FUSD Newsletter

August/September 2018

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A Message from the FUSD Superintendent

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! The FUSD staff and I look forward to working collaboratively with our families and community to carry out the district’s mission- Creating Opportunities for you to Discover your Path to Excellence. It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity each day as an educator to positively impact students’ lives, and instill the skills and inspiration each learner needs to be on a path of success. The Flagstaff Unified School District is focused on excellence and fostering its core values- COMMITMENT to Learning, a Culture of INNOVATION, and a GROWTH mindset with rigorous academic and magnet programs, extensive extracurricular activities and clubs, and dedicated and caring staff.

Important Upcoming Dates

9/3 - Labor Day all FUSD schools and buildings will be closed.

9/11 - 9/21- FUSD STEM education display at Flagstaff City Hall.

CTE Students Compete on a National Stage

Last year two FUSD students represented the district, their schools and the State of Arizona at the National SkillsUSA competition. During this competition more than 6,000 students competed in over 100 occupational and leadership skill areas. Recent Coconino High School graduate, Jacob Seff, competed in the Automotive Service Technology competition. Jacob was chosen to be one of 12 out of 6000 to have lunch with the CEO of SnapOn Tools Nicholas T. Pinchuk at the conference.

Katrina Nelson, a Senior at FHS competed in screen printing. She placed in the top 10. It was a great learning experience for both her and teacher Kayley Quick. It was the first time FHS was represented in this category. Katrina is very grateful to all the people who helped her along the way, especially her teacher, administration at FHS and Mr. Dirksen. Everyone was so nice and welcoming in Louisville. “It was a chance in a lifetime and wonderful trip.”

FUSD Welcomes New Administrators

Mr. Frank Garcia has accepted a new role in FUSD as the Director of Educational Enrichment. Previously Mr. Garcia was the Principal at both South Beaver and Thomas Elementary Schools. Mr. Garcia will now work with all FUSD schools, is in charge of many federal programs and grants, and will ensure the continuation of KinderCamp.

“After 12 years as a teacher and 18 years as a principal I am excited to take this next step in my career. Though I will dearly miss the sense of community and pride that I felt at both elementary schools I had the privilege of leading I am looking forward to a new challenge. I feel that the position of Director of Educational Enrichment will allow me to make a difference for our students in ways that I have not been able to before. I will miss my daily interactions with students, parents and teachers but will enjoy working with each of our schools to ensure that students who choose FUSD get a world class education. “

Mrs. Ginni Biggs is the new principal of Thomas Elementary School. Mrs. Biggs has been an educator for 19 years in Japan, Missouri, Page, and Flagstaff. She joined Flagstaff Unified School District in 2005 and has worked as a teacher and instructional coach at Leupp, Killip, and most recently Kinsey Elementary schools. Mrs. Biggs’ educational credentials include a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University and Educational Leadership from Western Governor’s University.

Mrs. Biggs enjoys outdoor activities and exploring Flagstaff and the four corners region with her husband, Josh, and son, Leo. She is very excited to join the Thomas family and states, “My commitment is to provide an exciting, rigorous, and safe learning environment for all students. I am looking forward to building positive relationships with the school community to support the culture of excellence at Thomas Elementary School. I am honored and excited to carry the torch that Principal Garcia has so brightly lit during his tenure at Thomas.”

Mrs. Janelle Reasor is the new principal of Marshall Art and Science Magnet Elementary School. Mrs. Reasor has been an educator for seventeen years. She began her career in Scottsdale where she taught high school science for five years then moved to Flagstaff where she started as a PTO volunteer then the Arts Coordinator at Marshall. She has used her expertise and background to focus Marshall’s dual art and science emphasis throughout the curriculum for the past eleven years as the Art and Science Integration Specialist. According to Mrs. Reasor, she is very excited to use her leadership skills to continue and enhance the unique opportunities offered to all Marshall students. “My commitment to preserving Marshall traditions while simultaneously creating innovative programs in support of the magnet concept, coupled with my dedication to education leadership at the school, district, and community levels has confidently prepared me to assume the duties of principal of this uniquely amazing campus.”

Mrs. Reasor has been married for 21 years and is a “hockey mom” to two boys at Flagstaff High School. She was honored to receive the 2018 Viola Community Impact Award and is looking forward to the start of the 2018 – 2019 school year.

Mr. Les Hauer is now an Assistant Principal at Coconino High School. He was raised in Mesa, AZ and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. Mr. Hauer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ottawa University in 2004 and graduated with his Master of Educational Leadership degree from NAU in May of 2017. His experience training firefighters in the Air Force inspired him to pursue a career in education; his interest in the past led him to become a history teacher. Mr. Hauer began his career as a special education teacher and has been teaching for fourteen years. Les has taught American government, economics, and history at Coconino High School since 2014 and has served as the social studies department chair for the past three years.

