Current Episode

  • Episode 016: College and Career Ready Students

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 41:00

    What’s currently trending in Peoria Unified? Ensuring students our students are prepared to shape tomorrow. One of Peoria Unified’s strategic perspectives focuses on student success and creating rigorous curriculum that meets the needs of 21st-Century students. Today I am joined by our Director of our award-winning Career and Technical Education Department, Barb Coakley, and Peoria Unified Alum Sylvia Lopez who is currently in her first semester at Arizona State University studying to be an industrial engineer.

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  • Episode 015: The Best Teachers Possible

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 42:00

    What’s currently Trending in Peoria Unified? Retaining the Best Teachers Possible! This is the time of year our Human Resources Department begins to recruit teachers for the next school year. Today, I am joined by Nina Buckley, our Lead Instructional Coach, who is leading the efforts to modernize our workforce. Nina supports all of our new teachers and we are so glad to have her here to discuss the ways in which Peoria Unified teachers are supported. I am also joined by Megan Cox, teacher at Coyote Hills, who for the last 3 years has had students with the highest math scores in the district. She shares her strategy for supporting her 8th graders along their educational journey.

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  • Episode 014: Supporting Success

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 39:00

    What’s currently trending in Peoria Unified? Our Support Staff. Like many school districts around the country, we are experiencing a shortage in support staff in a variety of roles. While these positions are often looked over, so many of them are the reason our schools are able to provide the services they do. In the latest episode of Peoria Unified's podcast, Trending Peoria, we are joined by our Chief Operations and Technology Officer, John Gay, as he shares the different support staff positions we have in Peoria Unified and the roles they play in serving students. Later in the episode, Christina Sosa from KidZone will discuss her role as facilitator in Peoria Unified's before and after school program in our Glendale schools.

    If you are interested in becoming a school bus driver, or if any high-quality individuals with a passion for kids, please direct them to

    You can listen to the Trending Peoria podcast anywhere you listen to podcast and at​.

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  • Episode 13: Friday Night Lights

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 1:09:00

    What’s currently trending in Peoria Unified? Football! More importantly, all of the aspects that come together to make each Friday night in the Fall so fun and the memories unparalleled. Whether you were a member of the marching band, participated in sports medicine, cheered the team on in pom, dance or cheer, were playing on the field or enjoyed the games from the stands, everyone has special memories of football season. In this episode, we are joined by Peoria Unified alum and current teacher, Mrs. Kate Menasco, and Peoria High School legends, David “Skinny” Hill and Coach William Babb. We discuss the impact our programs have on campus culture.

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  • Episode 12: Raising the Rigor

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 40:00

    What’s trending in Peoria? Rigorous curriculum and engaging learning environments! In education, the word rigor is often used to describe the way we approach teaching and learning. However, there is a lot to learn about what pushes students to reach their fullest potential. Today, I am joined by Executive Director of Elementary Education and Curriculum & Instruction, Marla Hobbs, and Ironwood High School Science Teacher, Amy Hutter.

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  • Episode 011: Creating Inclusive & Innovative Learning Environments

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 51:26

    What’s currently trending in Peoria Unified? Creating safe, inclusive and rigorous learning environments for all of our students. One of Dr. Reynolds vision points for Peoria Unified in the coming years is: Ensuring that every student and employee is known, valued, cared for, and challenged. Today we are joined by Dr. Carter Davidson, our Chief Student Support Officer, and Mrs. Lori Garcia, our Director of Special Education, as we look at what inclusion looks like in Peoria Unified, as well as what their goals are for the coming school year.

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  • Episode 010: School Finance 202: Understanding ESSER

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 19:00

    What’s currently trending in Peoria Unified? School Finance and the ESSER Grants! Recently the federal government, approved the opportunity for elementary and secondary public schools to receive a one-time infusion of funding to aid in the recovery from COVID-19. Today, I am joined by our Chief Financial Officer, Michelle Myers, as we unpack what ESSER provides and understand more about school finance. If you need a refresh on school finance and funding, you can head to our YouTube channel and watch School Finance 101 which shares everything you need to know about Overrides and Bonds at a local level.

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  • Episode 009: Welcome Back!

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 38:20

    What’s trending in Peoria Unified? Back to School! With the start of a new school year ahead of us, it is so exciting to think of the endless possibilities ahead. In this episode, we are joined by two Peoria Unified alumni who AnnMarie Demeter (Raymond S. Kellis) and Mark Harman (Alta Loma) now work in Peoria Unified and are excited for what the new school year will bring. While things are constantly changing, it is refreshing to know that Peoria Unified alumni always have the ability to come back and continue investing in the district that helped to grow them into the educational leaders they are today.



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  • Episode 007: Summer of Success

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 40:19

    What’s trending in Peoria? Summer! Well more importantly a summer of success. Each summer, Peoria Unified offers a myriad of opportunities for our students ranging from summer camps to summer school. This year, our Curriculum & Instruction and KidZone teams re-imagined what successful summer programming looks like. Today I am joined by our Executive Director of Federal Program, Laurie Little, and our Director of KidZone, Ashley Worrell, as they discuss what successful, innovative, and engaging summer programing looks like.

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  • Episode 006: Strategic Thinking Part I: Reflect & Reimagine

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 46:14

    What’s currently trending in Peoria? Refreshing and reimagining our strategic plan and reclaiming our seat as a national leader in pK-12 education.  Throughout this process we have brought in leaders, educators and support staff from across Peoria Schools to ensure we continue to meet the needs of every student, every day. We will be joined in the episode by Peoria Unified’s Superintendent, Dr. Jason Reynolds as well as Mike Maas, Director of Research and Planning, and John Gay, Chief Strategic Planning and Technology Officer.

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  • Episode 005: Pride of Peoria

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 41:20
    What’s currently trending in Peoria? Our Pride in our employees. We all know this year has been one for the books with so many things stacked against public education. Despite all of the obstacles, Peoria Unified employees stepped up and continued doing what they do best: prioritizing students. Each year, we recognize the top one-precent of all employees in our Pride of Peoria Campaign. Today, I am joined by some of our winners as they discuss what being a leader in education means to them, the why behind what they do and so much more!
    Watch the Prize Patrol surprise our two guests with their awards:
    Watch all of the Prize Patrol videos on our Pride of Peoria website
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  • Episode 004: Where Are We Going?

    by Length: 25:39

    What’s trending in Peoria Unified? The Future! With an unprecedented school year behind us, we are looking forward to a brighter future. Today I am joined by Peoria Unified’s Superintendent, Dr. Jason W. Reynolds. On July 1, 2020, Dr. Jason Reynolds took the helm as Peoria Unified's Superintendent and has led our district through a global pandemic. Prior to serving as superintendent, Dr. Reynolds has served as Peoria Unified’s Deputy Superintendent since 2019. He joined us from the Paradise Valley School District, where he served as Assistant Superintendent of Leadership and Secondary Instruction since 2015.

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  • Episode 003: Where Have We Been?

    by Peoria Unified Public Relations Length: 38:41

    What’s trending in Peoria Unified? Graduation! For many students, graduation is a time of deep reflection of what they have accomplished and is filled with hope for what will be. This year has certainly been one like none other and I am so overjoyed to be sitting down with two Peoria Unified graduates as we discuss what the future holds, what shaped their time in high school and process through the impact the last four years has had on each of them. Joining us today we have Michael Robbins, the Student Body President from Sunrise Mountain, and Sylvia Lopez, who attends both Liberty High School and our MET Professional Academy.

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