Nina Kruger, Katelyn Studioso, and TBD
  • 3rd Grade: Lynn Barakat, Delaney Busby, Mattie Larkin, Nicole Roselius, and Heather Williamson
  • 4th Grade: Monica Dalton, Crystal Ranson, Rebecca Tonea, Amanda Whittaker, and Krista Wilkewitz
  • 5th Grade: Olivia Camping, Devin Chen, Jill McCurdy, and Laura Yockey
  • 6th Grade: Lauren Leahy, Jamie Stack, and Flower Vogt
  • Specials: Carrie Griffith (Global Studies), Keegan Grimes (PE), Jamie Johnson (Music), Tara Menghini (Technology), and Kristin Moran (Drama), Alvin Valentin (Orchestra), Matt Lennex (Band), TBD (Media Assistant)
  • Resource: Amy Potts (Special Education), Dorathea Reynolds (Speech Pathologist), and Michael Cervantes (School Psychologist)
  • Counselor: Toni Horn
  • Front Office: Sue Bowers (Office Manager), Karissa Albina (Attendance), Tracey Webb (Health Assistant), September Reed (Office Clerk), Scott Reed (Security)
  • Administration: Kristy Braaksma (Principal) and Eric Rogers (Dean of Students)

KGA teachers and student support is deliberate and thoughtful about placing students in homeroom classrooms for the next school year. As staffing and teaching teams are fluid each year, our team-teaching model allows teachers the flexibility to be innovative, creative, and work collaboratively so that all children benefit from a team of teachers who understand their gifts and talents. Thank you for understanding that KGA does not accept environmental requests.

As always, please don't hesitate to let us know how we can best support your family.

All the best,

Kristy Braaksma, Principal

Eric Rogers, Dean of Students

End of the Year Event Reminders:

Move-In Kit Donation Drive

Monday, May 15th, 8:45am to Friday, May 19th, 4pm

700 West Orchid Lane

Chandler, AZ

Check out the City of Chandler's Website for more information!
CLICK HERE: Move-In Kit for Homeless Program

Don't forget to bring in your donations! 100% of all money and items donated will go directly to the City of Chandler's Housing Stability Program, which directly impacts the homeless and their effort to bring them off the streets.

Maker Faire & Lunch on the Lawn

Friday, May 19th, 11am-1:30pm

700 West Orchid Lane

Chandler, AZ

Please come visit The Greatest Show & Tell on Earth: KGA's Annual Maker Faire! Visit student booths and have lunch on the lawn with your children.

Lunch on the Lawn Times:

Kinder: 11:00-11:40am

1st Grade: 11:20-12:00pm

2nd Grade: 11:40-12:20pm

3rd Grade: 12:00-12:40pm

4th Grade: 12:20-1:00pm

5th Grade: 12:40-1:20pm

6th Grade: 1:00-1:40pm

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CLICK HERE: Garden Supplies Needed

The KGA Garden is built & we need your help to filling it up. Thank you for your consideration!

Medication in the Health Office?

Just a friendly reminder that all medication in the Health Office must be picked up by a parent or guardian no later than May 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM. No medications will be sent home with a student. Medications that are not picked up by the last day of school will be destroyed.

Please call the health office at 480.812.6102 to schedule an appointment to pick up your child's medication. Thank you!

PTO's End of the Year Pool Party

Saturday, May 20th, 5:30-8:30pm

1400 West Summit Place

Chandler, AZ

Join us at the Desert Oasis Aquatic Center in Chandler for a fun family event. All are welcome! Food trucks will be on site too. See you then!

2023/2024 School Year Information:

KGA Summer Office Hours

The KGA office will be open until Jun 12, 2023 and will reopen July 5, 2023. If you need immediate assistance when the front office is closed, please call the CUSD District Office at 480-812-7000.

2023/2024 Homeroom Teacher Notification

The Chandler Unified School District is scheduled to release your child's 2023/2024 school year homeroom teacher assignment in Infinite Campus the morning of Wednesday, July 12th.

2023/2024 Meet the Teacher Teams

Monday, July 17th, 5-6:30pm

700 West Orchid Lane

Chandler, AZ

Mark your calendar to join us for Meet the Teacher Night for the 2023/2024 school year! Meet the Team is an informal, open house for students and parents to meet their grade-level teachers, special-area teachers, provide transportation and lunch account information, order spirit gear from your KGA PTO, and get excited for the upcoming school year.
CLICK HERE: KGA Grade Level Supply Lists

Grade level supply lists will be found on the KGA website after May 30th & will be available at Meet the Team Night in July.

2023/2024 First Day of School

Wednesday, July 19th, 9am

700 West Orchid Lane

Chandler, AZ

Official daily school hours are 9:10am to 3:40pm.

2023/2024 KGA PTO Board Members

Please join me in congratulating our newly elected PTO Board members! We are excited to begin planning for next year's amazing community events, enhanced parent communication, and parent support committees. If you would like to express interest in volunteering to support in any capacity, please fill out this quick survey.
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KGA's Vision & Core Values

Our Mission: To enhance the lives of every KGA student

Core Values:

  • Act with Empathy
  • See the Possibilities
  • Succeed as One KGA Team

Knox Gifted Academy

Office: (480) 812-6100

Attendance: (480) 812-6103
Health Office: (480) 812-6102
Fax: (480) 224-9391
School Hours: 9:10 AM - 3:40 PM
Office Hours: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Early Dismissal: 12:10 PM