Women in EducationFeaturing women leading in education.
A newcomer to Prescott, Maya Caldwell found it easy to settle into her role as Federal Program and Grants Coordinator with the Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) when she started her job earlier this year. Caldwell says, “This district is embodied by the most caring and innovative people I have ever seen in a public school system. Not only do they support my vision and dreams for ‘out of box’ thinking—they embrace it!” With students in mind throughout all grant-seeking decisions, Caldwell says she feels an “unhindered creativity finding new grant opportunities and programs that will benefit our students.”
It probably isn’t a surprise to many Prescottonians that most classroom teachers spend their own personal money on necessary classroom supplies like writing paper, file folders, notebooks, envelopes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, highlighters, crayons, glue sticks, markers, calculators, clipboards, erasers, and essentials like hand soap, Band-Aids, and Kleenex. Some teachers even purchase snacks for their students. Someone outside the education system may believe the school district should supply many of the items teachers purchase. Unfortunately, due to a slim state education budget, that’s just not feasible.
The Nurses of Prescott Unified School District: Teachers, Mentors and Skilled Healthcare Professionals All Rolled into One
As healthcare professionals, the nurses at Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) have a greater role than what many of us experienced growing up and visiting the nurse’s office hoping for a day pass to go home. Today, school nurses strive to address the physical, mental, emotional and social health needs of each student. From Monica Pardo in her first year as nurse at Lincoln School, to Carolyn Ernst in her 14th year with Prescott High School, school nurses are at the ready for whatever comes their way—from simple sore throats to medical emergencies.
When former Prescott High School Principal Stephanie Hillig wanted to repurpose an old abandoned media studio, Media Instructor Robyn Bryce jumped on the opportunity to use that space to create the Film and Television department of the Media Arts program. Bryce, who pursued a Certification in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Emerging and Industrial Technologies, began the program in 2014 and says, “The program has grown roughly 300% since its inception and now the bulk of my schedule consists of CTE classes, with plans to add more classes in the future.” In Bryce’s classes, students can explore their interests through team and independent projects. She adds, “I am always looking for ways to grow the scope of the program. For instance, the students produce the morning announcements and compete in local and state competitions.”
Kelly Mattox, Grants Specialist and Family Resource Center Coordinator for Prescott Unified School District (PUSD), knows her role is important in securing housing and education assistance for District families in transition. In her position since 2016, Mattox says, “I am always about personal growth and learning, and especially about giving back. The community should know that the District helps take care of kids whose families do not have permanent housing. Through funding and donations, the District supports those who need it most.”
It has been said that small groups make some of the biggest differences in our world—and that rings true for the Prescott Unified School District Education Foundation (PUSD EF), a small but mighty force in the Prescott community.