A Knightly Newsletter December 2020


We are so grateful for the dedication and perseverance of our teachers, staff and students, and would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one for continuing to make Mesa Academy a great place to learn and be, even while masked up! We wish everyone a very happy holiday season and are looking forward to 2021. We’ll see you virtually on January 4, ready to start Quarter 3 and new learning. Be well and stay safe! -Nikki Wilfert, Principal and Sidney Williams, Interim Principal

Info for January

We will see students back in their virtual classrooms on January 4, 2021. An email was sent out the last week of school. There you will find the Remote Bell Schedules, Expectations for Remote Learning, and the Quarter 3 Wheel schedule. All students will need to be ready to learn at 8:00 a.m. on January 4, with cameras turned on for attendance, which is now being recorded by the teacher. Attendance will no longer be taken through Canvas. See you in January!


Student Council has voted to have a pajama day on January 22nd, 2021. This means that for one day out of the whole school year, students will get to walk into school in their pajamas! Please watch daily announcements for details on our first school-wide Spirit Day.


The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. As IB learners, we strive to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective.

Inquirers develop their natural curiosity, acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research, and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives. Evan Reeves has been nominated and recognized as an inquirer.

Knowledgeable students explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have local and global significance. In doing so, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines. Caden Rencher has been nominated and recognized as a knowledgeable student.

Thinkers exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems and make reasoned ethical decisions. Olivia Merrill, Adam Canty, Dash Rumschlag, and Sereniti Johnson have been nominated and recognized as thinkers.

Communicators understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others. Sebastian Arellano and Wiliam Schmit have been nominated and recognized as communicators.

Principled students act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice, and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups, and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them. The following students have been nominated and recognized as principled Eliud Kuria, Arianne Rencher, Daven Hallows, and Saraphina Zhao.

Open-minded students understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view and are willing to grow from the experience. Anaiz Daniels has been nominated and recognized as an open-minded student.

Caring students show empathy, compassion, and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment. The following students have been nominated and recognized as caring, Sophie Elgin, Isaac Alvarado, Sylvie Schmelter, Sereniti Johnson, Thelo Lehart, Camden Slaugh, and Angel Osuna Valdez.

Risk-takers approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas, and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. Ada Thompson and Davis Sterling have been nominated and recognized as risk-takers.

Balanced students understand the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. Kiley Viahoulis has been nominated and recognized as a balanced student.

Reflective students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development. Silas Norton and Sienna Goforth have been nominated and recognized as reflective students.

Random Acts of Kindness at MAAS:

Not only do Mesa Academy students follow the IB Learner Traits, but they also show integrity every day. We asked you to share random acts of kindness you've seen around school and this is what you said... 'Some students have helped their fellow peers pick up trash or they've explained math problems. Students have also opened the door for others and helped with technical issues.' Way to be Knights!

Science Fair

With all the exciting and unique projects this year, our Science fair will be a knockout. The Science Fair is well on its way with many of us wrapping up our experiment phase. A lot of science projects were inspired by our current pandemic. Animals were also topics of interest. Many of the classics for MAAS made a re-appearance. When asked what inspired you here were some of your answers:

I would color my hair a lot and I was interested in what color stayed in the longest.

My mom couldn't find a good stain remover.

I love doing makeup but don't know what brand is the best to remove it with.

I'm doing it on a hair dye lasting conditioner so I'm just using multiple brands on different strips of hair. It was inspired by my clearly dyed hair and I wanted to know which would hold color the longest.

A wicked sunburn I got this summer.

Rolling backpacks

This year I learned that hair loss was a major problem so my science project is testing to see if aloe vera gel can improve hair growth.

Let's give a round of applause to the following Knights who participated in our Spelling Bee on December 18th:

4th Grade- Caitlin Ngo, Layla Spangler, Rayden Hughes 5th Grade- Colson Anderson, Hadley Kennington, Kyle Knopp 6th Grade- Savannah Malamitsis, Kendall Von Burg, Jessie Olmedo 7th Grade- Jane Henriksen, Stella Court, Brendan Rauch 8th Grade- Mikelreza Streeks, Robert Kennedy, Carena Todd

And the winner… Carena Todd!

Just for fun!

Countless things for Christmas are wanted around Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, but some of the most wanted items include:

Dogs, Gaming Equipment, Phones, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Legos, Money, Covid-related (i.e. no covid; vaccine; relatives to get better), Instrument, Oculus Quest 2, and Pens.

Thanks for reading and taking part in our December Survey. The MAAS Newsletter Team, Sebastian Arrellano, Rita Lopez Rosas, Evan Reeves, Arianne Rencher, and Joey Sandoval, wish you Happy Holidays.


Created with images by Luke Michael - "Red, White & Blue" • Pexels - "knight armor iron" • kkolosov - "analysis biochemistry biologist" • Unknown - "People Applause Comedy - Free image on Pixabay" • Daria-Yakovleva - "christmas new year's eve postcard"