Mr. Hauer, his wife Denise, and his sons Tyler and Noah, moved to Northern Arizona in 2003 to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of the Flagstaff region. Les is an avid mountain biker and enjoys snowboarding, cross country skiing, and river rafting. Mr. Hauer is very excited to take on this new role in service to the Coconino High School learning community, “I am committed to ensuring that every student at CHS receives the education they need to realize their dreams so that they can lead us all into a bright and prosperous future. I am proud to be a Panther.”

Here Comes The Bus

Here Comes the Bus is a new program for FUSD that will increase security, safety and communication for the families who depend on bus transportation. Last school year the new program was tested at Cromer, DeMiguel and Kinsey Elementary Schools. The program roll out at these three schools went smoothly and allowed the district and families to discover and work out any issues with the program. As of the beginning of the 2018 – 2019 school year all FUSD bus drivers have been trained and are looking forward to the implementation of Here Comes the Bus.

Here Comes the Bus is a program that allows the bus drivers to know who is on their bus and will help assure that students get on and off the bus at the appropriate stops. In addition, parents will be able to track where their student’s bus is in real time and receive alerts. Parents can access the system on a computer or an app that can be downloaded free through either the Android or Apple stores.

For elementary families, every student will be issued an ID with a unique number that can be used by the family to “track” the bus and student. For middle and high school students this system will be embedded in their school IDs. Parents will be able to be notified each time their student enters and exits the bus and when the bus is a certain distance from their specific stop. The FUSD transportation department will also be able to send messages through the App if the bus is delayed for any reason, any bus substitutions or any other important messages to the families with a rider on a specific bus.

This system will be used on all FUSD school buses within the first month of school, as soon as the ID cards can be issued. If you have any questions about this new program please contact pfleming@fusd1.org.

Ellen Herman - Diamondbacks MVT

Mrs. Ellen Herman, 4th grade teacher at Thomas Elementary, was recognized by the Arizona Diamondbacks through the D-backs Most Valuable Teachers (MVT) Award. In order to be selected, three students wrote essays about Mrs. Herman and why they felt she should be recognized. According to Mrs. Herman, “There are many ways to feel rewarded for what we do as educators, but having students write an essay to acknowledge who you are to them is the highest honor. I am so grateful for the extra work they put in to see this happen. It is amazing to me that these fourth graders showed me so much love.”

Mrs. Herman’s favorite quote by Maya Angelou is: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” “I try to remember this quote as I teach my students, but in this case, I will never forget how I felt being recognized and the reason why.”

According to the AZ Diamondback website, “Arizona’s teachers are the foundation of our children’s education, and all students deserve great teachers who believe in their potential and will inspire them to be their very best. Celebrating outstanding educators provides a perfect opportunity to recognize the best-of-the-best of our state’s teachers and acknowledge their commitment”.

Students Cannot Learn If They Are Not In School - The Importance of Attendance

Help your child succeed in school. Build the habit of good attendance early. School success goes hand in hand with good attendance.

  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school - and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

Tips for you

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make them feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Avoid planning family vacations and non-emergency doctor/dentist appointments when school is in session.
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First Day of School


What is a Bond? What is an Override?

A bond allows the district additional funding to use for capital items. Capital items include new buildings, additions and renovations to buildings, land, school buses, furniture, equipment and technology. The bond approved in November 2012 has allowed the District to maintain programs despite the State cutting 85% of the regular Capital Outlay allocations over several years. Also the total of approximately $2.5 million annually of building renewal funding was removed in 2008, and has not been restored.

The FUSD Bond money will be dedicated to renovating and maintaining District schools, and upgrading technology and school buses with the goals of increasing safety, efficiency, and general support of District programs, services and school activities.

An override is for operational expenses including salaries, benefits, supplies, purchased services, utilities and insurance. An override allows a district to exceed its budget by 15%, and without it the gains made on increase staff salaries will be eroded.

For factual information about the current FUSD budget and frequently asked questions about the 2018 bond and override initiatives please visit


Important Contact Information for Flagstaff Unified School District

Administrative Center Main Number - 527-6000

Curriculum and Instruction Office - 527-6021

Human Resources - 527-6070

Exceptional Student Services - 527-6160

Food Service - 527-6090

Bilingual Education - 527-6107

Transportation - 527-2300

Flagstaff Unified School District Statement of Vision, Mission & Values

Mission Statement:

Creating opportunities for you to discover your path to excellence.

Vision Statement:

The premier educational choice for the greater Flagstaff community.


  • Commitment to Learning
  • Culture of Innovation
  • Growth Mindset

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