Skip to Content Skip to Footer Accessibility Concerns
Front of district office

Dysart Honors 55 Staff Members as Heroes


Dysart Unified School District annually names staff members as Heroes to recognize outstanding service to the district and the community. This year, 55 extraordinary staff members received the honor of being named a Dysart Hero, after being selected through a peer nomination process.  The number of nominations received doubled this year, truly demonstrating the hard work and dedication of Dysart’s staff. Heroes were surprised with the awards by the Dysart Hero Prize Patrol, made up of district administrators and Governing Board members, over the course of several days in March and April. 

In lieu of the usual ceremony and dinner this year, Dysart Heroes were honored during a private ceremony on April 21, 2021 at The Vista Center for the Arts. Dr. Jim Dean, Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, was the Master of Ceremonies and read excerpts from the nomination letters. A commemorative Hero plaque, sponsored by the Dysart Education Foundation, was presented by Superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis and members of the Dysart Governing Board. The Shadow Ridge High School drumline provided a brief performance onstage and led the Hero procession to a line of district leadership and administrators cheering their recipients on as they exited the ceremony. A take home meal was provided for each Hero from Sharkos Catering, so they could enjoy it with their family while they watched the recorded ceremony later that evening. 

2021 Dysart Heroes:


Asante Preparatory Academy - Tracy Anderson, Ruby Sotelo 

Ashton Ranch Elementary School - Carla Gutierrez, Arthur Frazier 

Canyon Ridge School - Lacey Merritt, Matthew Davis 

Cimarron Springs Elementary School - Heide Cline, David Montano 

Countryside Elementary School - Jacqueline Banks, Diane Varming

Dysart Elementary School - Michele Gillespie, Angela Schreifels 

Dysart High School - Samantha Jones, Michelle Dabney 

El Mirage Elementary School - Brandi Tshivhase, Mayra Garcia 

Freedom Traditional Academy - Yesenia Fierro, Jaime Stanley 

Kingswood Elementary School - Jessica Novalesi, Barbara Louis Nieto 

Luke Elementary School - Marissa Mulvey, Tom Piniewski 

Marley Park Elementary School - Kathryn Voss, Jeri Metcalf 

Mountain View School - Christina Brown, Chawna Anderson 

Rancho Gabriela Elementary School - Sheri Morey, Marteen Maffai 

Riverview School - Delbertta Smolinski, Randolph Pinner 

Shadow Ridge High School - Michelle Bohon, Michele Falandys 

Sonoran Heights Elementary School - Brian Koch, Jeffrey Salamone 

Sundown Mountain Alternative Education Program - Dawn Gorosics, Joshua Reish 

Sunset Hills Elementary School - Lisa Moberg, Michelle Paxman 

Surprise Elementary School - Christine Kenneme, Antonieta Trevino 

Thompson Ranch Elementary School - Ramona Arizmendez, Chris Johansen 

Valley Vista High School - Nicole Bauer, Mary Gonzales 

West Point Elementary School - Sarah Sartor, Jane Smith 

Western Peaks Elementary School - Kristen Roemer, Melissa Tanquary 

Willow Canyon High School - Alicia Vitacco, Frederick Parra 

District Department- Michelle Castro, Human Relations


James Gillespie, Dysart Elementary School


Stacie Brown, Western Peaks Elementary School 

Brad Larremore, Valley Vista High School 

Marydel Speidell, Finance Director 

The Dysart Hero Awards were sponsored this year by the Dysart Education Foundation, as well as generous community partners including: 

Centennial Diamond Sponsor: Valley Schools

Platinum Sponsors: 1GPA, CHASSE Building Team, and CORE Construction 

Gold Sponsors: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, and Wholesale Floors 

Silver Sponsors: Bel-Aire Mechanical, Magellan, Roadrunner Paving, and Trox & ViewSonic 

Bronze Sponsors: Biddle and Brown Fence Co., Sun Life and Symetra Life 

General Sponsors: Turboscape 

To view the recorded ceremony visit:

To view a video of the Hero Squad surprises, please visit: 

Media inquiries or future sponsorship questions should be directed to the Communications and Public Relations Office at or 623-876-7196.  

For More Information

15802 N Parkview Place, Surprise