First-year teachers at the Kyrene School District gathered at the district office Monday morning and attended teacher orientation where they received information on what to expect for the coming school year and a career within Kyrene.

Superintendent Dr. David Schauer opened the orientation and spoke to more than 125 new schoolteachers about the Kyrene community and the different resources the district offers.

Schauer explained to the teachers that they’re the best ambassadors for Kyrene and further the success of the district.

It has become district tradition to host these types of events for new teachers at Kyrene, and help them with “first-year” nerves, he said.

“I think it helps because they’re with other teachers who are experiencing the same thing, and they’re getting oriented so they know what they’re getting into,” Schauer said. “It takes a lot of the fear away. We want to make sure that they feel very good about being here.”

Once Schauer finished with his morning briefing, the new teachers broke into groups where they mingled among their colleagues and received instructions on how to use Kyrene’s technological tools.

Teachers were given the laptop that they’ll use during the school year and were instructed on how to log onto Kyrene’s system.

Allison Kirby, first-year special education resource teacher at Centennial Middle School, said the orientation furthered her excitement for the first day of school, which is Monday, Aug. 4.

Kirby, who’s an Ahwatukee resident, chose to teach in the Kyrene district due to its high performance in education.

“I’m excited to be part of this community,” she said. “I’m excited to meet my kids, to be a teacher at Kyrene and do what I love to do. … I can’t wait.”

New teachers also visited their “home-school” where they familiarized themselves with the buildings and their classroom.

Samantha Hodgkins, first-year special education resource teacher at Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School, said the orientation gave her different resources on how to get involved with the Kyrene experience.

Hodgkins, a Kyrene alum, said she wanted to be a teacher in Kyrene because it’s one of the top districts around.

“I had a great experience here in elementary school, so I wouldn’t want to be part of any other district,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the kids and hopefully making an impact to their lives for the better.”

The orientation will stretch throughout the week where teachers will receive school-based training, technology training and overview on curriculum and resources.

For more information about Kyrene, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.