Kyrene School District

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Kyrene School District
8700 S. Kyrene Road, Tempe AZ 85284
District information
Motto"Excellence in education for over 125 years"
SuperintendentDr. Laura Toenjes
NCES District ID0404230[1]
Students and staff
Students17,297 (2016-2017)[2]
Other information

Kyrene School District is a K-8 school district that serves parts of Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, and Phoenix, Arizona, as well as portions of the Gila River Indian Community within Maricopa County. It has nineteen elementary schools and six middle schools. The district office, the Ben Furlong Education Center, is located at the intersection of Warner Rd. and Kyrene Rd. in Tempe.


In 1888, the Kyrene School District was founded at the request of nine families who wanted a school district for 17 children. The original boundary area was far smaller than currently; though the north boundary is unchanged, the Kyrene district confirmed its east boundary at Price Road and has since extended west from its 56th Street/Priest Drive boundary and south from Pecos Road to include much of the Gila River Indian Community. The district built a small school that was destroyed in a windstorm; until 1920, the Kyrene School site was at McClintock and Warner roads, two miles due east of the Furlong Center (a 1990 build).

Many teachers who received their educational certificates from Arizona State University, originally called Tempe Normal School, taught in one of the two-schoolroom buildings. Mr. Earl D. Willams graduated from Arizona State University and began teaching Industrial Art at the KYRENE JUNIOR HIGH GRADE K-8 on WARNER and KYRENE Rd. Mr. Williams built the first Industrial Art Shop-Class, the Library and the Administration Building. He also built a replica of the original school house for the Kyrene Bicentennial Parade. Mr. Earl Williams taught Industrial Art for thirty years at Kyrene.

Kyrene approached the early 1970s with 600 students in the entire district, mostly Hispanic students from a small area named "Sende Vista", just south of Guadalupe, an area of South Phoenix called "Highland Terrace", and the Hightown neighborhood of Chandler. Five buses transported the districts to school.

Resources in the '70s were concentrated on building classroom space for the district that would grow fourfold by 1980. C.I. Waggoner elementary was added to, and the district completed Lomas and Norte elementary schools. (C.I. Waggoner Elementary School, est. 1969, is the oldest operating school facility in the district.)

The 1980s brought another wave of new schools, built in mostly the same designs. Nine elementary and middle schools were built in the 1980s, and eleven more followed by the late 1990s. Three more school builds brought the district to 25 elementary schools.

District Administration[edit]

Superintendent - Dr. Laura Toenjes
Asst. Superintendent - Dr. Mark Knight
Asst. Superintendent - NA
Chief Financial Officer - Chris Herrmann
Chief Info & Accountability Officer - Dr. Susie Ostmeyer
Chief Benefits Officer - Deb Spurgin
Director of Business Services - Jackie Mattinen
Director of Community Education - Josh Glider
Director of Curriculum - Christie Mc Dougall
Director of Exceptional Student Services - Dr. Sandra Laine
Director of Human Resources - Mary Jane Rincon
Director of Information Technology - Damian Nichols
Director of Research and Evaluation - Dr. Rebecca Bolnick
Director of School Effectiveness - Carrie Furedy
Director of School Effectiveness - Scott Maxwell
Director of Transportation & Facilities - Eric Nethercutt

Middle schools[edit]

Middle schools in Kyrene SD
Information Akimel A-al[Notes 1] Altadeña Aprende Centennial Kyrene MS del Pueblo
Location Ahwatukee Ahwatukee Chandler Ahwatukee Tempe Chandler
Opened 1992 1996 1994 1988 1985 1986
Colors Turquoise, black Maroon/blue Gold/black Red/black Lime green/black Maroon/gray
Mascot Rattlers Panthers Jaguars Saber Cats Scorpions Bulldogs
Principal Stephanie Philips James Martin Renee Kory Michelle Anderson Sheryl Houston Kelly Alexander
Feeds into... (TUHSD) Mountain Pointe, Desert Vista Desert Vista Corona del Sol Mountain Pointe Corona, Mountain Pointe, Marcos de Niza Corona del Sol and Mountain Pointe

Centennial and Pueblo opened as junior high schools and were converted to full 6-8 middle schools in 1990. Kyrene MS opened as a junior high and was converted to a full 6-8 middle school in 1989.

Elementary schools[edit]

  • C. I. Waggoner Elementary School, est.1969[Notes 2]
  • Kyrene del Norte Elementary School, est. 1974
  • Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School, est. 1976
  • Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School, est.1982
  • Kyrene de los Ninos Elementary School, est. 1982
  • Kyrene de la Paloma Elementary School, est. 1985
  • Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School, est. 1987
  • Kyrene Traditional Academy-Sureño Campus, est. 1987
  • Kyrene de los Lagos Elementary School, est. 1988
  • Kyrene de la Mariposa Elementary School, est. 1988
  • Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School, est.1989
  • Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary School, est. 1992
  • Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School, est. 1993
  • Kyrene de la Mirada Elementary School, est. 1993[Notes 3][3][4]
  • Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School, est.1994
  • Kyrene de los Cerritos Elementary School, est.1994
  • Kyrene de las Manitas Elementary School, est. 1996
  • Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School, est. 1999
  • Kyrene del Milenio Elementary School, est. 2000


In 2009, the Auditor General of Arizona was requested by the Tempe Police Department to investigate allegations of financial misconduct by Janet Thor.[5] Thor, who was principal for Kyrene de los Cerritos and Kyrene del Cielo elementary schools, was accused of misusing $54,000 in donations by putting them into a private bank account.[6] Thor, who was later indicted on multiple charges of misuse of public monies, theft, and fraudulent schemes,[6] eventually resigned from her position at Kyrene del Cielo and pleaded guilty to some of the charges filed against her.[7]

In the Auditor General's report, Kyrene School District was criticized for not heeding warning signs that, in its opinion, should have exposed the misuse, including officials overlooking early concerns about an unauthorized bank account, and not restricting Thor's account access, when it started an investigation.[5] The same report, however, also noted that Kyrene School District has implemented new safeguards to prevent similar incidents in the future.[5]


  1. ^ The name is Tohono O'odham for "children of the river"
  2. ^ C. Ilo Waggoner, the school's namesake, was a Depression-era district superintendent
  3. ^ The school was built in partnership with Intel Corporation, which has offices across the street, and opened for the 1993-94 school year.


  1. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Kyrene School District". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Kyrene Elementary School District Annual Report, School Year 2016-2017" (Adobe Flash). Kyrene School District. p. 7. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Intel brings TQM to the business of education." Personnel Journal Jan. 1995: 77.
  4. ^ Anfuso, Dawn. "Intel educates a school district about business." Personnel Journal Apr. 1995: 128-36.
  5. ^ a b c "Kyrene School District No. 28 Theft and Misuse of Public Monies" (PDF). Auditor General of Arizona. July 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b Quizon, Derek (27 July 2010). "Former Kyrene principal indicted on theft, fraud charges". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  7. ^ Sakal, Mike (17 September 2010). "Ex-Kyrene principal pleads guilty in theft of $34,000". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 20 December 2017.

External links[edit]