News - Madison School District

News & Updates

March 11, 2020 – Ms. Katy Clark selected as new Principal of Madison Meadows Middle School

Katy Clark photo

At the March 10, 2020 Governing Board Meeting, Ms. Katy Clark was approved as the next principal of Madison Meadows Middle School.

Ms. Clark was a high school IB biology teacher and IB coordinator for 12 years. She has been a middle school assistant principal and principal for the past five years. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin and a Masters of Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.

Throughout the process of selecting a new leader for Madison Meadows, the Principal Selection Committee spent time listening to staff, family and community members. Thank you to everyone who attended the Community Forum and provided input.

Meadows was fortunate to have many well-qualified applicants who went through a comprehensive application and interview process.

Ms. Clark and Mr. Merrill will be working closely together for a smooth transition. Meadows families, students, staff and community members will have several opportunities to meet with Ms. Clark as she assumes her new duties. Please watch for announcements from Madison Meadows for more information on these upcoming events.

January 29, 2020 – Ms. Rose Devine selected as new Principal of Madison Rose Lane Elementary

Photo of Rose Devine

The Madison School District Governing Board has approved Rose Devine to be the new principal of Madison Rose Lane Elementary. An educator for more than 19 years, Devine served as Interim President at Rose Lane for the past year, Assistant Principal at Madison No. 1 Middle School for a year and Assistant Principal at Madison Camelview Elementary School for two years. 

“My goal is to contribute to the continuous development of this outstanding learning community,” Devine said. “I want to address the needs of our diverse community by applying my past experience to present opportunities. I wholeheartedly support the vision of Madison Elementary School District as the overarching guidepost for safety and success at Madison Rose Lane.”

Devine’s education and experience in the professional arts industry matches the performing fine arts focus of Madison Rose Lane Elementary and its signature program. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and a master’s in choreography/performance from the California Institute of the Arts. 

“Rose has demonstrated her commitment to the education and well-being of every student, working collaboratively with Madison Rose Lane families, team and community members,” shared Dr. Kenneth Baca, Madison Schools Superintendent. “We are grateful for her leadership and focus on expanding opportunities for our students, teachers and team.”  

Additionally, Devine believes in constant evaluation to find new ways to approach challenges and leverage opportunities. She emphasizes the use of both quantitative data and qualitative research, such as discussions with students, parents and her team when making these assessments and adjustments.

“Using diverse sources of data, we are able to continuously evaluate, improve and celebrate the success of everyone invested in Madison Rose Lane,” Devine said. “We focus on the long-term social, emotional and academic development of each student, leveraging every available resource for the whole child’s benefit.”

Madison Rose Lane serves students preschool through fourth grade and is part of the high-achieving Madison Elementary School District. Through Rose Lane’s signature program – Visual and Performing Arts – students have the ability to take dance and theater electives from kindergarten through fourth grade. Dance classes include ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop. Students can become eligible for advanced dance and theater classes at Madison #1 Middle School which also offers the Performing and Visual Arts program for grades fifth through eighth. Madison Rose Lane utilizes two professional dance floors, a dedicated theater room, professional dance teachers and the District’s new performing arts center.

December 5, 2019 – Madison Meadows Teacher Named Mathnasium & AZTV-7 Teacher of the Month

Teacher Anna Andrews poses with her class and representatives from Mathnasium and AZTV-7

Madison Meadows Middle School teacher Anna Andrews was recently selected as the Mathnasium and AZTV-7 Teacher of the Month. Nominated by a former student for her dedication and passion for teaching, Ms. Andrews received a surprise visit from the Mathnasium and AZTV-7 team and a check for $479!

September 2019 – National Study: Madison Provides Higher than Average Educational Opportunities

The Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is an initiative aimed at harnessing data to help scholars, policymakers, educators, and parents learn how to improve educational opportunity for all children. According to the SEDA report, the Madison Elementary School District provides higher than average educational opportunities. Madison students score 0.61 grade levels above the U.S. average. Average scores of Madison students are 0.37 grade levels higher than districts with similar socioeconomic status. In Madison, students’ test scores increased an average of 0.03 grade levels each year from 2009-2016. The SEDA utilized the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results to create a process for comparing the state test scores which all have unique performance levels thresholds and/or scales.

September 2019 – Madison School District Teacher and Student Recipients of 2019 AZIBS Primary Years Programme Awards

AZ IB PYP Student and Teacher of the Year Winners

Madison Simis Elementary School’s International Baccalaureate Program took home not one, but TWO awards from the Arizona International Baccalaureate (IB) Schools Association. Simis teacher, Julia Hubbs, was named the Arizona IB Primary Years Programme Teacher of the Year. Her former student, Sophie Garcia, is the 2019 recipient of the Arizona IB Primary Years Programme Student of the Year award during her time as a fourth-grade student at Simis Elementary.

“Being a teacher at an IB world school requires dedication and the ability to demonstrate attributes such as being open-minded and an inquirer,” shared Madison Simis IB Coordinator Melissa Powers. “Julia Hubbs is that type of teacher. We are proud to have her as a teacher in our IB World School because she truly believes in each child’s ability to think and have ownership in their learning.”

Through the IB curriculum at the Madison School District, students become independent learners capable of in-depth research, report writing, and taking action. Students inquire within the six IB transdisciplinary themes to become internationally minded.

“It feels so amazing to be honored for this award,” said Hubbs, who has 16 years of teaching experience, six of which is at Simis. “It didn’t just happen last year. This was 16 years in the making so I feel incredibly blown away by all the recognition.”

Hubbs said she found her niche with the IB program because it gives both the teacher and student voice and agency to make choices in their learning.

“The IB program is so amazing because it’s a combination of teaching on a global scale through inquiry, incorporating character education, and practicing 21st century skills like research and cooperative work,” Hubbs said. “I try to incorporate this every day in my classroom. This year I’m focusing on questioning because we’re always wondering and learning. It’s continually an adventure in the classroom.”

Madison student Sophie Garcia was extremely excited to hear that her hard work and dedication to “The Cleaning Committee” was being recognized. Garcia and her friends started TCC to keep the school campus clean. Kids could participate with their friends and work together during their social time to help clean up campus.

“I am honored to receive the award and excited to tell my classmates who were involved with the club last year that the TCC was being given an opportunity to be recognized on another level outside of the Simis campus,” Sophie said. “I am excited at the opportunity to be recognized in front of a group of people who are important to my community, and the plaque with my name on it is just icing on the cake.”

Melissa Powers added, “Sophie Garcia is one of the sweetest students you can meet. Because of her great empathy for others and her world, she helped organize a wonderful club at Simis which helped her win PYP student of the year. We are proud of her hard work, dedication and caring heart.”

The Garcia family said Hubbs absolutely deserved the Teacher of the Year Award.

“Ms. Hubbs is an incredible mentor with a huge heart that resonates with the kids that are lucky enough to have her as a teacher,” the Garcia family said. “We are so lucky that Sophie had the opportunity to be a part of Ms. Hubbs’ classroom, and the amount of appreciation that our family (and the Madison Simis Family) have for her is endless.”

Sophie, now in fifth grade at Madison Meadows Middle School, aspires to one day be a digital animator, creating digital animated videos/movies.

Hubbs said as a teacher, she lives by the philosophy to “ignite curiosity, don’t extinguish it.”

“I want my students to leave school every day exhausted but excited for the next day wondering what they will learn about next,” Hubbs said.

September 12, 2019 – Madison Receives Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Madison School District was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its fiscal year 2018 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). In their press release, the GFOA states, “The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.”

August 28, 2019 – Madison Educators visit Uganda

A group of Madison educators visited a school in Uganda during the summer of 2019. Pictured: Madison team with the school's head-mistress (principal)

This past summer, a team of Madison educators was afforded the opportunity to visit Omuto Emmaus School near Jinja, Uganda. The team consisted of Dr. Mike Winters, Executive Director for Curriculum and Instruction, and four teachers from Madison Meadows, IB Coordinator Victoria Coughlin, Language Arts teacher Amber Bradshaw, Science teacher Alexandra Ritter, and Math teacher Christy Schwalenberg.

During the visit the team toured the school, provided training to the teachers, observed instruction, and provided feedback to the teachers and head mistress (principal). Team members interacted with students, and participated in extracurricular activities and a debate. The team was also able to bring a donation of 30 backpacks stuffed full of school supplies and each team member donated a professional book to add to the school’s library.

August 20, 2019 – Madison Park Middle School Creates New Makerspace through SRP Grant

Madison Park Middle School was one of 33 schools in Arizona selected by SRP to receive a learning grant for the 2019-2020 school year. Park was awarded $4,710 to create a new Makerspace in their library with materials such as LittleBits electronic building blocks, 3D Doodler Pens and Aquaponics Stations, among other reusable resources. These materials will enhance classroom lessons in science, math and technology, enabling students to have a more hands-on approach in their learning.

The grants were awarded through a variety of evaluators and committee from hundreds of grant applications. This year SRP will fund projects ranging from robotics to lab equipment for a total of $147,000 in local STEM/STEAM projects.

August 1, 2019 – Amy Ball Recognized as 12News A+ Teacher of the Week

Ms. Amy Ball was recently named 12News’ A+ Teacher of the Week. Amy was a kindergarten teacher at Madison Traditional Academy for 12 years and begins this school year in a new role as Assistant Principal at Madison No. 1 Middle School.

July 2019 – Madison School District Receives Notice of Re-accreditation by AdvancED

AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world that conducts rigorous, on-site reviews of a variety of educational institutions and systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. Madison was the first elementary school district in Arizona to have been accredited by AdvancED. This past year, Madison was re-accredited and earned the highest AdvancED Index of Education Quality (IEQ) score for any education institution, internationally, in the last 5 years. Madison earned an IEQ of 323.55 compared to the previous highest score of any district, which was 283.33.

July 2019 – Madison’s Bond Rating Upgraded

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Madison Elementary School District’s outstanding general obligation tax bonds from Aa2 to Aa1. Madison is one of only 7 school districts in Arizona to have such a high rating from Moody’s. The upgrade to Aa1 reflects the District’s robust financial position and experienced management team in place. The rating also reflects the District’s manageable debt and pension liabilities. Madison is grateful to receive validation from Moody’s that the District is responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars as it works to help students realize their full academic, social and emotional potential.

Because of the community’s support, Madison can continue its strong tradition of academic excellence by investing money in the classroom via signature programs that meet the needs of children; programs such as Visual & Performing Arts, Spanish Immersion, International Baccalaureate, Traditional Academy, REACH (Highly Gifted) and STEAM.

Tax Rate Declines

Madison Elementary School District’s tax rate continues to decline. When compared to surrounding elementary school districts, Madison has one of the lowest Primary and Secondary tax rates.

Graph of Madison's primary and secondary tax rates for 2015-2019. Year 2015-2016: 4.6562, year 2016-2017: 4.5582, year 2017-2018: 4.4782, year 2018-2019: 4.3561